Solar Eclipse 2024: What to Expect in Ohio

On April 8th, 2024, many Ohioans will have the opportunity to witness a rare celestial event – a solar eclipse! You won’t want to miss it – the next total solar eclipse in Ohio isn’t expected until 2099!  

What is a Solar Eclipse?  

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes directly between the sun and the earth. This casts a big shadow on the earths surface. 

Here in Ohio, an approximately 124 mile strip of land will be totally covered in shadow for only a few minutes on April 8th. Other parts of Ohio bordering this shadow will experience partial shadow, where the moon will only partially obscure the sun, there will be a partial shadow and partial darkness.  

Why is a solar eclipse rare?  

A total solar eclipse is rare because the “path of totality” is a very narrow path on earth, and only lasts for a few minutes, making it a fleeting occurrence.  

The last total solar eclipse in Ohio happened over 200 years ago – in 1806.  

What should I expect for my solar array?  

Your solar array will not have any sunlight to absorb during the solar eclipse.  

As the moon passes across the sky and obscures the sun partially at first, and then fully, you can expect to see your solar production drop to zero, and return as light returns.  

Total Eclipse: if your home is located in the path of totality, where the sun will be completely obscured, your solar production will drop to about nighttime levels for the period of totality, which will last about 10 minutes.  

Partial Eclipse: if your home is located in an area experiencing a partial eclipse, the solar production dip will be proportionate to the amount that the sun is obscured. If the sun is 60% blocked, you can expect about a 60% drop in production during the solar eclipse.  

We are requesting that our clients send us screenshots of their solar production after the eclipse so we can share with everyone what this type of phenomenon looks like in terms of solar production!  

What is the timing of the Solar Eclipse in Ohio?  

The total solar eclipse will take place on April 8th between 3:08 – 3:19 PM.  

Some Ohio Cities along the path and when the eclipse will begin: 

  • Hamilton: 3:09, lasting 1 minute, 42 seconds  
  • Dayton: 3:09 lasting 2 minutes, 34 seconds  
  • Delaware: 3:11 lasting 2 minutes, 35 seconds  
  • Dublin: 3:11lasting 1 minute, 23 seconds  
  • Toldeo: 3:12 lasting 1 minute, 53 seconds 
  • Akron: 3:14 lasting 2 minutes, 43 seconds  
  • Cuyahoga Falls: 3:13 lasting 2 minutes, 56 seconds  
  • Cleveland: 3:13 lasting 3 minutes, 49 seconds 


How Should I Practice Safety During the Solar Eclipse?  

Your Eyes: As you know, it’s unsafe to look directly at the sun unless you have eye protection designed for solar viewing.  

Even viewing part of the sun through cameras, binoculars, telescopes or sunglasses that don’t have a solar filter is not advised.  

Special Solar eclipse glasses are necessary to help filter out the harmful ultraviolet and infrared light from the sun, you can purchase these special solar eclipse glasses at your local stores or can be ordered online.  

The American Astrological Society has a list of recommended vendors who supply specialty solar viewing glasses.  

Traveling: People are excited about viewing the solar eclipse and will be traveling from miles around to the “path of totality.” With all these people packing into a124-mile band to witness this epic celestial event, traffic experts are expecting the roads to be busy. So always take caution, be patient and practice safety while driving to your viewing destination!  

Ohio Eclipse Events: 

Thousands of events are being planned in Ohio for this event. From NASA’s event in Cleveland to 48 of the country’s fairgrounds. Some places hosting events include Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Sun Watch Village in Dayton, Shelby County Fairgrounds, Sidney and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cuyahoga Valley national Park, and many more!  

Check out these links for events happening near you! 

 2024 Total Eclipse Map — The Eclipse Company 

Solar Eclipse Camping Guide 2024: 100 Best Campgrounds | Hipcamp 

2024 Solar Eclipse Path and Where to Camp – Campspot 

Door to Door Solar Sales Scams

Do you think that you may have been approached by a door to door solar sales scam?

Knocks on the door often hold the promise of adventure or connection. A friend inviting you to go for a walk or a neighbor dropping off a borrowed tool…  

Sometimes that knock is a salesperson – who enchants you with exciting products and enticing offers. However, behind those offers lurk those who seek to exploit your trust for their gain.  

In the world of solar, door-to-door solar sales have become all too common in our communities. In an age where technology makes designing and selling solar quickly – procuring loans even faster, and crazy deals that only last an hour – protecting oneself against deceptive tactics is paramount.  

A recent TIME Magazine article: “How Solar Sales Bros Threaten the Green Energy Transition,” brought light to the dark side of solar – the world of the door to door solar sales scam. 

In this blog, we tackle a few points on how Kokosing Solar works differently from some of the companies mentioned in the article.  

No Certification Process 

The biggest problem we can identify in our industry is that there is no barrier of entry to get into solar sales.  

Most door-to-door solar salespeople are 1099 contracted employees (protecting the solar company they represent from themselves – a liability) with very little training.  

We encourage you to go with a full turnkey solar partner – one whose salespeople and installation technicians are all employed by the same outfit.  

Here at Kokosing Solar, from sales to installation, you’re always working with one partner under one roof. This eliminates potential conflicting agendas (saves you money) and inefficient organizational redundancy. 

How to Avoid Door to Door Solar Sales Scams

Third-Party Certifications  

In the absence of a formal certification process, third-party certifications speak volumes about the experience and reputation of a solar company.  

Start with Better Business Bureau and Google. These testimonials and stories are usually great snapshots of the true customer experience.  

Here in Ohio, we’re proud to have helped initiate and to be listed on SolarEthics.Org – in partnership with Green Energy Ohio. 

We’re also founding members of the Amicus Solar Cooperative. Amicus Solar is a member-owned purchasing cooperative of 80 elite, highly knowledgeable, value-driven solar industry veterans who innovate, collaborate, and work together to set higher standards for the solar industry. 

Education, Consultation and Trust-Building 

Sometimes when you’re making a large purchase – you just have a feeling.  

Trust your gut.  

Our sales team is consultative and will give you an education about solar energy that you’ll be thankful for. Whether or not you go solar with us, you’ll be grateful for the wisdom we imparted along the way.  

Part of that is trust building. Our goal is to build lasting partnerships that generate referrals from our happy customers to keep us in business for the long haul. 


The Solar Door-to-Door Solar Scam Environment 

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of stories from homeowners who have been wronged by door-knock scams and deceptive solar salespeople.  

Let us be clear: we are not those people. And we’re doing what we can along the way to help consumers make the right purchasing decisions when they decide it’s time to go solar!  



Solar Energy Facts 2023

What are Solar Energy Facts in 2023? Well, the solar energy industry is preparing for rapid growth as we enter a new year.  

In 2023, the year began with economic uncertainty and supply chain issues still holding over from the Covid-19 pandemic. These hang-ups dampened solar growth in the first half of the year, however, according to a press release published by the Solar Energy Industries Association, The U.S. solar industry expects to add a record 33 gigawatts (GW) of new capacity in 2023, a 52% increase from 2022.  

And that number is expected to climb in the years ahead!  

The bright future that is expected for the solar energy industry is largely due to the historic clean energy legislation included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in 2022.   

In the first year that the IRA has been in action, the historic clean energy legislation has already helped homeowners go solar more easily, buy electric vehicles, and electrify their homes. Also, we’ve seen businesses and manufacturers make investments in clean energy, investments that are truly moving the needle on electrifying our grid and reducing carbon emissions.  

