Residents of the Buckeye state have seen a considerable increase in the number of solar panel installations in the last few years. The state currently ranks 25th in the most solar panels installed, and there is projected growth over the next few years.
While electricity costs in Ohio are below the national average, the changing weather and temperatures across the state can still mean many residents experience high energy bills over the year. Installing solar power on your home can help decrease the cost of your energy bills.
Many factors impact the cost of your solar panel installation, from the system type and size to the installation location. The state average cost for installing solar panels is $14,580 to $17,460, with most homeowners paying around $16,020 for a 6 kW system using monocrystalline panels installed on the roof. This project’s low cost is $4,860 for a 2 kW system using thin film panels installed on the roof. The high cost is $48,000 for a 10 kW system using monocrystalline panels with a battery backup installed on an array.
|Cost of Solar Panels in Ohio|
|National average cost||$16,020|
Most solar panel installations in Ohio are grid-tied installations. This means your home is still connected to your local utility company. You can still use power from the grid at night or in inclement weather, with your solar panels providing the power the rest of the time. With a grid-tied system, you can use any number of solar panels to provide some or all the energy your home uses. You can use battery backup, but the grid is still available if you need it.
The other installation type is an off-grid installation, which means you are not connected to the utilities. It is legal to go off-grid in Ohio, but there are many restrictions and regulations. For example, you must remain connected to sewer lines 1, and disconnecting from the electrical grid requires additional permits and inspections that can raise the project cost.
If you go off-grid, you provide all your own energy. This means you need a full battery backup to power your home at night or in inclement weather. You also need a secondary backup source, such as a generator or wind power system to help provide power during the times when your solar panels cannot. Off-grid systems must be large enough to meet all your home’s needs, so they are often much larger than a grid-tied system. Below are the average costs to install both systems in Ohio, based on the energy needs of the average home.
|Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Grid-Tied||$14,580 - $17,460|
|Off-Grid||$35,000 - $50,000|
Solar panels are sold and installed by the watt, with most panels producing between 250 and 400 watts per panel. The cost per watt in Ohio is between $2.43 and $2.91 per watt fully installed. These costs include the panels, inverters, permits, and installation of the system. Your costs vary depending on the solar panel type, where they are mounted 2, and your location. Expect higher costs if you live in an urban area like Columbus than a less-populated area.
Below are the average costs to install solar panel systems of varying sizes in Ohio and the average number of panels you need for an installation of that size.
|System Size||Panels Needed||Average Cost (Installed)|
|2 kW||5 - 8||$4,860 - $5,820|
|3 kW||8 - 12||$7,290 - $8,730|
|4 kW||10 - 16||$9,720 - $11,640|
|5 kW||13 - 20||$12,150 - $14,550|
|6 kW||15 - 24||$14,580 - $17,460|
|7 kW||18 - 28||$17,010 - $20,370|
|8 kW||20 - 32||$19,440 - $23,280|
|10 kW||25 - 40||$24,300 - $29,100|
|12 kW||30 - 48||$29,160 - $34,920|
|15 kW||38 - 60||$36,450 - $43,650|
|18 kW||45 - 72||$43,740 - $52,380|
The cost of your solar panel installation can be impacted by many factors, including your home size. While you can install a few panels to help power some things in a home, you can also install a large enough system to power all areas of your home with room to grow. For this reason, there is a wide range of costs associated with installing solar panels on homes of all sizes in Ohio.
In general, the system size and cost increase with your home size. Because there can be some overlap in system sizes, there can also be overlap in the costs between differently sized homes, but costs usually increase with the home size. Below are the average costs to install solar panels on various home sizes in Ohio.
|House Size||Average Cost (Installed)|
|1,000 sq.ft.||$4,860 - $23,280|
|1,500 sq.ft.||$5,820 - $29,160|
|2,000 sq.ft.||$9,720 - $34,920|
|2,500 sq.ft.||$14,580 - $36,450|
Solar panels can be made in many ways. These can be loosely broken into three basic types - monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. Of the three types, you are more likely to see monocrystalline in Ohio, as this is the most efficient type.
Monocrystalline panels are made using whole silicon crystals. They do the best in direct sunlight and have the highest energy outputs of the three types. They have a sleek black finish and mid-height profile.
Polycrystalline panels are made of pieces of silicon crystals. They are less costly than monocrystalline panels but do not produce as much energy. They have a bright blue finish and you will need a larger system than if you use monocrystalline.
Thin film panels work the best in moderate sunlight, which is what many parts of Ohio see the most. Thin-film panels are not as efficient in bright sunlight as monocrystalline panels, but they are much thinner and lower in profile. They are also less costly than monocrystalline panels, so they may be an option for those on a tight budget.
You would only want to choose thin film if you have both a very tight budget and are in a lower-light area. Below are the average costs to install each of the three types in Ohio, based on a 6 kW system.
|Cell Type||Average Cost (Installed)|
|Polycrystalline||$13,000 - $16,000|
|Thin-Film||$13,000 - $16,000|
|Monocrystalline||$14,000 - $18,000|
The labor costs to install your solar panels is rolled into the total cost per watt for the project. These costs vary based on several factors, including the panel type, whether your system is mounted on your roof or the ground, and where in Ohio you live. The general cost of labor in Ohio ranges from $0.54 to $0.62 per watt, with ground installations and installations in densely populated areas tending to cost more than roof-mounted systems or systems in less-populated areas. These costs include the installation of the panels and inverters and the racking and balancing of the system. Below are the average costs for each installation based on its size.
|System Size||Average Labor Costs|
|2 kW||$1,080 - $1,240|
|3 kW||$1,620 - $1,860|
|4 kW||$2,160 - $2,480|
|5 kW||$2,700 - $3,100|
|6 kW||$3,240 - $3,720|
|7 kW||$3,780 - $4,340|
|8 kW||$4,320 - $4,960|
|10 kW||$5,400 - $6,200|
Your solar panels should be installed facing directly south to capture the most energy in Ohio. They should also be ideally installed on a 30-degree angle. However, if your home is not facing perfectly south, you can install your panels facing southwest or southeast without seeing much of an energy drop. If your home is not situated for your panels to face south, you may want to consider installing them on the ground to capture the most amount of sun.
