Ohio Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Ohio Rebates and Incentives Summary

OhioAnyone remember the great power failure of 2003 that quickly took out the northeastern electric grid? Yeah that started in Ohio. It left roughly 50 million U.S. residents without power—sometimes for days.

Overall, the Buckeye state’s seen some rough times as of late. The heavily industrial state suffered greatly as traditional industries dried and went overseas, leaving streets, towns and even cities almost as empty and forlorn as those in Michigan. However, one bright spot in the southernmost state bordering a Great Lake is growth in renewable industry manufacturing.

The state also has the potential to add more renewables into its energy mix. On average the state receives about 4.3 kilowatt hours of sunlight per square meter, which is enough to justify solar. And the northwestern part of the state gets enough wind to justify that renewable resource there.

To help Ohio’s citizens adopt renewable energy locally, the state has put into place numerous incentive programs to make solar power and other forms of renewables less expensive. Among them is a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) under which 25 percent of the electricity sold in the state must come from renewable sources by 2025. Of that, half must come from sources within the state. However, that also includes “clean coal technologies” and third-generation nuclear plants and energy efficiency efforts.  Ohio does offer a net-metering program.

Because of Ohio’s location on Lake Erie, and proximity to other industrial-economy states like Michigan and Illinois, Ohio can easily transport materials in and out more so than most inland states in the United States. Given that, and its location in the Midwest, Ohio has had important land and water resources to offer industry. Wind and solar companies have taken advantage of the state’s industrial capabilities by building plants in the state.

And Ohio’s got a dirty little secret, too. Nearly 90 percent of Ohio’s electricity comes from coal-fired power plants. Two nuclear plants by Lake Erie supply the majority of the rest of Ohio’s electricity.

Ohio’s industrial sector accounts for more than one-third of Ohio's electricity consumption, more than the quarter of electric consumption that comes from the state’s residents. Since nearly 20 percent of homes in the state use electricity to heat their homes, the state’s overall energy usages are higher than in most other states.

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Advanced Energy Fund

The Advanced Energy Fund is a public benefit fund administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency. The Advanced Energy Fund is not currently being actively lent. Instead, the Advanced Energy Loan fund assets are used to fill other actively lending funds such as the Energy Loan Fund. Energize Ohio is a compilation of state programs that works to promote energy incentives, find programs to meet your needs at their site. 

Ohio's Advanced Energy Fund was originally authorized by the state's 1999 electric restructuring legislation. The Fund supports the Advanced Energy Program, which at different times has provided grants for

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Advanced Energy Job Stimulus Program

This bond-funded program creates an Advanced Energy Job Stimulus Fund that is administered through a public process previously managed by the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA). Beginning in 2012, the program is managed by the Ohio Development Services Agency. The Program will award funds to a portfolio of advanced energy projects. These projects will serve to attract new investment to Ohio, build upon Ohio's manufacturing strength, advance energy technology development toward commercialization and prepare Ohio's workforce for the future. Detailed definitions of eligible advanced energy projects and renewable energy resources may be found in ORC 3706.25.

House Bill 166

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AEP Ohio (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

AEP Ohio offers a variety of rebates to its residential customers for the installation of energy-efficient measures. Rebates are available for clothes washers, dehumidifiers, smart thermostats, VSD pool pumps, electric heat pump water heaters, air source heat pumps, mini-split ductless heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, and refrigerator/freezer recycling. Additionally, AEP Ohio provides a multifamily direct install program which allows property managers to install Energy Star LEDs, high efficiency showerheads, and energy efficient faucet aerators at zero cost. Visit the program website for more information.

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Air-Quality Improvement Tax Incentives

The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) provides assistance for new air quality projects in Ohio, for both small and large businesses. For qualifying projects, OAQDA can provide a 100 percent exemption from the tangible personal property tax (on property purchased as part of an air quality project), real property tax (on real property comprising an air quality project), a portion of the corporate franchise tax (under the net worth base calculation), sales and use tax (on the personal property purchased specifically for the air quality project only) as long as the bond or note issued by OAQDA is outstanding
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Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

Note: HB 6 of 2019 amended the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard.