 Solar Energy Facts 2023

Here’s a look at the growth of clean energy in 2023 alone:  

  • In 2023, we saw $100 Billion in new private-sector investments in solar and energy storage  
  • 51 Solar manufacturing facilities have been built or expanded here in the United States since the passing of the IRA. We saw big announcements from our partners at Enphase, Silfab and Qcell, just to name a few.  
  • 155 Gigawatts of total new solar manufacturing capacity across the solar supply chain was announced. These announcements include: 
  • 85 GW of solar module capacity 
  • 43 GW of solar cells 
  • 20 GW of silicon ingots and wafers 
  • 7 GW of inverter capacity 

Here are key IRA benefits for homeowners: 

Whether or not you take advantage of these tax incentives, you will still benefit! Across the United States, people are taking advantage of these benefits and collectively are contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gasses that are contributing to climate change. And as a nation, we’ll all benefit from that.  

The IRA also has a big focus on job creation. As we see more solar and storage manufacturing and solar installations take place here in the United States, we’ll see more and more good paying jobs in the renewable energy industry.  

Finally, by taking advantage of tax credits for greener alternatives, people, in the long run, will have the opportunity to lower their monthly expenses (for things like transportation, electricity, heating, and cooling). So, practically, the IRA provides relief to people by reducing their monthly bills.  


Here are key IRA benefits for businesses and organizations rolled out in 2023: 

The IRA includes multiple opportunities for businesses and organizations to receive tax benefit “Bonuses” above and beyond the base 30% federal tax credit. In 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was busy developing and releasing guidance for who is eligible for these bonuses.  

  • The Energy Communities Tax Credit Bonus is an additional 10% adder and applies to businesses, organizations, and non-profits that are located in eligible areas. 
  • The Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit proves an additional 10% – 20% bonus for qualified projects.  
  • The Domestic Content Bonus is an additional 10% tax credit bonus for projects that meet requirements tied to using equipment that are coming into production thanks to the United States based production investments listed above.  


The Outlook for Solar Energy Looking Forward  

  • Over the next 10 years, the IRA will lead to 48% more solar deployment than would otherwise be expected under a no-IRA scenario. 
  • By 2033, the U.S. will have installed 669 GW of total solar capacity, more than 4 times the amount installed today. 
  • By 2031, solar energy will produce more electricity each year than all U.S. coal-fired power plants in 2022. 
  • The solar industry’s annual CO2 emissions offsets will increase from 169 million metric tons (MMT) today to more than 459 MMT by 2033. 
  • 10 years from now, there will be enough solar power installed to power every home east of the Mississippi. 

Facts provided by the Solar Energy Industries Association. 

Emissions Reduction Impacts  

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the IRA in combination with previous policies will help drive 2030 greenhouse gas emissions to 40% below 2005 levels. Moreover, with additional expected policy at the local, state and private sector levels – the U.S. is positioned to reach 50 – 52% greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels in 2030.  

Analysis of U.S. Energy Policies in Reducing Emissions and Improving the Economy  

The IRA isn’t the only piece of United States policy that is impacting the solar energy industry. In conjunction with the IRA, the partner bill, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). Together, according to the DOE, these bills are positioned to:  

  • Save American families up to $38 billion on electricity bills 
  • Reduce U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 
  • Strengthen U.S. energy security by reducing net crude oil imports by nearly 60% 
  • Reduce industrial and manufacturing emissions up to 40% below 2005 levels 
  • Double the share of American electricity generated by clean sources to 80% 
  • Accelerate the electrification of the American vehicle fleet 


While these prospects are exciting, these bills are intended to jumpstart long-term emission reductions through sparking investments. Together, states, local governments, private industries, the federal government, and all Americans will need to work together to ensure progress towards the nation’s 2050 net-zero emission goals!  


Read more from The Solar Energy Industries Association about Solar Energy Facts in 2023 and the impacts of the IRA.

The Ultimate Guide: What to Know About Solar for New Homes

Installing solar on a new home is a fantastic decision for sustainability and to secure long-term savings right from the start. While there is a lot of information available online for installing solar on existing homes, there is less written about what to know about solar for new homes. There are many benefits to designing your new home with solar in mind and installing solar as part of your new home build process.  

Plan For Solar Early  

What to know about solar for new homes? Adding solar to your new home build plans is the first step you can take during your home’s design phase. This allows for integrated installation. When building a new home, you will plan the orientation of your home, where chimneys and vents are located, where shading obstructions like tall trees will be relative to your solar installation. These are all good things to think about.  

Ideally, a south facing roof works best for solar and east and west facing roofs work well too, with as few obstructions as possible.  

Here are detailed suggestions for designing your new home to be solar ready: 

  • Position your home with solar in mind:  A south-facing roof is ideal for solar panels to capture the most sun.  
  • Roof angle: A roof pitched between 30 and 45 degrees is ideal for solar in Ohio. 
  • Roof truss: spacing of 4 feet or less. 
  • Roof Material: We can mount panels on most roofs except slate and clay shingle.  
  • Conduit run: of 250 feet or less for solar electric lines. 
  • Built-in metal conduit: from the attic to a location near the electrical service panel— typically 1-inch conduit. 
  • Large service disconnect as a point of connection for solar. 
  • Minimize roof obstructions: Keep solar panels in mind when designing where to put vents and other roof attachments, like dormers and chimneys. 
  • Load Bearing of the roof: Make sure that your roof will be able to bear the additional weight of a solar energy system. 
  • Consider landscaping: For solar to work well, sunlight needs direct access to your roof.  
  • Don’t install a utility meterbase disconnect. 

Determine Your Energy Needs  

Residential solar energy systems are designed to produce the equivalent amount of energy that the home typically uses.   

Because your home is new, you will have to make some estimations to calculate how much energy your home will use every year. Factors included in this estimate include house size, number of people in the home, and appliances.  

Work with a solar consultant who has tools to help you dial in the estimates for your home’s annual energy use.  

Select a Trusted Solar Partner 

In addition to working with you to determine your necessary solar energy system size, a good solar partner will also work with you to select the best equipment for your home. Because solar is a long-term investment, choosing quality, tier 1 solar equipment suppliers is in your best interest.  

These equipment suppliers typically have high-quality products and, due to their longevity in the solar industry – and will still be in business 20 years down the road when and if a part needs to be warrantied.  

Find a checklist for choosing a trusted solar installer on the last page of our “Guide To Going Solar” which you can download here.  


Financial Incentives and Cost Considerations  

The primary incentive for installing solar at your home, the Federal Investment Tax Credit, will remain at 30% until 2032. There have been big rushes in the past as the tax credit was on a step-down schedule. That won’t be the case again for a few years.  

Your solar installation partner will use your solar system size, current utility provider rates and will build a payback model to help you understand what the payback period for the solar installation will be.  

Planning how you will pay for the solar addition to your new home build project is also critical.  

If you’re not planning to pay in cash, you could roll the solar project into an existing loan or use one of the lenders your solar installation partners with.  

Solar for New Homes: New Homes Should All be Solar Powered  

Installing solar panels on your new home is a proactive step toward sustainability and financial independence.  

By carefully planning and integrating solar during the construction phase, you’re not just investing in energy; you’re investing in a brighter, cleaner future for your family and your home.  

Remember, each decision made during this process contributes to the efficiency and effectiveness of your solar system.  

We hope these tips have been helpful. When you have an idea of the major appliances in your home, your heating and cooling plans, and a mockup of your roof that includes vents and chimneys, reach out and we’ll start designing a solar array for your new home.  

We look forward to working with you!  


