Solar Panel Cost Guide in Columbus, OH (Nov 2022)

  • Columbus Solar Installation Cost: $13,548
  • 25-Year Savings: $19,057
  • Payback Period: 10.4 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

EcoWatch Local Advisors

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Updated 11/09/2022

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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 Columbus

Let's have a look at the average cost of solar panels in Columbus.

The average cost of a solar panel system in Columbus is $3 per watt. Because a 7.6-kW system is needed to cover the energy consumption of a typical home in Columbus, the average price of going solar will be about $13,548 before claiming the federal solar tax credit of 30%.

The prices above are just estimates to give you an idea of the cost of a solar energy system. The true cost of installing solar panels can vary depending on multiple factors, such as how many panels you need, your energy usage and what company you go with. But, after you've paid the upfront cost of installation, the payback for most homeowners is quite good, with a net average savings of about $16,000 over 20 years on energy bills.

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

Solar savings over time in Columbus

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-12,243
3 years $-9,635
5 years $-7,027
7 years $-4,418
9 years $-1,810
11 years $799
13 years $3,407
15 years $6,015
17 years $8,624
19 years $11,232
21 years $13,841
23 years $16,449
25 years $19,057

Top Solar Installers in Columbus

Many homeowners opt for a solar installer since installing solar panels yourself can be hard. Also, companies with an outstanding reputation that are more expensive upfront could actually save you money in the long run because of their warranties, repair services and expert design.

Working with a licensed solar installer can help you make the most of your investment in solar. 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

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 Columbus

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Columbus

The cost of installing a solar system in Columbus can vary by more than $10,000 from home to home. Your actual cost is determined by several factors. The biggest one is your system size, and other factors include the equipment you choose, financing options and the solar company you choose.

Solar Equipment

System size is one of the largest factors that determines the overall cost of installing solar panels. Because of that, it's a priority to accurately ascertain the size of the solar energy system needed for your home by figuring out your energy needs. The brand of solar panels and equipment you get is another factor that will greatly impact costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Plus, solar equipment goes beyond just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to consider the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when searching for a solar system that falls within your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

Many homeowners find the average cost of solar in Columbus to be prohibitively expensive, even if the investment pays off over time. Fortunately, nearly every solar company in the area offers financing options. Solar loans substantially decrease upfront costs in most cases, but they also lead to a higher cost over time due to interest. When considering your overall cost, you should also calculate the interest you'll pay if you go with a solar loan. Also, paying more upfront can lower the total interest paid over time.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The final significant cost factor you should take into consideration is the installer you choose. Given the booming popularity of renewable energy solutions in Columbus, you'll have many options to choose from, but each comes at various price points for labor and equipment. The company's size can sometimes play the most significant role in the cost. Larger national companies, like SunPro and Sunrun, often have lower pricing because of access to more resources and better pricing. Smaller local companies might be more costly, but they generally have better customer service and more customization options, and the occasional sale or discount can bring their pricing lower to compete with bigger names.

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 $11,182 $14,693 10.8 years
8 kW $2.61 $14,623 $19,878 10.6 years
10 kW $2.56 $17,920 $25,206 10.4 years
12 kW $2.51 $21,074 $30,677 10.2 years
14 kW $2.46 $24,084 $36,292 10.0 years
16 kW $2.41 $26,952 $42,049 9.8 years
18 kW $2.36 $29,676 $47,951 9.6 years
20 kW $2.30 $32,256 $53,995 9.3 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your solar panel installation will affect the warranties and brands you have access to, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since choosing a company can be difficult, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • 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.
  • Contract: It's important to read your solar installer's contract closely to understand what services they will provide, what the warranty covers and what expectations you should have about your solar system's energy production.
  • Solar Panel Brands: The type of solar panel you need to install plays a part in which installer you should go with, since different companies have access to different panels.
  • Reputation: Solar companies that have great reviews from their customers and that have been in business for many years likely offer quality solar panel installation and expertise.

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 Columbus, OH Solar Cost FAQs

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Columbus?

The average cost of solar panels in Columbus is about $12,800 for a 5-kW system and $25,600 for a 10-kW system before the ITC, but the actual cost will depend on stuff like the model of solar panels you want, what size system you need and how much energy you use.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Columbus?

Leasing solar panels can be an attractive choice, as it typically comes with low or $0 upfront payments. The downside is that you won't be able to save as much. If you lease, you don't own the system, so you can't claim any tax rebates and credits and your home value won't increase. Buying solar panels is a better way to go if you want to get the most savings.

Does Columbus have a net metering program?

Each state has some kind of net metering programs except Tennessee, South Dakota and Alabama currently. Some states let you sell power back to the grid, but others just give you credit toward your future utility bills.

How many solar panels do I need to power my home?

To figure out what solar panel system size you need, you need to know how much energy your home needs 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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