2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Columbus, OH - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Columbus.
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 Columbus?
Hamilton County - Home Improvement Program
Consolidated Electric Cooperative - Heat Pump and Water Heating Rebates
Duel Fuel Heat Pump Rebate: $600
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,000
Local Option - Special Energy Improvement Districts
Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program (SRECs)
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. Financial incentives like these are intended to encourage more homeowners to make the switch to renewable energy. Various kinds of incentives, including discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, may be available to you. Certain incentives may be provided via the Ohio government, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as cash back that is applied after your purchase of a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Generally, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (generally small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically provided at the state level. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when paying taxes on your house. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the federal government.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to talk with your Columbus utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are probably the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. It's likely that you've heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, accessories and equipment. This credit can be claimed on solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original claim amount 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.
To more fully understand how the ITC could apply to you, get in touch with your local Columbus solar panel installer and request more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. You are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032. The total credit will then see a slight annual decrease until the date of expiration. The program expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, starting in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Columbus solar panel installation expert is the best person to answer your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these might include tax credits, rebates and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others might only be available for a limited time. Solar incentives may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the Ohio government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Columbus
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 in the past 15 years has helped greatly increase nationwide adoption of solar energy. If you're prepared to make the switch to solar energy, calling your local Columbus solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
EcoWatch's Columbus, 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.