Ohio Non-Profit Safe Haven Farm Installs Solar

Safe Haven Farm, a renowned non-profit community for adults with autism and other developmental disabilities in Butler County, Ohio, has taken a significant step towards a greener, more sustainable future by partnering with Kokosing Solar, a leading solar energy solutions provider. This project is a premier example of solar’s decades-long impact on a nonprofit doing important work in the community.    Safe Haven Farm, known for its commitment to improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities, has realized a decades-long dream to install solar energy as a means to cut energy costs at the facility.   Kokosing Solar began work with Safe Haven Farm in 2021, installing an initial 70kW DC across two ground-mounted solar arrays. In 2023, phase two of the project was completed with a third ground-mounted array installed on the farm, bringing the total system capacity up to 95 kW DC. This solar installation is projected to reduce energy bills by 12% monthly. These savings will be reinvested back into the farm’s programming. Safe Haven Farm secured $220,000 in grant funding to pay for the project, $160,000 of which came from the All Points North Foundation.   Representatives from the Chamber of Commerce serving Middletown, Madison Township Trustee, Kokosing Solar, Butler Rural Electric Cooperative, Miami University Regionals, State Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., and Sen. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., and Safe Haven Farms board members attended the ribbon cutting. 

What to do when your Solar Company Goes Out of Business

What to do when your Solar Company Goes Out of Business

Discovering that your solar installation company has gone out of business can be distressing for any solar system owner. But don’t fear; we have you covered! In this blog post, we’ve covered the essential next steps to take if you find out your solar installer has closed their doors. We’ll guide you through the necessary steps to take when faced with a solar company closure. From understanding your solar equipment warranties to securing reliable maintenance and support, we’ll provide you with practical advice and expert insights.  

As your premier solar installer in Ohio, we at Kokosing Solar are here to guide you on your journey to harnessing the power of the sun. With a commitment to sustainability and a passion for renewable energy, we’re dedicated to helping Ohio homeowners and businesses make the switch to clean, efficient solar power. 

What’s the Deal with Solar Companies Going Out of Business?

Over the years, we’ve seen the closure of a few national and Ohio-based solar companies. Pink Energy, Power Home Solar, Sigora Solar, and Solar is Freedom, to name a few. Solar companies go out of business for many reasons, but it mostly comes back to unsustainable business practices.  Whether it’s subcontracting installations to unknown and untrained installers causing an influx of problematic systems or bad reviews when customers find out that the system they were promised isn’t working the way it was sold, bad business practices lead to short wins and long-term problems for emergent solar installation companies.  

Maintaining Your Solar Investment

The fact that you’re thinking ahead is a good sign. Below are some tips and next steps to take if your solar installation company has gone out of business.  

  1. Seek Local Assistance – most importantly, reach out to a local solar expert who has the capacity to take you on as a client, in case you need repairs or maintenance for your solar system. Ensure that this company has sustainable business practices an employs installation technicians that are well-trained in servicing solar systems.   
  2. Solar System Monitoring – If your solar company offered monitoring services for your system, look into doing it yourself. Reach out to the brand listed on your solar system’s inverter. These brands often offer free and easy to use apps that can help you track the performance of your solar panels and alert you to any issues. Proper monitoring is important for you to identify and address issues promptly, ensuring your system continues to operate efficiently. 
  3. Contact Your Utility Company – Your utility company can help you if you have questions about net metering, billing or other concerns that relate to solar production as it’s reflected on your electricity bill.  
  4. Consider an Expansion or Upgrade – If your solar panels are no longer covered by warranties and require significant repairs, it might be a good time to explore upgrades or expansions. The latest solar technologies are more efficient and cost-effective. By working with a reputable solar company, you can not only address existing issues but also improve the overall performance of your solar system. 

Again, the most important thing you can do is find a solar installation company who you can work with into the future. Maintaining a relationship with a solar company that will be there for you ensures that your investment in solar energy will remain a sustainable, cost saving and efficient unit at your home.   

Do you live in Ohio?  

At Kokosing Solar, we have a dedicated service team that lives and works in Ohio. Reach out if you would like to establish a service relationship with us.  

We understand the concerns that come with a solar company going out of business. Unfortunately, it’s all too common that we get calls from distressed homeowners whose systems weren’t installed properly and need to be serviced.  

“Being a Good Member of the Community” is one of our core values, and sustainability is woven into our business model. We see our service department as a big part of the way that we demonstrate that value. 

Our business strategy is to provide high quality installation and great customer service that generate referrals and lead to more business – brought to us by our happy customers.  

We are committed to providing reliable and professional solar services to our clients.

If you find yourself in this situation, we’re here to help. Contact us today to discuss your solar system needs, whether it’s maintenance, repairs, or upgrading to the latest solar technologies. 

Don’t let the unexpected closure of your solar provider leave you in the dark – we hope these tips will help you navigate this challenging situation with a little more ease and ensure that your solar energy system continues to bring you happiness on your solar journey!  

City of Lebanon Ohio Municipal Solar Installation, Groundbreaking

The City of Lebanon is expanding its municipally owned utility service offerings to include solar power through the Lebanon Solar Power Project. The City selected Kokosing Solar as the Design-Build Partner to complete the $13.4M solar project that will include ground-mounted arrays across three City-owned properties, spanning a combined total of 41 acres of undevelopable land on Glosser Road.

Over the solar system’s lifespan, it is projected to save the City and its utility customers over $27M and will help the City diversify its sources of electricity. The projected cost of the solar arrays will be reduced by about 30% through the federal Investment Tax Credit direct-pay program.

“I am thrilled to partner with the City of Lebanon on this exciting and transformative project for their electric utility,” said Brady Phillips, Director of Solar Operations at Kokosing.  “The project exemplifies how environmental stewardship and financial benefit can co-exist.  The City’s leadership establishes a great example for other municipalities across the Midwest and beyond.”

“The City is committed to ensuring that we provide outstanding utility services with competitive rates to our residents and businesses, and this project will support these efforts while at the same time providing new renewable energy capabilities for our community,” said Scott Brunka, Lebanon City Manager.

Kokosing Solar is expected to break ground in the spring and complete the project by the end of 2024.


About The City of Lebanon, Ohio

With a history dating back to 1802, Lebanon is located in the heart of one of the fastest growing counties in the state, and is supported by an excellent school system, reasonable tax and utility rates, and an outstanding quality of life.

The City’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in our community by providing high quality and cost effective services, while maintaining the public trust through exceptional service and sound stewardship of our resources.

Our vision is to be a thriving and sustainable community that embraces opportunity, innovation and authenticity.

For more information about the City of Lebanon, please visit lebanonohio.gov.

About Kokosing Solar

Kokosing Solar (Previously Third Sun Solar) has been designing, building, and financing clean energy solutions for residential & commercial clients across the Midwest since 2000. We bring more than 22 years of solar installation experience as Ohio’s longest-standing full-service solar installer. We serve residential and commercial clients in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and beyond. We are a fully insured and licensed Electrical Contractor committed to delivering safe high performance systems with top notch customer service. In 2022 we became Kokosing Solar and are strengthened by the 71 years of experience of Kokosing, Inc., one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.


Media Inquiries:

  • Kokosing Solar: Caitlin Garrity, caitlin.garrity@kokosing.biz
  • City of Lebanon: Scott Brunka, sbrunka@lebanonohio.gov,  513-228-3102


2024 Solar Module Tariff Announcement

2024 Solar Module Tariff

If you’re thinking about installing solar at your business or organization in early 2024, act now to beat solar module tariffs and maximize the peak sun season to get the best return on your solar investment.  