While most residents of Ohio install their solar panels on their roofs, this is not the only place they can be installed. Solar panels systems that are too large for the roof, properties with roofs that cannot hold the weight of the system, or properties that are not facing the correct direction can also use ground installations.
Ground installations use the same panels that go on roofs, but instead, they are installed on pole mounts or racking on the ground. Most very large systems and off-grid systems need to be installed on a ground-mounted array array because they are too large for the home to hold. With ground mountsyou can angle the panels to capture the right amount of sunlight. This can also be a good choice for shady roofs or homes that do not face south.
Installing your solar panels on the ground raises the project cost. A ground array is more costly than the roof racks, and you need to run the wires connecting your system to your home under the ground. This increases labor and material costs for the system. Below are the average costs to install a 6 kW system in Ohio on the roof of a home and the ground.
|System Location||Average Costs (Installed)|
|Roof||$14,580 - $17,460|
|Ground||$17,600 - $21,500|
Ohio has incentives for residents to install solar panels, including net metering 3 and lowered interest rates on financing. These last two are dependent on your installer and utility company. Speak to your local energy provider and municipality for more information.
Residents who install solar panels can also take advantage of the federal tax credit. If you install your solar panels in 2022, you can claim up to 30% of the costs on your taxes as a credit. This can help lower the cost of the project installation. For a 6 kW installation, this credit equals $4,374 to $5,238 for the average installation.
In addition to the solar panels, your system also requires inverters to run properly. Inverters convert the energy your solar panels produce into energy your home can use. The number of inverters you need for the system can vary by type of inverter. If you install a string inverter, you will need at least one, while installing microinverters will require you to use one inverter per panel. So, if you have 20 panels on your home, you also need 20 inverters.
There are several inverter types on the market. Each works in slightly different ways, making one better for your project than another.
String inverters are one of the most common types. The panelsconnect in a string, and while they are more difficult to install, they are the least expensive type. However, the entire system stringif one panel because they are connected.
A newer system that does not connect panels in a string is the microinverter. Microinverters cost less per inverter, but while you only need one string inverter for the whole system, you will need one microinverter for each panel. This means that the total costs will be much higher.
Power optimizers are not inverters, but they can be used with string inverters to help improve the system’s performance. You will need one per panel like microinverters. If you have a panel that is in shade, it can help adjust the other panels to keep the power optimized, rather than having them all lower output to match the shaded panel.
If you use batteries in your solar panel system, you also need to use battery inverters. These convert the energy into something your battery can store for later. Below are the average costs for each of the different inverter types.
|Inverter Type||Average Costs (Materials Only)|
|Power Optimizer||$125 - $150|
|Micro Inverter||$150 - $215|
|String Inverter||$1,000 - $2,000|
|Battery-Based||$2,000 - $2,300|
Your solar panels need regular maintenance to ensure they operate at peak efficiency. In Ohio, this includes regular cleaning and inspections and the installation of snow guards in some cases.
Cleaning and inspection should be done at least twice yearly. During the inspection, your contractor can check for things that may need repair or adjustment, such as loose or frayed wires. This has an average cost of $150 to $350 per visit, or $300 to $700 per year.
If the area you are in sees a lot of snowfall, you may want to consider snow guards. These can help prevent heavy snow from sliding off your roof and causing potential problems. These cost between $2 to $5 a foot installed.
If you do not love the look of solar panels installed on a roof or your current roof needs to be replaced, you have another option for getting solar power to your home. A Tesla solar roof installs over your entire roof. It is made of a mixture of photovoltaic and standard roof tiles that look the same. This gives your home a uniform appearance and the solar power you want.
The Tesla solar roof comes with the option to use their Powerwall batteries as part of the installation. This can help you rely even less on the grid, but including them also increases the cost of the project because each battery costs around $10,000.
For the average home in Ohio, expect the cost of a Tesla roof to be between $50,000 and $80,000 installed. Costs vary depending on the home size, number of photovoltaic tiles versus plain tiles, and the cost of labor in your area.
In addition to installing solar panels on your home, you can also install a solar water heater. Solar water heaters are smaller and occupy less space than a full solar panel system. They heat the water you use in your home each day. Costs in Ohio can start at around $3,000 for a solar water heater, with the national average cost between $8,000 and $10,000 installed.
Yes, while Ohio does not get as many sunny days as some other states, going solar can dramatically reduce your energy costs in Ohio.
Residents can take advantage of the federal tax credit of 2022 of 30%.
Some towns and cities require permits for solar panels in Ohio, but not all of them. Speak to your local municipality for more information.
Yes, solar panels typically increase home value by roughly 4%. The exact amount depends on the system type and size and your location.
Yes, Ohio offers net metering, but this depends on the utility company you work with. Speak with the company to find out what options are available.