2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Westlake, OH - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Westlake.
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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated March 14, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Westlake?
Hamilton County - Home Improvement Program
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
The term "solar incentives" broadly refers to financial incentives that are in place to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. Various types of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the state of Ohio, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits decrease, dollar-for-dollar, how much income tax you owe the federal government. Tax credits are different from tax deductions.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. These could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak to your Westlake utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to get a credit towards your utility bill every month 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.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce over a specific (normally small) amount of electricity will qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and the like are typically given at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar system might qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions are applied at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to exclude the added value of the solar panels when calculating property taxes on your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a specified percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the cost of solar panel installation, and has fluctuated slightly over the last few years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of equipment, accessories and labor. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be owned by you and in the United States.
Curious how the ITC might apply to your specific situation? Get in touch with your local Westlake solar panel installer to get more information.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now titled the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit extends until 2035. American homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. This new credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Westlake solar panel company can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Rebates, tax credits and more might be claimed at multiple levels. Along with federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones, too. Incentives might be handled by the state of Ohio, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Westlake
Solar incentives might be provided by the federal government, the Ohio government or your local utility company. The variety of available solar incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. When you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, reaching out to your local Westlake solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
Best Solar Financing
Blue Raven Solar
- Industry-leading in-house financing
- Competitive pricing
- Excellent reputation
- Doesn't offer solar batteries (coming 2022)
- 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 Westlake, OH Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.
How do I know if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
It's a smart idea to get in touch with your local Westlake solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. In most cases, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) between the dates specified by the incentive. Some incentives, such as those offered by the government of Ohio, might have other requirements.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 400 pounds of CO2 a year by installing solar panels. This adds up to around 8,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that use solar energy, are there incentives I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act introduces several incentives meant to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can employ multiple types of renewable energy to power your home, such as a combination of solar and wind power. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a non-renewable backup source of energy. You should discuss your plan with your local Westlake solar installation expert, so that you understand what you'll need and what incentives you will or won't 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.