Starting in June 2024, the solar panel supply market is set to see disruption as tariffs are reinstated on some non-U.S. solar panel suppliers. Once instated next year, the tariffs may impact global solar module inventories and change prices across the board for both U.S. and foreign-manufactured solar modules. 

Our goal is to inform our potential customers about this disruption in the market.  

We believe this is critical information for our clients considering a solar investment for their business or organization in 2024.  

Solar projects can take months to develop before installation begins – between design, permitting, and equipment procurement. While it seems like 2024 is far down the road, planning for these projects is already well underway.  Now is the time to reevaluate your company’s onsite clean energy and long-term investment goals. 

Read more from NPR here. 

American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio Electric Rate Increases

American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio saw Electric Rate Increases in June 2023 for Ohio ratepayers, jumping by a staggering 28%. As an Ohio-based solar installation company, Kokosing Solar is committed to providing sustainable energy solutions to our customers. As ratepayers begin to feel the effects of the electricity rate increases that AEP implemented this summer, we feel a sense of urgency to educate our customers about the benefits of solar energy. 

What are the AEP Bill Changes in 2023?

American Electric Power (AEP) announced in June 2023 their electricity rate changes for Ohio ratepayers, jumping by a staggering 28%. What’s the result? Well, businesses and homeowners across the state already feel the significant increase in their energy bills.  

While historic sources of electricity became more expensive this year, solar energy remains a cost-effective and sustainable solution. In fact, solar costs have fallen over 50% in the last 10 years!  

Going Solar to Avoid Electricity Rate Increases

By installing solar panels on your home or business, you can generate your own electricity onsite and thereby reduce your dependence on the grid. An added benefit? When you go solar you don’t just save money on your monthly energy bill, but you also reduce your carbon footprint. 

As a solar installation company based in Ohio for over 20 years, we understand the importance of finding ways to reduce our reliance on historic energy sources and transition to renewable alternatives. At Kokosing Solar, we believe renewable energy is the key to a sustainable future. 

With the upcoming rate increases from AEP, now is the perfect time for Ohio residents to consider switching to solar power.  

American Electric Power (AEP) of Ohio Electric Rate Increases  + Incentives for Solar Installation

In addition to the cost savings and environmental benefits of solar energy, there are also several incentives and programs available to help Ohio residents make the switch. These include the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a tax credit of up to 30% of the cost of a solar installation for homeowners. Business owners have available various programs that offer grants, and other federal incentives for adopting renewable energy. 

Solar Offerings

Here at Kokosing Solar, we’re committed to helping Ohioans transition to solar energy. We offer various solar installation services, including rooftop solar installation, ground-mounted solar installation, solar battery storage, and energy management systems to help homeowners and businesses maximize their energy savings. 

In conclusion, the upcoming rate increases from AEP highlight the need for Ohio residents to consider alternative energy sources like solar power. Don’t let rising electricity rates catch you off guard!  

Our team of solar experts can provide you with a free consultation and help you determine the best solar solution for your specific needs and budget.  

Our team of solar experts can provide you with a free consultation and help you determine the best solar solution for your specific needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about how solar can benefit you and your community. 

First Energy of Ohio Rate Increases

As a family-owned solar installation company based in Ohio, Kokosing Solar knows you pay attention to your energy bills. With the recent announcement of First Energy of Ohio rate increases doubling electricity rate prices for customers in Northeast Ohio, we have heard from more and more of our Cleveland and Northeast Ohio neighbors who are thinking about making the switch to solar. This news is alarming for many households and businesses in the region, who will undoubtedly feel the financial strain of higher energy bills. 

What are First Energy or Ohio Rate Payers paying?

First Energy provides electricity to Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison customers in Ohio.  

If you’re a customer of Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Company, and Toledo Edison, you may wonder why your electricity bill went up this year.  

After a competitive auction, the costs for Northeast Ohio energy customers are listed below.  

  • Ohio Edison: 12.39 cents/kilowatt hour  
  • Illuminating Co.: 12.40 cents/ kilowatt hour 
  • Toledo Edison: 12.41 cents/ kilowatt hour 


Why has my First Energy bill gone up?

For more details about the electricity rate increases across Ohio, check out this recent blogpost. 

In short, various factors play into the increasing cost of electricity. The war in Ukraine, Climate Change, and changes in global oil production all play big parts in the price we pay at home for electricity.   

What can I do to lower my electricity bill?

If you’re looking into solar, you’re already thinking about alternatives to reduce your reliance on historic energy sources. Solar power is a renewable and affordable option that can help reduce that reliance on monthly electricity rates. 

At Kokosing Solar, we have been installing solar for over 20 years, and we believe that investing in solar energy is a smart long-term solution for both homeowners and businesses. By switching to solar, you not only save money on your energy bills, but you can also reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. 

Additional reasons to consider solar 

  • Compare this with the prices listed above: Solar power comes in at roughly $0.05 – $0.07 per kWh over the system’s lifetime. 
  • This year we saw electricity prices double, and there’s no guarantee that won’t happen again next year  
  • This rise is far beyond the 3% electricity inflation rate we have historically modeled for our customers. 
  • Net Metering and The Federal Tax Credit for solar make solar an affordable option for many homeowners  
  • The cost to install solar has decreased 80% in the past 5 years  

Next Steps 

If you want to learn more about how solar power can benefit you, we encourage you to contact us for a consultation. Our team of experts can help you determine the best solar solution for your needs and budget and guide you through the entire process from first consultation, through permitting, and financing all the way to installation.  

In conclusion, if the news of rising electricity rates is worrying you, remember that alternatives are available to help alleviate the financial strain. Solar power is a smart investment that can save you money in the long run, and Kokosing Solar is here to help make the transition to solar as educational and effortless as possible. 

Muskingum University Health and Wellness Complex Goes Solar

When Muskingum University (MU) wanted to establish solar installations across its campus, they turned to Kokosing Solar to assist them as a trusted partner to meet their sustainability goals. 

Our most recent collaboration resulted in Kokosing Solar acting in EPC partnership with McCalmont Engineering for an 863.1kWdc solar array on the MU Health and Wellness Complex. The solar array was designed so that the modules outline the shape of a block “M” on the complex roof, adjacent to the football field. This unique layout was inspired by the iconic MU Athletic Department logo.   

During the design phase of the new build, MU identified its Health and Wellness Complex as an ideal location for reducing electric bills and emissions while showcasing its sustainability initiatives to its students, alums, and the wider community.   

The project is structured as a Power Purchase Agreement. MU engaged an investor to leverage the federal investment tax credit and federal depreciation benefits, reducing the overall system cost. After a pre-defined payback period, the University will become the owner and operator of the system. 

“We have installed solar across the campus in the past: at the recreation center, library, art gallery, and at the president’s residence. In this case, it made a lot of financial sense. In a period of rising energy costs, it’s a great way to both help the environment and our finances.” – Phillip Laube, Asst to the President for Special Projects and Investments.

Project Details:

Location  New Concord, Ohio 
System size   863.1kWdc  
Completion date   2022  
Mounting Type   Ballasted Solar on Roof 

Solar Energy Improves Operations at Ohio Pools Spas



The upgrade to the northeast Ohio business will deliver long-term cost savings and reduce the carbon footprint at two facility locations.    


A new solar panel installation at two Ohio Pools & Spas facilities will improve operations by saving the facility money and showcasing their sustainability initiatives to customers across the state. Kokosing Solar, a leading provider of solar panel installation services in Ohio, is proud to announce its recent partnership with Ohio Pools & Spas, a premier equipment supplier of pool and spa supplies in northeast Ohio. The solar panel installation at Ohio Pools & Spas will allow the business to significantly reduce its carbon emissions while generating long-term financial benefits associated with decreased energy costs.   


