Solar energy more accessible as costs come down; incentives remain

by Emily Canning-Dean

For homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and also save money on energy costs, the installation of solar panels has become a more viable option in recent years.

Joseph Ortiz, a member of Hudson’s Environmental Awareness Committee and a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Kent State University, said the price of solar energy has reduced dramatically over the past decades.

“In 1975, the cost was typically $125.83 per watt. As of 2022, that cost has gone down to 26 cents per watt,” he said.

Ortiz said that while nationwide, many people have gotten on the solar energy bandwagon, it hasn’t been as common of an occurrence in Northeast Ohio, but with recent tax incentive programs it is a good idea for Ohio homeowners to consider solar.

Hudson resident and fellow EAC member Alex Salimian had a solar array installed at his home in 2021 in an effort to reduce his carbon footprint.

“I was concerned about where Hudson was getting its power from and the carbon intensity with that,” he said. “At the time there was a 26% tax credit available so it was a good time to jump on that.”

Salimian worked with a group called Solar United Neighbors.

“They are kind of a solar advocacy group. They would get maybe 100 people in an area interested in investing in solar arrays and then would go to multiple vendors to get the best deal,” he said.

Salimian said he encourages anyone interested in solar energy to visit Solar United Neighbors at as the organization is a great resource for people who want to look into solar individually or with a co-op.

Salimian also recommended Project Sunroof,, as a great tool for homeowners interested in solar.

“You put in your address and electric bill, and it will tell you if your house gets the right amount of sun and if you have enough roof area to collect it,” he said. “That is how I got started on my journey.”

Salimian added that with tax credits through the Inflation Reduction Act, Ohio homeowners can save up to 30% on solar energy improvements through 2032.

“So if you spend $10,000 you can get $3,000 back,” he said. “It’s pretty convenient.”

Salimian also mentioned that the investment pays off in the long run when homeowners look at the savings they reap from solar energy. He said that his current solar array is expected to be 80 percent efficient after 30 years. ∞