How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar Buyer’s Guide for Cincinnati, Ohio
Ohio is etching its own path towards renewable energy as more home and business owners are realizing the potential in energy efficiency, monthly savings, and ability to eliminate dependence on traditional electricity and coal. With this Buyer’s Guide, you’ll find out the basics involved in having solar power installed in your home or business.
Solar Checklist for Cincinnati
This checklist provides general information as well as areas you’ll need to take care of prior to solar installation:
- Prepping your home or business
- Solar types
Considerations Prior to Solar Installation in Cincinnati
Anytime you do an upgrade, it’s recommended that any issues the property may have be taken care of before starting a new project. With solar panels or solar water heaters, this includes the stability and integrity of the roof. If you are considering either a solar water system with a rooftop storage tank or a solar panel array system, your property must first pass inspection by a city inspector. An inspection ensures the roof is in good condition and eligible for solar installation. When you or your contractor applies for a building permit, an inspection of the roof is usually scheduled at that time.
You’ll also want to make sure the property is sealed with no entrances or exits allowing hot air in or cool air out. Start by checking around windows and doors for cracks or weather stripping that is worn out.
Cincinnati’s climate ranges from 22 degrees in the winter with an average of 20 inches of snow, to 88 degrees in the summer with rainfall of 44 inches per year. The state is well suited for solar. With the potential for freezing temperatures, you do need to take into particular consideration the type of solar water heater you install.
Solar Permits for the City of Cincinnati
You can print and fax your application or obtain one at the Business Development & Permit Center, located at 805 Central Ave., Suite 500. For information call (513) 352-3271. To fax your application to the permit counter, use (513) 352-2579. The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Selecting a Solar Contractor in Cincinnati
When you’re at the point of hiring a contractor, it is recommended that you do your homework to ensure the person or company you hire has the appropriate license, certification, and insurance. Solar installations require electrical work so you want an expert in this area as well. Once you have 2 or 3 estimates from competing contractors, use their information and license number to do your own background check with the Better Business Bureau. You’ll also want to use the free eLicense Center search option provided by the Ohio Department of Commerce to validate credentials.
Solar Types for Cincinnati
One of the most popular solar power systems for home and business owners is the solar panel system. This system uses the sun’s energy to produce electricity. Cells located in the panels absorb the sun’s rays converting, storing, and feeding excess power back to the main grid or a battery backup. With this system, it’s imperative that the panels can face south, be unobstructed, and receive full sun from morning until evening. The system can be mounted on the roof or, if need be, on your property as long as there is room and the same unobstructed access to sunlight. Solar panels are available as a Grid-Tie, Off-Grid, or Grid-Tie and Battery Backup system.
Solar water heating systems are another popular option for supplying sun-heated water to your property. Depending on the condition of the roof, which must be strong enough to hold a water storage tank, as well as freezing climate conditions, your contractor will recommend either an active or passive system. It’s recommended that climates with freezing temperatures use the indirect active system that utilizes a non-freezing liquid versus the active direct system which uses water. As an added incentive for converting to a water heater powered by solar, the system is eligible for the Green Energy Ohio rebate program.
Solar Resources Available to Cincinnati Home and Business Owners
In an effort to encourage conversion to solar products, you’ll find quite a few resources including loans, rebates, and incentives available through these websites.
The benefits of solar outweigh the initial cost of a system, many times over. Each month, your solar system will lower your utility bill. Along with saving money, you’re tapping into a natural resource that does not create a carbon footprint or emit bad gasses into the atmosphere. A solar system also makes your home attractive on the real estate market because is a green, environmentally efficient and friendly property.