In May 2008, Ohio enacted broad electric industry restructuring legislation (S.B. 221) containing an Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (AEPS), featuring advanced energy and renewable energy generation and procurement requirements for the state's electric distribution utilities and electric service companies (hereafter referred to as utilities). This definition encompasses all retail electricity providers except municipal utilities and electric cooperatives. Under the old standard, utilities were presented with a multi-year schedule requiring the slow ramp of procurement from renewable energy sources. Each year, utilities were mandated to provide a growing

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American Municipal Power (Public Electric Utilities) - Efficiency Smart Residential Program

Efficiency Smart®  provides energy efficiency services to public power communities that subscribe to its services.   Efficiency Smart assists residential, commercial, and industrial customers of these participating municipal electric systems to reduce their energy consumption and save money through improved energy efficiency. Visit www.efficiencysmart.org for more information on this program.


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Building Energy Code

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The Board of Building Standards is the primary state agency that protects the public's safety by: adopting rules governing the construction, repair, and rehabilitation of buildings in the state; certifying municipal, township, and county building departments to administer the code; and establishing minimum standards for construction materials.

The 2016 Ohio Building Code (OBC), adopted by the Board of

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Butler Rural Electric Cooperative - Residential Rebate Program

Butler Rural Electric Cooperative provides rebates for geothermal heat pumps, dual fuel heating systems*, insulation, and duct sealing. A $1,200 rebate is available to residential members that install a new geothermal heat pump in eligible homes, or $600 for members that replace a geothermal heat pump. A $600 rebate is available for members that install a new dual fuel heating system, or $300 for a replacement dual fuel or air source heat pump. An insulation rebate is, at maximum, the lower of either $800 or 50% of cost. An air sealing rebate is, at maximum, the lower of either $400

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City of Cincinnati - Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings

The City of Cincinnati offers property tax abatements for residential and commercial buildings constructed or renovated to meet LEED certification standards. The original green building tax abatement ordinance was passed in 2006 and has been amended four times since, culminating in the current abatement rules clarifications passed December 19, 2012. The incentive is available for any building within city limits and does not require a demonstration of financial need. The residential designation applies to structures with up to three units and residential condominiums, while residential structures with four or more units are classified as commercial buildings. Industrial structures are also

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City of Cincinnati - Residential Rebate Program

 The City of Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance have partnered to provide rebate incentives for homeowners in Cincinnati. To qualify for rebates, homeowners must receive a Home Performance with Energy Star energy assessment, which is provided at a discount price through Greater Cincinnati Energy Alliance.  Total project must be a minimum of $1,000 to be eligible for rebates, and the maximum incentive that can be claimed through this program is $1,500. Homeowners can apply for rebates up to 50% on upgrades such as:

  • Envelope air sealing:  $500
  • Insulation: $500
  • Duct Sealing:  $250
  • HVAC: $500
  • Water heaters:  $250
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City of Cleveland - Residential Property Tax Abatement for Green Buildings

The City of Cleveland, in cooperation with the Cuyahoga County Auditor's Office, provides a 10 to 15 year 100% tax abatement for increases in assessed real estate value for eligible residential projects. All projects are required to be built to the Cleveland Green Building Standard.  Abatements are avialable to both homeowners and developers. The abatement is for 10-15 years depending on the type of project and is for the portion of the increased property tax that results because of the improvement to the property. The following types of projects may qualify:

  • New construction of single-family homes or multifamily investor-owned properties
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Columbia Gas of Ohio - Residential Rebate Programs

Columbia Gas of Ohio (CGO) offers energy efficiency rebates for furnaces, boilers, and water heaters that enroll in the Home Performance Solutions Program.

