OhioOhio is not one of the states that lack sunshine. It gets its fair share of sunlight every day. This has helped the state government to impose mandatory laws when it comes to utilizing sunlight. Every state in the USA is trying to come up with reforms and regulations to make sure that everyone uses solar panels. Ohio also has stringent rules that make it compulsory for families and institutions to install solar panels in Ohio as soon as possible.

Solar Energy Goals

The state law requires various utilities in Ohio to provide full retail net metering to customers to measure energy consumption after shifting to solar energy. This is an initiative to help residents of the state understand the difference in energy bills they have to pay before and after installing solar panels. The state government also published a renewable portfolio standard. It states that utilities should be able to obtain at least 12.5% of electricity sold from renewable energy sources within 2027.

This is excellent news for both homeowners and building owners. With a 30% federal tax credit, along with net metering, the Ohio state government is helping the residents to bear the cost of buying and installing solar panels.

Solar Power Facts

Solar power, undoubtedly, will help Ohio residents to save money in the future. Plus, the shift towards solar power is not just about saving money; it is also about contributing to a greener environment. Imagine the amount of natural resources you will be able to save in the future if you shift to solar power today. The recent law changes also gave an approximate amount that residents may save in the future if they install solar panels.

  • $2.73 per watt is the average cost to run a 5 kW solar power system in 2020. The Ohio state government also has various incentive schemes to encourage more people to be a part of this change.
  • The government understands that investing in solar panels is expensive for many. However, it promises residents that they can earn their money back in only 7 years and 8 months. You will save an enormous amount of money every year if you switch to solar power. In fact, your average lifetime savings may amount to $56,775.

Solar Access

Do you live in a condominium or a planned development? If yes, you may be a part of a homeowners association. Homeowners associations have various rules and regulations to maintain the aesthetics of the neighborhood. They also raise money for many shared amenities, such as tennis courts and swimming pools. These associations can often restrict you from installing solar panels on your property. However, the state government has laws protecting homeowners from these associations. These laws fall into two categories: solar easements and solar access laws.

Solar Easements

Solar PanelSolar easements allow individual property owners to agree with the governing bodies like the homeowners association or the neighbors. This voluntary agreement is for residents who are not a part of a homeowners association right now. The law makes sure that property owners should get adequate sunlight to keep the solar panels productive. No other family in the neighborhood or the homeowners association can obstruct the sunlight from reaching the solar panels of the property owner.

An easement is like a contract with the neighbors. It specifies many things, such as restricting neighbors from adding another floor to their house or even requiring them to trim the trees around their homes. Anything that obstructs the path of the sunlight should be removed with immediate effect.

Solar Access Laws

Solar access laws in Ohio prohibit homeowners associations from stopping their members from installing solar panels in their properties. Some homeowners associations don’t allow members to install solar power saying that others don’t agree to this change. However, the state government of Ohio strictly condemns such practice. It will cancel out the rule of the homeowners association if the member files a complaint.

Yes, the law allows homeowners associations to provide reasonable restrictions against using solar power systems. However, the association will have to offer a logical explanation about why it restricted its member(s) from installing solar panels. For example, some of the solar access laws in Ohio allow homeowners associations to decide the design of the rooftop solar array. The heads of the association will determine the appropriate way to install the solar panels. Every house under the association will have to follow the same pattern.

Some of the homeowners association’s members also need permission before installing solar panels. This mainly happens due to the location of the house. The owners need to make sure that no wires from the panel dangle in front or around the house. The homeowners association may raise a complaint against the homeowner in such cases.

Protecting Solar Access

The Ohio state government is trying to implement solar panel laws from the last decade. The last couple of years have gone in their favor because of the widespread availability of solar panels. Plus, solar power systems have become more affordable than before. More residents are now enthusiastic about switching to solar power because they finally understood the amount of money they can save every month from energy bills.

Although this effort is still a drop in the ocean, it will help residents realize the importance of conserving energy and why it is crucial to make the most of solar power instead of consuming natural resources.

Map image by Wikimedia Commons User: TUBS / CC-BY-SA-3.0