David Zelasko, the Commercial Solar Consultant who worked with Ohio Pools & Spas on the project said, “ Kokosing Solar is proud to support local businesses, like Ohio Pools & Spas. Our mission is to help businesses save money, be more efficient and meet their sustainability goals, and the Ohio Pools & Spas locations were a great fit.”   


On an annual basis, the solar systems will produce 138,487 kWh of energy, meaning the solar energy produced will offset the total energy use by over 50% at each building. Ohio Pools & Spas were able to take advantage of federal tax incentives for solar installation, which covered almost 50% of total project costs. Over the 30-year lifetime of the system, the project is estimated to save over $290,000 for the business.  


 “Wellness is at the core of the products and service our business offers and why we do what we do.” Said Amanda  Annis, President of Ohio Pools & Spas. “The wellness of our customers, our employees, our communities is our top priority. We’re very grateful for Kokosing and to be able to invest in more sustainable and independent energy production to contribute to the wellness of our business and community.” 



Ohio Pools & Spas is one of many Ohio businesses promoting the benefits of sustainable energy solutions. With this successful installation, Kokosing Solar looks forward to collaborating with more organizations in the state to help them achieve their sustainability goals. 


About Kokosing Solar

Kokosing Solar has been designing, building, and financing clean energy solutions for residential & commercial clients across the Midwest since 2000. We bring more than 22 years of solar installation experience as Ohio’s longest-standing full-service solar installer. In 2022 we became Kokosing Solar and are strengthened by the 72 years of experience of Kokosing, Inc., one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. We serve residential and commercial clients in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, and beyond. We are a fully insured and licensed Electrical Contractor committed to delivering safe high performance systems with top notch customer service. 


About Ohio Pools & Spas  

Feels like yesterday, when in 1957 we began our business as primarily an in-ground pool company in a converted one-car garage in Canton. We now serve all North East Ohio from our retail showrooms in North Canton and Mayfield Heights. As a family-owned and operated business, Amanda and her team take pride in the exclusivities of our swim spa, spa, sauna, pool equipment, pool chemicals, and accessories for all of the above. In addition, and just as important, is the exemplary customer service our staff provide as a benefit of being a small business with strong family values. This combination allows us to reach the end goal of enhancing the lives of our customers and employees along with our communities in North East Ohio. 

IRA Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus Map

IRS releases updates to Inflation Reduction Act Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus Map, for Commercial Solar Projects

In June 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a clarification to the Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus map, which helps determine eligibility for the solar tax credit “Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus” made available in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

In August of 2022, through the IRA, the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was increased to the original 30% and extended for a decade. The Energy Communities Tax Credit Bonus is an additional 10% adder and applies to businesses, organizations, and non-profits that otherwise qualify for the tax credit.

The clarification that was published pertains to what locations qualify as “Energy Communities,” which are areas that have been affected by the changing national energy landscape – coal closures, decreased labor force, and other economic impacts as the nation has seen a decline in fossil fuel use.

Highlighted communities are eligible for a 10% bonus on top of the standard 30% Federal ITC for solar.

The US Department of Energy’s Energy Communities Map is now updated to reflect eligible areas.


  • Coal Closure Energy Communities – the areas in orange are areas with coal closures or an adjoining coal closure and are eligible to take the Energy Community Tax Credit bonus for the remainder of the ITC (until 2032).
  • Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and non-metropolitan statistical areas (non-MSAs) – are shown in purple. These are eligible for the Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus in 2023. This eligibility is tied to past and present labor force related to energy production. Year to year, eligible areas will change.
  • Brownfields are not shown on this map.

Please get in touch to find out about eligibility, additional information about project timelines, and taking advantage of these incentives – especially if your business or organization is in an area where the Energy Community Tax Credit Bonus eligibility will shift year-to-year as employment data is updated. Because this annual data can change a project can be “safe-harbored” by commencing construction, locking in a 10% bonus before the employment data may change.

Residential solar installation projects are not eligible for the 10% adder.

USDA REAP Grant Expanded

What is a REAP Grant

In 2023 the USDA REAP Grant was expanded.

The USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, or ”REAP” as it’s known, provides grant funding and guaranteed loan financing to eligible small businesses and agricultural producers to implement renewable energy systems such as solar or make energy efficiency improvements.  


I understand the USDA Reap Grant was expanded. What is new or different about the program this year?

Historically the REAP Grant could cover up to 25% of eligible project costs. 

With the passing of the recent Inflation Reduction Act, or (IRA) bill, the USDA REAP grant can now cover up to 50% of eligible project costs for qualified projects. 

Also, maximum grant size also increased from $500k to $1 million dollars.   


What other changes are you seeing in the expanded REAP program?

Project funding opportunities: previously, there were two primary funding rounds – spring and fall.   

The USDA is now holding six quarterly funding rounds resulting in increased opportunities for applicants to be awarded.   

This expanded program comes with a significant investment – A little over $1B in funding.   

This is an unprecedented investment to assist rural America in becoming more energy independent by reducing their energy costs with zero emissions solar energy.  


Who qualifies for USDA REAP Grants?

Like a lot of USDA programs, the target is rural America, not simply those directly engaged in farming.  To apply you must be either –  

A Qualified Agricultural producer – that means Making at least 50% of their gross income from agricultural operations OR 

For-profit small businesses – These businesses must meet SBA or small business size standards. 


How about location?

For small businesses, you must be located in an “eligible area” There is a handy tool for this step.  

If you qualify as an Agricultural producer, your operations can be located in a noneligible area.   


When can I apply for a USDA REAP Grant?

As I mentioned earlier, Under the new program, Grants are accepted quarterly through September 30, 2024.   

The first round of this new program kicked off on April 1st and closes on June 30th, with the next round beginning July 1st.    


What happens if my grant is not awarded?

That depends on when your application was submitted.   

If there were no issues with your application, and you simply didn’t score well enough compared to other applications, you can reapply in following quarterly submission rounds.   


How Much will a REAP Grant Cover?

As mentioned, The grant can cover up to 50% of the total cost of your solar installation.   

 For example, an $80,000 solar installation project would request $40,000 in grant funding. 


When will I receive the funding if my REAP Grant Application is awarded?

We get this question a lot!  This is a reimbursement grant, and funding will occur once your system has been installed.    

You simply fill out a few additional forms and submit your invoices to your local USDA office, automatically transferring funds into your account. 


What documents do I need to submit for the REAP Grant?

As you might expect, there is a fair amount of paperwork required.  

But you’re not alone.  We provide assistance to our clients in preparing and submitting the application paperwork on their behalf.    

Due to the nature of the information requested, it is the role of the applicant to provide us with all of the required information to submit your grant for you.  

We can cover all the specific documents during your initial consultation.   

Click the link below for a list of all required documents that will be needed to submit a REAP grant 

USDA REAP Grant Application 


How will this USDA REAP Grant improve ROI?

Solar is a great investment for many reasons.  It’s a hedge against rising electric costs. 

It’s been all over the news recently about the substantial electric rate hikes impacting consumers beginning yesterday, June 1st. 

Also, other available federal solar incentives include a 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit or ITC and depreciation benefits.  

Based on an applicant’s tax circumstances, a combined REAP grant and tax credit could cover up to 80% of your total project costs! 

For projects awarded a USDA REAP Grant under this newly expanded program, we’re seeing simple project paybacks of 1-4 years.  Incredible! 


When can work begin on the project?

This depends.   

If you’re moving forward with solar, regardless of the outcome of your grant application, work can begin on the project as soon as your local USDA Rural Development office has accepted the grant.    

