Ohio Solar Incentives for Homeowners: SRECs and Rebates

Ohio solar panels

There are many new Ohio solar incentives for homeowners to utilize.

Ohio homeowners can potentially take advantage of numerous federal, state, and local solar incentives to begin using solar energy, which is the cleanest energy source on the planet.  Among the incentives are Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, rebates for new homeowners, and residential efficiency rebates.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates

Ohio broadly restructured the electric industry for the state in May of 2008 with S.B. 221.  The legislation requires the electric service companies and electric distribution utilities to advance the generation of renewable energy.  By 2025, 25% of the utilities’ retail electricity supply must be from alternative energy resources. 50% of that energy can be provided by any new, retrofitted or repowered facility located in Ohio even if they rely on fossil fuels. There are specific benchmarks along the way for the remainder, pointing towards the goal that Renewable Energy must make up 12.5% of Ohio’s retail total electricity sales by 2024 and beyond.

These requirements for use of a significant amount of renewable energy provide an opportunity for homeowners to better afford solar electricity.  The opportunity comes in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs).  Instead of having to build solar plants in order to meet government demands for solar energy, the utilities purchase solar energy from businesses and homeowners who produce it.

Ohio solar energyThe systems which qualify for this performance-based incentive must be registered with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.  Solar generators are required to register with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), in order to become a certified facility that is eligible to generate SRECs.

The amount paid for SRECs varies, based on market conditions.  SRECs are bundled and purchased per one megawatt-hour of production.  Under the Ohio solar incentives standard, SRECs have a five-year lifetime following initial acquisition.

If Ohio utilities fail to generate the required amount of SRECs, they are required to pay a penalty in the form of a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP), which comes to $400 per megawatt in 2012, to be reduced by $50 every two years, to a minimum of $50 in the year 2024.

In 2010, several utilities in Ohio were unable to meet the solar requirements because there weren’t enough SRECs available to purchase.  For this reason, now is the ideal time for homeowners to take advantage of SRECs and other forms of Ohio solar incentives.

New Home Builder Incentive Program

Ohio’s FirstEnergy subsidiaries are offering rebates which apply to newly built energy efficient homes.  The rebate is $400 plus an additional $0.10 per kilowatt saved each year.  The maximum rebate per home is $1,200.

To qualify, all installation and construction requirements must be met.  The homes must be:

Energy Star Certified;

15% more efficient than the current code; and

Located within the service area of FirstEnergy Utilities, Ohio Edison, Toledo Edison, and The Illuminating Company.

Residential Efficiency Rebates 

Homeowners in Ohio who make energy efficiency improvements may be eligible for rebates from FirstEnergy subsidiaries The Illuminating Company, Toledo Edison, and Ohio Edison.  The technologies which apply to this rebate program include:

  • Ohio solar incentives

    Even installing a new energy efficient washing machine can save Ohio homeowners money.

    Water heaters

  • Clothes washers
  • Refrigerators
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Geothermal heat pumps
  • Dishwashers
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Central air conditioners
  • LED lighting
  • Recycling
  • Computing equipment

Some of the rebate amounts are $150 for a new central air conditioner, $25 for a tune-up on an air conditioning unit, $50 for a clothes washer, and $10 per unit for surge protectors and Torchiere floor lamps.

For Ohio residents, this is an opportunity to go solar with minimal risk and lots of support from the government. Ohio solar incentives are highly favorable to the local homeowners to encourage more people to switch over to clean energy. If you have any questions about the local Ohio solar incentives or would like to purchase and install solar panels on your home, contact our North American Solar Store in North Canton, Ohio, CFS Solar Store.

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