2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Cleveland, OH - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Cleveland.

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
  • Ways to optimize your solar investment

Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Cleveland solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Cleveland?

Hamilton County - Home Improvement Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
$50,000

Local Option - Special Energy Improvement Districts

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Low-interest, 30-year loan

Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
Rate reduction available for up to $50,000 and 7 years of the bank loan

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program (SRECs)

Incentive Type:
Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
SREC prices vary based on market conditions

City of Cleveland - Residential Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
100% of increase in assessed real estate property value for 10-15 years

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives are designed to mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. These financial incentives are designed to encourage more people to make the switch to renewable energy. The incentives may include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are handled by the federal government, some by the state of Ohio and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Types of solar incentives might include:

  • Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax you owe the government. Tax credits differ from tax deductions.
  • Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Solar rebates may be provided by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Typically, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (usually small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically offered by your state government. SRECs can be sold to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
  • Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Cleveland utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may make back a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions can come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption. This allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house.

Federal Solar Incentives

When you hear the term "solar incentives," federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. The solar incentive that you're most likely to have heard of is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of your solar system's cost.

The ITC covers solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. This credit can apply towards a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum claim amount.

Contacting your local Cleveland solar panel installer is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to your situation.

In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now titled the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit runs until 2035. Your solar installation project undertaken between 2022 and 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit; this amount will decrease slightly each year until the end of the current program. The expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.

More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. The best way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you is to talk with your local Cleveland solar panel company.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others may only be available for a limited time. They may be given by the Ohio government, or by your county or municipality.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Cleveland

The nationwide use of solar energy has increased enormously in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the proliferation of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the Ohio government, the federal government or your local utility company. Your local Cleveland solar panel installer can give you more information about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Solar Financing

Blue Raven Solar

★★★★★
4.5

  • Industry-leading in-house financing
  • Competitive pricing
  • Excellent reputation
  • Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • Price-match guarantee
  • Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
  • Best solar battery on the market
  • Some reported issues with customer service
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

EcoWatch's Cleveland, OH Solar Incentives FAQs

How do I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?

Broadly, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar panel system
  2. installed on a property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. between the dates specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including those given out by the Ohio government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Cleveland solar installer to discover what incentives your project may qualify for.

If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?

An excellent idea would be to talk to the company that installed your solar system — or speak to a local Cleveland solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

Who installs solar panel systems near me?

To learn about the best solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on Cleveland's best solar panel companies.

If I change out my appliances for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there any incentives I can claim?

The new Inflation Reduction Act creates a variety of new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.

Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?

Yes, you can employ multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of geothermal and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. Make sure that you discuss your plan with your local Cleveland solar installation expert, to make sure you know what you'll need and what types of incentives you might or might not qualify for.

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.

Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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