2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Cincinnati, OH - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Cincinnati.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Cincinnati?
Hamilton County - Home Improvement Program
Local Option - Special Energy Improvement Districts
Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program (SRECs)
City of Cincinnati - Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings
Residential Renovations: 100% tax abatement for 10 years
Commercial New Construction: Effective 75% tax abatement for 8-15 years
Commercial Renovations: Effective 75% tax abatement for 8-12 years
Duke Energy (Gas & Electric) - Residential Efficiency Rebate Program
Central AC or Heat pump: $300-$400
Geothermal Heat Pump: $400
Smart Thermostat: $125
Heat Pump Water Heater: $350
Variable Speed Pool Pumps: $300
Duct Sealing: $100
Duct Insulation: $75
Attic Insulation and Air Sealing: $250
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. This category of financial incentives is designed to encourage more Americans to convert their home partially or fully to renewable energy. Various types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Some incentives may be provided via the state of Ohio, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the government.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions go into effect at the time of purchase for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the value that your solar panels add when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Net Metering: Make sure you speak to your Cincinnati utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This will allow you to receive credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You may receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar system. Rebates may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that typically becomes part of your taxable income. Typically, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are typically handled by your state government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. A federal incentive many people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a specified percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC covers solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. This credit can apply towards solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although certain projects may qualify for only 26%, depending on the details. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Cincinnati solar panel installer to get more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). Homeowners can now qualify for a credit of 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. This percentage will then decrease annually until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, reach out to your local Cincinnati solar installation expert.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; rebates, tax credits and more might also be offered at the state and local level. These incentives might be handled by the Ohio government, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Cincinnati
You can apply for and receive solar incentives from the Ohio government and the federal government, as well as from your local utility company. This increase in availability of solar initiatives over the last 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. Your local Cincinnati solar panel installation expert can give you more information about which incentives you can apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
EcoWatch's Cincinnati, OH Solar Incentives FAQs
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.