The Home Performance Solutions Program requires that a representative of Conservation Services Group inspect and test the home before informing the residents of recommended measures and possible incentives. The resident may contact a qualifying contractor to install the equipment; approved contractors are listed on the program web site.

For Income Eligible Customers, CGO also offers home weatherization measures, safety checks of natural gas appliances, energy inspections, natural gas furnace repair or replacement, and natural gas water heater

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Consolidated Electric Cooperative - Heat Pump and Water Heating Rebates

Consolidated Electric Cooperative provides rebates to residential customers who install electric water heaters, dual-fuel heating system or geothermal heat pumps. A dual-fuel heating systems consists of a new electric heat pump and a gas or oil furnace. The furnace will only activate when the outside temperature is below freezing, thereby increasing efficiency of the overall system. To apply for any of the rebates, call Consolidated at 800-421-5863. Visit the program website for more information on these programs.

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Dayton Power and Light - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Dayton Power and Light offers rebates for heating and cooling to residential customers who purchase and install energy efficient products for the home. Eligible systems and measures include heat pumps, air conditioning systems, water heaters, and programmable thermostats.

Dayton Power and Light also offers a Smart Energy Community Program.

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Dominion East Ohio (Gas) - Home Performance Program

The Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Program uses a whole-house approach to lower energy costs. GoodCents auditors perform the home performance assessment and provide recommendations for a potentially refundable $50 fee. Auditors are certified through the Building Performance Institute (BPI), a national resource for building science technology. Auditors use diagnostic equipment to test the home and identify energy efficiency improvements.

Once the assessment is complete, the customer can decide which energy efficiency measures may be worth installing. The Program offers a number of rebates, depending on the type of work that is being done. Projects must be completed by qualified
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Duke Energy (Gas & Electric) - Residential Efficiency Rebate Program

Duke Energy provides a financial incentive for its residential customers to purchase energy efficient HVAC products through the Smart $aver program. To receive the rebate, the customer's HVAC contractor must complete a Smart $aver Incentive Application form for each unit installed. Measures must be installed by a participating contractor. Visit the program website for more information.

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Energy Conservation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) Program

The Energy Conversation for Ohioans (ECO-Link) program offers Ohio homeowners reduced rate financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy home upgrades. Administered by the Ohio Treasury, qualifying homeowners are eligible for a 3% loan rate reduction through participating banks.*

Qualifying Technology
A wide range of energy-efficiency upgrades and certain renewable-energy systems may be undertaken, including:

  • Appliances (must meet established efficiency standards)
  • Battery Chargers, Clothes Washers, De-humidifiers, Dishwashers, Refrigerators, Freezers, Room Air Conditioners, Room Air Cleaners
  • Water Heaters (must meet established efficiency standards)
  • Gas Condensing, Heat Pump, High-Efficiency Gas Storage, Solar Water Heaters, Whole-Home Gas Tankless
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Air-source Heat
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Energy Conversion and Thermal Efficiency Sales Tax Exemption

Ohio may provide a sales and use tax exemption for certain tangible personal property used in energy conversion, solid waste energy conversion, or thermal efficiency improvement facilities designed, constructed, or installed after December 31, 1974.

Qualifying energy conversion facilities are those that are used for the primary purpose of converting natural gas or fuel oil to an alternate fuel or power source excluding propane, butane, naphtha, fuel oil, or natural gas. Solid waste conversion facilities include those that convert solid or semi-solid waste from industrial operations including public utilities, commercial distribution, research, agricultural, and community operations, and including garbage, street

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Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Design in New School Construction

The Ohio School Facilities Commission (OSFC) administers funds appropriated by the Ohio General Assembly for the construction of new schools and renovations of existing schools. In September 2007 the OSFC approved a resolution (Resolution 07-124) requiring that all new school construction projects not already in the design phase achieve LEED for Schools Silver certification, with a goal of achieving LEED for Schools Gold certification. Credits under LEED Energy and Atmosphere Category are considered to be "preferred" investments, although the regulation sets no specific standard for this category outside of the existing certification prerequisites.