Alternatively, we can wait to begin work until the grant has officially been awarded.  

There are some downsides to this approach, however, including delaying the energy cost-saving benefits of getting solar installed.  

Also, you may want to take advantage of the tax credit, which has different rules than the grant and is tied to the year of installation.   


How long would it usually take to hear back about the grant award?

Since applications are accepted right up to the final day of the funding round, it takes time to review all of the applications.   

Each application is reviewed for accuracy and then scored.   

Some rounds have more applications, and this work takes longer. 

In our experience, awarded projects begin to receive notice anywhere from 6-8 weeks after the close of the funding round has ended, though we’ve seen it take longer based on volume. 

This is another example of why it makes sense to go solar while waiting for the award’s notice.   



Solar System Service and Maintenance

Solar System Service and Maintenance with a Trusted Installer

Have you ever made a major purchase and wondered what your service and maintenance would be like after taking the plunge?

If you are like me, you certainly have.

For me, one of the main things I worry about after I sign the papers is how I will be treated when I need help.

Will my purchase be serviced when I need it to be? Will my partner still be in business years down the road?

I like to plan for the future, and have a roadmap of what is ahead. I use this methodology in almost every purchase I make and encourage our customers to do the same.

Buying a solar system (or a solar system with storage) is an investment in your future. It’s an investment that will last for 25+ years. You want to make sure that your investment is protected once you have made the purchase. And that solar service and maintenance will be smooth when and if the time comes.

As you research potential solar partners, one main factor you will want to look into is the Service Team of your solar partner to ensure they have experience and the ability to take care of you after the purchase.

Solar System Service and Maintenance

While solar systems and storage are generally low maintenance and come with manufacturer warranties, issues can arise over time.

Over the last year, we have experienced some national solar companies, and even some Ohio-based solar companies close their doors and leave their customers with both a monthly electric bill and a payment for their solar system (due to the system not functioning properly).

Customers simply cannot afford to pay long-term for both; it’s why they went solar to own their future and lock in their utility rates.

These customers tried tirelessly to contact their solar installer and were unable to connect with them all while trying to figure out how to get their systems up and running.

Kokosing Solar’s Mission

It was frankly heartbreaking to hear some of the stories of these customers, and at the same time, it was very rewarding when our team was able to get their systems up and running successfully, many of which had been down for months.

Many of these customers expressed their deep gratitude and wished they had worked with our team prior to their solar installations.

We pride ourselves on our 23 years of solar experience and servicing customers in the best possible way.

While we hope our customer’s systems never experience maintenance issues, some do, and just like with all things, they must be maintained.

Our Service Team is staffed and ready to take calls from customers, whether it is remote troubleshooting because someone got a new internet provider and need just to reset their internet router, or to deploy out to a customer’s home who has experienced an onsite issue that needs to be addressed by our experienced technicians.

Our technicians started their careers installing some of the very systems they are out servicing today. Not only do we have a long-term tenure installing solar, but many of our team members also have over five years of installation experience in the industry before they became service technicians.

Understanding a Solar System Service Department

How do you know if the company you are talking to has a service department?

Simply ask them.

Also, ask them how long they have been in business, what their warranty is, how will they help you, the customer, with warranty claims should they arise, how quickly they can deploy if there is an issue, and if they offer any service protection packages.

Remember to research the service you will get after you purchase your solar system.

You own that system, and you want to ensure it is well maintained, and if you experience an issue, your trusted solar installer will be there to support you and get your system running again.

Choosing a Trusted Solar Installation Partner

There is so much uncertainty in the world today, but one thing you should be certain about is choosing a trusted partner.

Buying a solar system and/or a solar with a battery system is an investment, and our team is here to provide you with a workmanship warranty, help with manufacturer warranties, and share our 20+ years of solar experience with you as we maintain your system.

We offer stability for the future as we will be here for many years to come to ensure your investment can be serviced by a knowledgeable and expert team.

One thing is for sure, our team will provide you with excellent service, answer all your questions, and do all we can to get your serviced quickly to ensure when the sun rises tomorrow you are generating solar production to keep your rates locked in.

When you’re ready to start owning your future – reach out and we will answer all the questions you have at this stage of your solar journey.

Care of Your Solar Installation

How will you take care of your solar installation? After you get your solar energy system installed, there is a lot to learn!

You are now a power plant operator – you’re learning to use your monitoring apps, fielding all of your neighbor’s questions about solar energy, and reviewing your electricity bills to understand the impact your solar energy system is having on your monthly energy payments.

In addition to all of that, you want to be mindful and keep your solar installation in tip-top shape.

What are things to keep in mind when planning for routine maintenance and care of your solar panel installation?

We’ll answer that question and more in this blog post!

Cleaning Panels

In Ohio and across the Midwest, you won’t need to clean your panels. You may find alternative information online, but double check where that information comes from. Panels installed in western states can get dusty or build up layers of pollen, dust, leaves or other contaminants. Here in Ohio, solar panels get cleaned regularly by rain and snow.

If you do feel like it’s necessary to clean your panels here are a few tips:

  • Don’t get on the roof to clean your panels. Doing so without proper safety measurements is unsafe, and we do not want you to do anything unsafe.
  • Panel cleaning should be carried out before reaching working temperature (early morning) and must only be cleaned with water at ambient temperature to avoid thermal shock.
  • Ideally, de-ionized water should be used to clean solar panels.
  • Ensure the water used is free from grit and physical contaminants that could damage the panel surface.
  • Use a regular garden hose. If that doesn’t do the trick use a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to clean the solar module.
  • Please don’t use high-pressure hoses, pressure washers, metal sponges or blades to clean the panels! Doing so may harm the integrity of the panel and/or invalidate panel warranties.
  • It is best to let panels air dry after washing.

Clearing snow

Snow buildup comes on some of the shortest, lowest production months of the year. Thankfully, a day or two lost during snowy months is only a fraction of a day lost during a peak sun month, like July. We recommend not worrying too much about snow stuck on panels after a snowfall.

The snow will likely give the panels a nice cleaning and the panels will likely be the first place where snow melts, because the panels were placed with the intention of having the best access to the sun!

If for some reason you do need to clear your panels of snow, just remember not to use anything abrasive that could scratch them.

Critter Guards

Neighborhood animals are prone to nesting underneath roof-mounted solar panels. This is especially true if you have foliage adjacent to your solar installation. If you don’t have any nearby trees or tall bushes, this is less of a worry.

Rooftop solar systems provide protection from the sun and a good space to create a nest for many neighborhood animals. If you aren’t proactive, animals can quickly become a problem for your solar array.

Your Solar Consultant will recommend Critter guards for your home solar array if it makes sense for your home. It’s most cost-effective if our crew install critter guards during your initial solar installation.

One downfall of critter guards is that they do tend to trap leaf debris under the panels. If you start to notice a buildup of leaf debris, you’ll want to take care to clear them out because it can lead to a wet roof.

Monitoring App

Did you know you can monitor your solar installation in real time? And get day by day and month-to-month data?

For our customers, this is often their favorite part about owning a solar energy system.

Pay attention to your online monitoring. It will help you understand how your solar energy system is performing and how much energy you’re generating. Checking in on your monitoring app regularly will ensure that if something comes up with the system, you’ll identify an issue and contact our service team quickly.

Internet service change

When your internet service provider changes, you may need to reconnect your system to the internet. Similarly, when you need to toggle the Wi-Fi on and off on your laptop to get the system to receive an internet connection, your Inverter, which is responsible for getting monitoring data to your app, is a wifi-based device that needs a good connection to the internet to produce you with monitoring data.

