Solar Panel Cost Guide in Cleveland, OH (Aug 2022)

  • Cleveland Solar Installation Cost: $14,928
  • 25-Year Savings: $16,546
  • Payback Period: 11.9 Years

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EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 7/19/2022

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Average Cost of Solar Panels in Cleveland

We go over average solar pricing in Cleveland.

In Cleveland, solar panels cost about $3 per watt on average. Since a 7.9-kW system is needed to cover the energy needs of a typical home in Cleveland, the average price of going solar will be about $14,928 before claiming the federal solar tax credit.

Bear in mind that the figures above are only estimates based on the average energy use of Cleveland homeowners. The cost of a solar system for your home may look different depending on factors unique to your situation, like your household energy use and solar contractor. Many homeowners find going solar is a solid investment. The average homeowner in Cleveland can save around $15,000 on their power bills over 20 years.

For a customized quote from a local solar installer that has been pre-vetted by the EcoWatch team, click the button below.

Solar savings over time in Cleveland

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-13,669
3 years $-11,151
5 years $-8,633
7 years $-6,115
9 years $-3,597
11 years $-1,079
13 years $1,438
15 years $3,956
17 years $6,474
19 years $8,992
21 years $11,510
23 years $14,028
25 years $16,546

Top Solar Installers in Cleveland

Although you can install solar panels yourself, it requires extra labor and know-how. For that reason, most homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. Local solar companies can also help you optimize your return on investment by walking you through any local incentives you can take advantage of and by offering warranties and repairs.

Working with a professional solar company can make going solar easier. Here are our recommendations:

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Cleveland

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Cleveland

Though the average cost of solar panels in Cleveland is $14,928, your final cost may be higher or lower than that. There are many factors that can have a major impact on the cost of a residential solar panel installation. Below are some of the more important things to consider.

Solar Equipment Size

The size of the solar panel system you need for your home is the most important cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by nearly $2,560. The solar equipment you choose can bring your price up or down by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. If you opt for the most efficient solar panel brands, you'll end up paying more upfront than if you opted for the most affordable panels. On the other hand, higher efficiency could save you more over time on your energy bills. In addition, extra products, like solar batteries, can bring your total well above the Cleveland average.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for a solar system out of pocket can be a challenge. Solar loans are available from most installers in Cleveland, which can lower, or in some cases totally eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more affordable. When trying to figure out your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you decide on a solar loan. Also, paying a higher down payment can reduce the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installer you hire to handle your switch to renewable energy can play a part in your total costs. There are about 3 solar panel companies in Cleveland, and each can charge varying amounts for labor and equipment. You may come across national solar installers that have lower prices due to their larger brand name and access to bulk equipment prices, or you might see small, local installation companies offering deals or specials to compete with those major players.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.66 $11,821 $12,152 12.3 years
8 kW $2.61 $15,458 $16,506 12.1 years
10 kW $2.56 $18,944 $21,012 11.9 years
12 kW $2.51 $22,278 $25,668 11.6 years
14 kW $2.46 $25,461 $30,477 11.4 years
16 kW $2.41 $28,492 $35,437 11.1 years
18 kW $2.36 $31,371 $40,549 10.9 years
20 kW $2.30 $34,099 $45,812 10.7 years

Solar Incentives in Cleveland

Name ITC
Type Tax Incentive
Incentive Amount 26% of installation cost
Website Visit here

Name City of Cleveland - Residential Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings
Incentive Amount 100% of increase in assessed real estate property value for 10-15 years
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Local Option - Special Energy Improvement Districts
More Info Click here

Name Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program (SRECs)
Incentive Amount SREC prices vary based on market conditions
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

Name Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program
Website Visit here
More Info Click here

How to Save on Solar Panels

There are many solar installers to choose from, all of which offer different warranties, solar panel brands and price points. To help you select the right company for you, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a good reputation as a company and have verifiable expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from 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 model has varying levels of quality, longevity and energy efficiency. They will come at different costs as well. The company you choose impacts which solar panel brands you have access to.
  • Warranty: Each company may offer different types of warranties that provide different kinds of coverage. A 25-year, all-inclusive warranty is the gold standard.
  • Installation Process: Homeowners should understand how exactly the installation process will go, as well as important factors like the completion timeline.

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

The Green Panel

★★★★★
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 Cost FAQs

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

This is a tough question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on many factors. Broadly speaking, it costs about $12,800 for a 5-kW system and $25,600 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. You can expect to pay more if you want other solar equipment or more efficient panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. On the flip side, you can spend less if you go with a smaller solar panel system or cheaper solar panels.

Can you get solar panels for free in Cleveland?

A solar panel system isn't free in Cleveland, but there are some options that can make getting them more viable, such as leasing solar panels or getting a solar loan. There may also be local programs or incentives that can help lower the cost.

How much can I save on electricity bills after switching to solar?

It is possible to eliminate your electricity bills with solar panels, but for most homeowners in Cleveland, that will require at least a 10-kW system. Not all homes can accommodate that size system, so you'll want to contact a local solar installer to see how many panels can fit on your roof.

How often do you have to replace solar panels?

On average, the lifespan of solar panels is about 25 to 30 years. Some even last up to 50 years, but their efficiency decreases by about 0.8% each year. You can choose to replace them sooner if you want to maintain a higher level of energy production.

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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