The overall program is expected

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Energy Loan Fund

Note: Loan applications for fiscal year 2017 will be accepted on a first come, first served basis through June 1, 2017. Letter of Intent must be submitted by May 15, 2017.

The Energy Loan Fund provides low-cost financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to Ohio-based businesses with less than 500 employees, manufacturers enrolled in the Energy Efficiency Program for Manufacturers, nonprofits,  and public entities. For further information regarding eligibility, please view the Program Guidelines.

Loans can range between $250,000 and $2 million, but the Ohio Development Services Agency reserves the right to increase these limits on a case-by-case

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Energy Loan Fund (ELF)

The Energy Loan Fund provides low-cost financing to Ohio-based small businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits,  and public entities for energy efficiency improvements. Through the Energy Loan Fund eligible applicants receive low-interest financing to install efficiency measures that reduce energy by at least 15 percent. For further information regarding eligibility, please view the Program Guidelines and Application ProcessThe Energy Loan Fund is managed by the Ohio Development Services Agency. Funding is provided through the Ohio Advanced Energy Fund and the Federal State Energy Program.

Project Funding

Funding available under these Guidelines is up to $9.5 million in state funds for Fiscal 

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Firelands Electric Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Firelands Electric Cooperative (FEC) is offering rebates on energy efficient equipment to residential customers receiving electric service from FEC. Eligible equipment includes:

  • Appliance Rebates
  • Electric Water Heater Rebates
  • Geothermal & Heat Pump Rebates
  • PeakBuster Air Conditioning Incentives
  • Weatherization Rebates

Visit program web site listed above for other program information or to find application information.



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First Energy Ohio - Renewable Energy Credit Procurements

Note: FirstEnergy will periodically solicit proposals for long term contracts. Check the program web site for the most recent Requests for Proposals.

As part of its Electric Security Plan, FirstEnergy will periodically solicit proposals for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). Proposals are accepted for both short-term and long-term contracts. Requests for proposals will not be available at regular intervals; check the program web site for current information regarding application due dates. FirstEnergy will not be purchasing energy or energy capacity under this proposal. All application materials are available on the program web site, and

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Green Energy Ohio - GEO Solar Thermal Rebate Program

With funding from The Sierra Club, Green Energy Ohio (GEO) is offering rebates on residential properties in Ohio for solar water heating systems purchased after April 1, 2009. The rebates are based on the projected energy output from the solar collectors and are calculated at $30 per kBtu/day (based on SRCC rating for "Clear Day/C Interval"). The maximum amount is 20% of the contracted solar thermal project cost .

There are two parts to the application. PART I of the application collects information on the applicant, the installer (which must be from a list of GEO-approved installers), proposed equipment and system

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Hamilton County - Home Improvement Program

The Home Improvement Program (HIP) in Hamilton County, Ohio, originally opened in 2002, and was reinstated in May 2008. The HIP loan allows homeowners in Hamilton County communities to borrow money to repair or remodel homes or rental property at interest rates 3% below the lowest rate a bank would normally offer. The following banks participate: Fifth Third Bank, U.S. Bank, KeyBank, North Side Bank and First Safety Bank. The HIP loan is usually structured as a home equity loan, secured by a second mortgage on the property. Credit requirements apply.

Eligible residential (one- or two-family homes) and commercial properties

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Interconnection Standards

Note: The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) opened a docket (Case 12-2051-EL-RDR) to review interconnection rules for investor-owned utilities. The PUCO adopted amended rules for electric generator interconnection service and standards, in accordance with the State of Ohio’s 5-year rule review procedures. The amended rules became effective on July 10, 2014.

Ohio's interconnection standards provide for three levels of review for the interconnection of DG systems up to 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity. 