If you change internet providers or notice that your monitoring data isn’t coming through like normal, give us a call, and we should be able to help you connect your inverter back to the internet.

Take Care of Your Solar Installation

We hope this information has been useful!

As always you can reach out to our service department at any time with questions you have about the service and maintenance of your home’s solar energy system.

Cost to Install Solar Panels

What is the cost to install solar panels? This is the most common question we get. If you’re new to shopping for solar, you’re likely looking for a ballpark price.

As with most home services projects of this scale, you can probably guess that the price varies widely from home to home.

But this is a good question to get you started understanding the variables of a solar energy installation. The average cost of solar systems we sold last year was $32,000 (that’s $22,400 after applying the Federal Tax Credit for solar). While that is an average, we’ve also sold solar energy systems that range anywhere between $15,000 – $100,000 in recent years! We say this to remind you that the price can vary tremendously from system to system.

The cost of going solar depends on several factors, including the size of your system and the cost of components. Keep reading to understand what goes into a solar energy system sizing, how much solar costs, and what other financial payback considerations you should evaluate.

Size of System

The size of your system is based on how much energy you use.

Compare two 1,500 square foot houses for example. One could have a family with three kids and a hot tub. The other could be home to a retired couple who volunteer outside of their home all week and do everything they can to conserve electricity. You can imagine the electricity bills at each home would be significantly different.

The footprint of a house actually tells us very little about the actual energy consumption of the home.

As a home service provider, it’s our goal to help you meet 100% of your electricity needs with your solar system.

That’s why we ask for an electric bill at the very beginning. We must understand how much energy you need to offset each year with solar energy. Looking at the annual usage graph on your bill, we can determine how much energy you use in a year. Once we know your average kilowatt hours used in a year, we model a system on your home that will meet that need.

As you probably guessed, the family with a hot tub living in the 1,500 square foot home will need a bigger solar energy system than the retired couple that doesn’t use much electricity.

Cost to Install Solar Panels

There are a few different costs that go into your solar system.

First there is the cost of components. A solar system is made of panels, racking, an inverter, conduit, wires and bolts. If you’re adding battery backup to your system, this adds a large cost to the overall solar system price.

Second is the team behind the install – all the way from the designers, engineers, project managers, and permitters to installers and electricians whom you will meet on installation day.


Type of Installation

Ground mounted systems usually add between 10 – 15% to the system cost due to trenching and additional material costs to build the mounting system.

Batteries & Generators

Batteries and generator costs vary widely and could add 10 – 100% to your project costs, depending on the size and number of units required.

Don’t Forget About Incentives!

Don’t forget to evaluate these as you weigh the Cost to Install Solar Panels

Interested in learning more?

Download our guide to going solar here.

Ohio Solar Incentives for Homeowners 2023

Ohio Solar Incentives for Homeowners 2023 is one of the hottest topics we cover with new clients. Ohio is an excellent residential state for anyone interested in investing in solar energy. Not only are there various incentives available to Ohioans, but the economics of solar vs. utility energy in Ohio almost always has solar in the lead. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the different incentives Ohio has to offer to those who are interested in investing in solar energy.

Take Advantage of Solar Net Metering in Ohio

Ohio has a net metering program available to residential solar energy customers.

Think of it this way: through net metering, you treat the grid like a BIG battery. You store energy in the grid when you produce more than you need, and take energy from the grid when you aren’t producing solar.

Net-metering allows you to stockpile the energy you make in the electric grid in the form of credits.

When you “stockpile” energy like this, your excess solar powers your neighbors’ homes, helping them reap some of the benefits of onsite, direct solar energy. Per The State of Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission, the utility must credit you for the energy you produced and send along. These credits appear on your monthly electric bill and roll over month to month.

If you’ve lived in Ohio for a while, I’m sure you can imagine which seasons have better solar returns. This is when net-metering really comes into play. Your solar system generates most of the energy you’ll need for the year during the sunny months. An experienced solar installer will design your system big enough that you bank up a bunch of credits to use during the cloudier winter months, when your solar system isn’t producing as much.

One drawback of net-metering? You can only produce up to 120% of what you consume annually, and if you produce more than that, it jeopardizes your agreement with your utility for net metering. So, working with an experienced installer who understands how to maximize the benefits available through net metering is essential.

In summary, net metering allows customers to receive credit for any excess energy their solar system produces and sends back to the grid. This credit can then be applied to future energy bills, reducing costs for the customer.

Are you eligible for the solar investment tax credit?

If you pay federal taxes, you’re eligible for the solar investment tax credit (ITC). This tax credit is a solar incentive available through the federal government that allows you to take 30% of what you paid for solar from the federal taxes you owe.

This incentive is available to residential solar energy customers in Ohio and can help reduce the cost of purchasing and installing a solar energy system.

Paying for the solar system – understanding loan options

For some people having a low energy payment is the priority. For others, they want the best deal on the lump sum they pay for their solar system. In both cases, loan options are available to help you meet your goals.

Solar loans have become mainstream in the past five years, making solar accessible to even more homeowners across Ohio. Solar loan programs are designed to help those interested in purchasing a solar energy system to finance the purchase.

Selling Your Home With Solar

Solar increases home value!

According to a 2020 report by Zillow, homes with solar sell for 4% more. This increase in value is due to the potential cost savings of electricity that solar panels can provide.

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, making them an attractive feature to potential buyers. Ultimately, the amount of value a solar installation adds to your home will depend on the size and quality of the system and the local market.

When a new homeowner moves into one of our installations, we often work with the new homeowners. They’re often excited by the new technology and eager to reap the benefits of a free utility!

Ohio Solar Incentives for Homeowners in 2023

Overall, Ohio is a great state for those interested in investing in solar energy.

As much as we wish the advertisements online were true, there are no Ohio incentives for free solar. If there were, we would lead with that.

Be wary of any solar company who leads with “No Cost” or “Free Solar” in their advertising. In our experience, we know these installers don’t have your best interests in mind. And we’ve seen their deceptive advertising tactics have a negative effect on our communities and occasionally take the installer down themselves.

Ohio Solar Incentives for Homeowners

We hope this blog post has provided some helpful information about the different solar incentives available in Ohio.

We would love to help you understand your energy goals better.

Our Solar Consultants have a consultative style and are always here to work with you to evaluate if solar is a good option for you (or not!). When you’re ready to learn more from one of our experienced team, reach out!

Kokosing Solar Donates Solar Array to Environmental Nonprofit


The upgrade installed at the Grand River Conservation Campus will reduce the facility’s carbon footprint and support public dialogue about renewable energy.

LOCATION –Morgan Swamp Preserve, Grand River Conservation Campus, Rock Creek Ohio

Within The Nature Conservancy’s Morgan Swamp Preserve, the Grand River Conservation Campus is a place where people can enjoy nature through numerous recreation opportunities, including hiking, paddling, fishing, nature observation and more. A new solar panel installation at the Grand River Conservation Campus will help the facility save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and expand public dialogue about renewable energy.

The donation was made after conversations between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and Kokosing Solar began in 2021. Kokosing Solar was invested in assisting The Nature Conservancy to advance their mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. In Ohio, this includes supporting their work to advance renewable energy buildout in ways that are good for people and nature.

“Kokosing Solar is grateful for The Nature Conservancy’s work as they help the people of Ohio understand how the transition to clean, renewable energy is about job creation, diversification of our economy along with clean air and a healthy climate. Our donated project has dual benefits for the nonprofit: the solar system will offset some of the nonprofit’s utility expenses while also bringing the topic of solar energy into the environmental education that is offered at the Dr. James K. Bissell Nature Center at the Grand River Conservation Campus.” — Geoff Greenfield, Director of Solar Strategy at Kokosing Solar.

