Even in the most northern parts of Ohio, using the sun for your home or business energy needs can save you money. Although that savings will vary depending on the photovoltaic system you install and your current energy rates. Estimates from Green Energy Ohio put the savings for Toledo residents and businesses at $100 to $750 a year. Using the many Ohio solar incentives available to Ohio residents and businesses would help increase that savings.

Green Columbus Fund GrantOhio solar incentivesCredit: Flickr: joncallas

The Green Columbus Fund offers grants to new construction projects that incorporate solar. Managed through the city of Columbus’ Office of the Environmental Steward, this grant focuses on three requirements for business to meet in order to obtain this grant. Only buildings or businesses located in Columbus, Ohio that earn LEED-NC certification, and meet eight of 12 specific design attributes, such as water conservation standards, can obtain this grant according to the Database of state Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is given to new construction (NC) projects by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Local Government Solar Loan Programs

There are several options for getting low interest rates for installing solar panels in Ohio-based properties. Homeowners and business owners in Hamilton County can apply for loans to finance solar projects at an interest rate of three percent below current interest rates. These loans are financed through First Safety Bank, North Side Bank, Fifth Third Bank, KeyBank, and U.S. Bank. Some local municipalities also offer Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans for residential and commercial properties. Contact your local government to determine if PACE financing is available for your area.

State of Ohio Solar Loans

Through the state’s Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program, homeowners can qualify for five- to seven-year loans also at a rate that is three percent less than the current interest rates. Loans are made through local Ohio banks.

Property Tax Incentives

Qualifying residential and commercial properties located in Cincinnati that obtain LEED certification can receive a 100 percent property tax abatement for 10 to 15 years through the city’s Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings program. The City of Cleveland has a similar program.

Installing a photovoltaic system on your property is a large investment to make. In a state like Ohio that receives less sun each year than other states, the savings on your utilities bills will be limited by the weather. Making use of Ohio solar incentives, such as tax breaks, low interest rate loans, and other green energy incentives available only to Ohio residents will help make this a worthwhile financial investment.