All applicants are eligible but not required to request pre-application report that provides site-specific information. Interested applicants can choose to obtain this pre-application report

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Local Option - Special Energy Improvement Districts

Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. Commercial PACE programs were not directly affected by FHFA’s actions, as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac do not underwrite commercial mortgages. Visit PACENow for more information about PACE financing

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Net Metering

Note: In December of 2015, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) proposed new net metering rules in docket (Case 12-2050-EL-ORD). These rules are currently under review.

Ohio's net-metering law requires electric distribution utilities to offer net metering to customers who generate electricity using wind energy, solar energy, biomass, landfill gas, hydropower, fuel cells, or microturbines. Although there is no stated capacity limit on an individual net-metered energy system in Ohio, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) has ruled that "an implied limitation" is in effect because, by statute, a net-metered system must be "intended

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Qualified Energy Property Tax Exemption for Projects 250 kW or Less

Note: According to the Ohio Development Services Agency website, the owner or lessee subject to sale leaseback transaction must apply to Development Services Agency on or before December 31, 2015  to qualify for this tax credit.

Ohio's Renewable and Advanced Energy Project Property Tax Exemption, enacted with the passage of Ohio S.B. 232 in the summer of 2010, exempts qualified energy projects in Ohio from public utility tangible personal property taxes and real property taxes. Before passage of S.B. 232, a renewable energy facility in Ohio that sold electricity to a third-party was considered a "public utility" for tax

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Qualified Energy Property Tax Exemption for Projects over 250 kW (Payment in Lieu)

Ohio's Renewable and Advanced Energy Project Property Tax Exemption, enacted with the passage of Ohio S.B. 232 in the summer of 2010, exempts qualified energy projects in Ohio from public utility tangible personal property taxes and real property taxes*. Before that time, a renewable energy facility in Ohio that sold electricity to a third-party was considered a "public utility" for tax purposes. These utility-based property taxes were replaced by designated payments in lieu based on the size of the facility, type of facility, and other factors, such as each project's energy production level.

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland suspended the

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Solar Easements

Ohio's solar-easement provisions are similar to those in effect in other states. Ohio law allows property owners to create binding solar easements for the purpose of protecting and maintaining proper access to sunlight. Easements must be executed in writing and are subject to the same conveyance and recording requirements as other easements.

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Solar Renewable Energy Certificates Program (SRECs)

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) represent the renewable attributes of solar generation, bundled in minimum denominations of one megawatt-hour (MWh) of production. The legislation creating Ohio's AEPS program, (S.B. 221), mandates the creation of SRECs and Solar Alternative Compliance Payments (SACPs) to meet the solar energy generation goal of .5% by 2026. To be in complaince with AEPS, Ohio retail electricity suppliers must either purchase or generate SRECs OR pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Payment (SACP) for any shortfalls in SREC purchases. 

SRECs have a lifetime of five years following their initial acquisition. Generators must register with the Public Utilities

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The Energy Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

The Energy Cooperative offers incentives to residential customers for the installation of dual fuel heating systems and water heaters as well as for the recycling of old refrigerators or freezers. New equipment must be installed in eligible homes and can be purchased from a dealer of choice. Contact the Energy Cooperative and fill out the necessary forms prior to the installation of a new system. Upon inspection by The Energy Cooperative, a rebate check will be sent to the customer. More information and eligibility requirements are available on the program web site.

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Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates

Vectren Energy Delivery offers residential natural gas customers in Ohio rebates for the installation of certain high efficiency natural gas appliances and building insulation. Rebates are available for furnaces, boilers, and programmable thermostats.
In order to be eligible for a rebate, equipment must meet certain efficiency and installation requirements. Please see the program website for a list of appliance models that meet the minimum standards. Vectren reserves the right to verify sales receipts and perform post-installation verification inspections. Rebate forms must be postmarked no later than sixty days after the purchase of a qualified measure and the work must be
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