The addition of 20 rooftop solar panels will allow The Nature Conservancy to reduce their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions over time. The 7.4 kilowatt solar array will help supply energy for the picnic pavilion, nature center and electric car charging stations, offsetting an annual equivalent of 111 tons of CO2. In greenhouse gas emissions, this is equivalent to driving a car 498,433 miles, or planting 240 acres of forest.

“The Nature Conservancy is working to address climate change and is a strong supporter of safely expanding the use of renewable energy sources, including solar, as part of the solution. We are grateful for Kokosing Solar’s gift of solar panels at the Grand River Conservation Campus. Not only will they help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels at the preserve, but they will also provide visitors a chance to see and learn about the benefits of renewable energy on site.” – Marcel Weigand, northeast Ohio conservation coordinator for The Nature Conservancy.

About Kokosing Solar

Kokosing Solar has been designing, building, and financing clean energy solutions for commercial clients across the Midwest since 2000. We bring more than 22 years of solar installation experience as Ohio’s longest-standing full-service solar installer. In 2022 we became Kokosing and are strengthened by the 72 years of experience of Kokosing, Inc., one of the largest family-owned construction companies in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic. We serve residential and commercial clients in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and beyond. We are a fully insured and licensed Electrical Contractor with highly trained, NABCEP certified installers committed to delivering safe high-performance systems with top-notch customer service.

About The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the world’s largest conservation organization working globally to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Since 1951, TNC has protected more than 120 million acres of land and thousands of miles of rivers and works in all 50 states and more than 76 countries and territories. This foundation of success was built on the same principles that drive our vision today: utilizing the best available science and driving collaboration and innovation with strong partners by our side. We’re deploying innovative solutions that maximize nature’s ability to fight climate change while bolstering resilience for our most precious ecosystems and vulnerable communities.

Budgeting for Commercial Solar in 2023

Do you plan to budget for commercial solar in 2023? Solar energy has become one of the most affordable types of energy for businesses in 2023.

Kokosing Solar offers customized commercial solar solutions for businesses, municipalities, schools, project developers, non-profits, and more.

As we reflect on our operating budgets over the past year and look to make improvements, we urge business owners, building operators, operations directors, and facility managers to consider solar energy as a strategy in the new year. Hosting an onsite solar energy system can help your company lower operating costs, reach corporate sustainability goals, recruit mission-driven team members and maximize your energy economics.

In this blog, we’ll cover the benefits available to commercial entities when they build solar into their new year budget.

Incentives available to help commercial entities budget for solar include:

  • Solar Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
  • Net metering
  • Federal bonus depreciation
  • REAP Grants (for rural business and agriculture)

Federal tax credits for solar

In 2022 the federal government extended the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) for ten years. The ITC gives businesses a dollar-for-dollar reduction on corporate taxes for the amount they paid for their solar P.V. installation.

Historically, the ITC could offset up to 30% of the cost of the system. The ruling in 2022 that extended the tax credit also made way for additional deductions and benefits available to businesses and now non-profits and government entities.

These additional deducts can be added, for example, if the installer uses domestic content or if your business is located in a designated “low-income community” or “energy community”. If you’re interested in learning more for yourself, check out this blog post or sign up to receive a recorded webinar we did explaining all of the new tax benefits of the ITC for projects under 1 M.W. and projects above 1 M.W.

Don’t feel like you have to understand all of this information yourself. You’re an expert in your industry, and we’re an expert in ours.

We have been successfully helping commercial entities understand rules like these for the past 20-plus years. Our expert commercial solar consultants can help you understand these rules, what you’re eligible for and how to take advantage of the incentives available to you.

Net Metering Maximizes your Solar Benefits


Get more out of your solar system through net metering. Net metering is a policy that allows solar energy produced by your system to flow through to the grid when you make more energy than you consume.

Energy sent back into the grid will flow immediately to power the loads of nearby buildings and facilities. The State of Ohio requires the utility company to credit you for the energy your system has sent along to the grid. These credits appear on your monthly electric bill.

We design all our systems to maximize net metering rules. During sunny summer months, your system will produce more energy than you consume, allowing you to bank up credits. During the winter months, your facility will use more energy than it makes, and you will use up the credits you’ve earned.

With solar, you get charged for the energy you use from the traditional electric grid when your solar panels aren’t producing. And, when you have a solar system, you pay for that energy using the credits you built up during times your solar system is producing more energy than you are using.

Know that net-metering rules change from state to state and even vary by utility company and energy supplier. This description of net metering applies to the net-metering rules in the State of Ohio. Some states may be similar, but we always recommend finding local information because solar rules and regulations vary widely. Also, working with an installer familiar with your utility’s rules and regulations will ensure you get the most accurate economic modeling during the solar design phase.

Decrease Your Taxes further with Federal Bonus Depreciation


Most businesses include depreciation in their tax filings. Depreciation is considered an expense to the company, and it lowers the profits and reportable taxed income.

Businesses can depreciate the entire cost of the solar system in year one instead of spreading that depreciation over many years. This upfront benefit significantly impacts the return on the solar investment.

You May Be Eligible for a REAP Grant

The USDA REAP Grant is one extra incentive available to agricultural producers and rural businesses. The grant can cover up to 25% of the total cost of your solar installation.

The USDA REAP Grant provides funding to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. You can use the money to implement renewable energy systems or improve energy efficiency if you qualify. The USDA instituted the program to increase energy independence in the U.S. and decrease the energy needs for rural agricultural producers and businesses, all while generating more onsite, clean energy.

Like the investment tax credit, there are quite a few rules to pay attention to when evaluating a REAP grant for your onsite solar P.V. system at your farm or business. We have lots of experience and know quite a few grant writers who specialize in this program.

When you start evaluating solar for your onsite energy needs, we will work with you to determine eligibility, timeline, and next steps for submitting the grant for your solar energy project.

Budgeting for Solar

Evaluate how you structure your solar purchase. There are a few different ways to pay for your solar energy system for commercial entities. Two of the most common methods are direct purchase and a power purchase agreement (PPA).

A PPA is an excellent option if a capital investment like solar doesn’t fit into your annual budget. In the case of a solar PPA, a solar developer pays for the system upfront in exchange for an agreement from your organization that you will purchase the power from the system for a defined amount of time. Usually, after a certain amount of time, the agreement is structured so that you may extend it, remove the system or purchase the solar installation. Usually, the rate you pay is less than the rate you are currently paying for electricity, and/or the rate is fixed, allowing you to calculate fixed energy costs for the next 20-25 years.

If you choose to purchase the solar energy system outright through a direct purchase, you are the sole owner of the system. One of the main benefits of buying the system outright is that you can take advantage of all the incentives outlined above.

Evaluate your circumstances to choose the route that makes the most sense for you. As you may have guessed, through a PPA, the company hosting the solar energy system cannot take advantage of the tax benefits of the system. In fact, the third-party developer makes use of those benefits. However, if you go solar through a PPA, you may see savings on day one if you pay less per kWh than your current electricity supplier. This route can help companies keep cash on hand and lower operating expenses from the outset.

Rising Electricity Costs and Margins

2022 saw electricity costs spike across the U.S., and locally, we felt it. Beyond sustainability, solar offers market stability during a time of increasing inflation. Fixing operating costs is an actionable step you can take to lock in your energy rates for years to come.

Find out how today’s solar economics impact your bottom line. We look forward to discussing solar with you and how it might fit your situation.

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