In 2021 and 2022, the Colerain Township Trustees adopted a strategic plan that featured many goals, including a Green goal for the Township. As part of this goal, the Township was focused on engaging the new economy with green initiatives. In 2021, Township staff:
- Explored the potential for solar on Colerain Township buildings;
- The Township has an initiative in 2022 to activate solar in our community through installation of solar
- Analyzed our existing zoning code to determine how it supports or hinders solar development;
- Explored the possibility of utility scale solar in our community on existing Township property; and
- Began tracking solar permits issued through our monthly dashboard and through an online map.
Is solar right for you? Solar United Neighbors provides a free, vendor neutral assessment to anyone thinking about solar energy. Click their website to schedule a time or learn more. Solar helps to reduce your monthly electric costs, create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, and improve the overall grid. For more information on the benefits of solar, please visit this page: https://www.solarunitedneighbors.org/learn-the-issues/value-of-solar/
Colerain Township’s Electric Aggregation Program is available to all eligible residential and small commercial customers within the Township. Since 2012, Colerain Township has partnered with Dynegy Energy Services (formerly Duke Energy Retail) to implement a very successful electric aggregation program that offered a favorable price and terms for electricity supply for Township residences and businesses. Residents also have the option to select energy from a 100% renewable source (e.g. solar) at a rate of 5.09 cents / kWh.
If you are thinking about solar, but unsure of the costs, there are several incentives in place throughout the state of Ohio that include:
- PACE Financing: Through Property Assessed Clean Energy, you can take out a loan for the installation of solar that follows your home and does not follow you. That way, if you sell your house before the panels are paid off, the payment will automatically transfer to the next home owner.
- Net metering: This allows you to earn credits on your electric bill on days when your system produces more energy than you use. You can use those credits on days when your system produces less than you need (can happen in wintertime some). Customers of Duke Energy in Ohio can take advantage of one of the best Ohio net metering policies.
- Renewable Energy Credits: In Ohio, for every megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity your panels produce, you receive one credit, which can be sold for around $15. So, a 10kW system can earn about $150 a year. Per state law, these credits will exist through 2024.
- Solar Tax Credits: For newly installed home solar systems, you can receive a 26% credit of the total cost of the system on your federal taxes in 2022. For calendar year 2023, that credit is 22%.
In Colerain Township, accessory use Solar PV is allowed by right in all zoning districts. There is not any staff discretion on the issuance of these permits and there are not any specialized permits required to install a Solar PV system. To learn more about the exact requirements, please view our zoning resolution, sections 10.2.2(K). In order to obtain a permit for a rooftop or ground mounted solar system, the applicant will have to go through two processes:
- Zoning Certificate - Issued by Colerain Township
- Building Permit - Issued by Hamilton County
- For a list of all Hamilton County fees, please consult their department by calling 513-946-4550.
A checklist of items needed to successfully have a permit issued can be found here: Solar Checklist
Colerain guarantees a three-day review turnaround for all solar zoning permits.
There are three costs associated with issuance of a solar permit:
- $35 - for the zoning review and zoning certificate
- $239.85 - for Hamilton County Building Department's review and permit.
- $TBD - for IBI electrical review
Solar permits can be applied for online at: https://coleraintownshipoh.viewpointcloud.com/categories/1088
Colerain is going solar!
In Spring of 2022, the Township Trustees approved a plan to provide for the diversion of nearly 30% of the energy usage from the Colerain Senior and Community into a new solar array that will be installed this fall. 60 solar panels are going to be installed for this project. Stay tuned for more information as the project progresses!
Finding a Contractor and Going Solar
Find a solar contractor (or two) to assess your home for solar energy and provide a quote.
- Certified practitioners can be found through NABCEP.
- Visit EnergySage to learn about solar energy and submit for solar quotes from a network of pre-screened, local solar installers
- Consumer Solar Checklist – a checklist for residential consumers considering solar energy from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
- Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights – ensure a positive consumer experience by addressing important issues from IREC, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.
- Solar Customer Resource Portal – various resources from SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association.
Solar Owner’s Manual – information for current solar homeowners to ensure they are getting the most out of their system from Solar United Neighbors.
Consumer protection and solar PV.
For information on consumer protection issues related to solar PV, please review this fact sheet from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Ohio Solar Access Easement Requirements
Process for Easements in Ohio
State policies related to Homeowner Associations (HOAs) ability to regulate and/or restrict solar PV, including links to state-level policy.