Solar Panel Cost Guide in Cincinnati, IL (Jan 2023)

  • Cincinnati Solar Installation Cost: $12,154
  • 25-Year Savings: $11,049
  • Payback Period: 13.1 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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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.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Cincinnati

We break down average solar pricing in Cincinnati.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Cincinnati, the typical cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. The average Cincinnati homeowner needs a 6.4-kilowatt system, which would cost about $12,154, or $8,994 after the federal solar tax credit of 30% is applied.

Keep in mind that the numbers above are only averages. The price you'll pay for solar may look quite different based on your household energy use, the type of equipment you choose, your solar contractor and more. Many homeowners find going solar is a rewarding investment. The average homeowner in Cincinnati can save about $14,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a pre-vetted solar company in Cincinnati for a quote for your home.

Solar savings over time in Cincinnati

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-11,226
3 years $-9,370
5 years $-7,513
7 years $-5,657
9 years $-3,801
11 years $-1,945
13 years $-88
15 years $1,768
17 years $3,624
19 years $5,480
21 years $7,337
23 years $9,193
25 years $11,049

Top Solar Installers in Cincinnati

Many homeowners choose to use a solar installer since trying to install solar panels yourself can be challenging. A solar installer can also help save you money over time by offering warranties, repairs and part replacements.

If you'd like to start using solar energy but still aren't sure which solar panel installer to go with, here are our suggestions for providers in Cincinnati:

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

See all of the solar companies in Cincinnati

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Cincinnati

There are several factors that can play into your total installation cost, such as the size of your system, the equipment you choose, your financing options and the specific company that installs your solar panels.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar energy system you need to offset your energy usage, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by nearly $2,730. The type of solar equipment you choose can increase or decrease your cost by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you get the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. However, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your power bills. Additionally, extra products, like solar batteries, can bump up your total well above the Cincinnati average.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Cincinnati to be prohibitively steep, even if the investment pays off over time. Thankfully, almost every solar installer in the area provides access to financing options. Solar loans substantially decrease upfront costs for most homeowners, but they also lead to paying more over time due to interest. You'll have to consider the long-term cost of loans, including the total interest you'll pay over the length of the loan. If you're only able to get a high-interest loan, then your total can be hundreds or even thousands of dollars above the equipment and labor cost. Making a larger down payment or securing a solar loan with a low APR could reduce your costs significantly.

Solar Panel Installation Company

Finally, the company you get to install your solar panel system can affect your pricing. Cincinnati's solar companies all have different labor costs and add varying upcharges to equipment. Larger national companies usually have lower costs, but some local companies keep up with them by promoting sales and discounts. While the smaller companies might not have access to specific equipment options like Tesla Powerwall batteries or additional services like electric car charger installation, they might be cheaper overall.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.84 $11,925 $9,952 13.6 years
8 kW $2.78 $15,594 $13,576 13.4 years
10 kW $2.73 $19,110 $17,352 13.1 years
12 kW $2.68 $22,473 $21,281 12.8 years
14 kW $2.62 $25,684 $25,363 12.6 years
16 kW $2.57 $28,741 $29,598 12.3 years
18 kW $2.51 $31,646 $33,985 12.1 years
20 kW $2.46 $34,398 $38,526 11.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are many companies to choose from in Cincinnati, and some homeowners feel overwhelmed considering their options. Selecting the right company for you can be tough, so here are some tips to help you decide:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have proven expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has positive reviews from past customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Each solar panel brand and type has varying levels of quality, longevity and efficiency. They will come at different prices as well. The company you choose plays a role in which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Contract: Even though reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it thoroughly so you can make sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and the terms of the warranty.
  • Warranty: A quality company rises above other companies by providing the gold standard warranty — a 25-year, all-inclusive warranty covering parts, labor and performance.

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 Cincinnati, IL Solar Cost FAQs

What is the average cost of installing solar panels in Cincinnati?

This is a tough question to answer precisely, because the cost depends on a few different factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $13,650 for a 5-kW system and $27,300 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will be more expensive if you want extra solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have above-average energy consumption. On the flip side, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less expensive solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Cincinnati?

You can't get solar panels for free in Cincinnati. However, you may still be able to install them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd rather own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

Does Cincinnati have a net metering program?

Most states have net metering programs of some kind. Through these, you can get paid for the extra power your system generates or or receive credits to put toward future electricity bills. Currently there are just three states that don't have any net metering laws: Alabama, Tennessee and South Dakota.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

To figure out how many solar panels you need, you should find out how much energy your home uses and how much sunlight your home gets. For a general estimate, however, since each panel can typically produce about 250 to 400 watt-hours per hour, the average home will need 20 to 35 panels.

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.

Company 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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