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Solar Co-op Meeting Notes – Property Tax on Solar, DIY Education, Policy/Social Issues, Plans

Solar Co-op Meeting Notes – Property Tax on Solar, DIY Education, Policy/Social Issues, Plans

Solar Enthusiasts,

We had a good meeting yesterday with lots of updates and lots of great ideas.  

Thank you Jack Shaner for the excellent status summary of Ohio’s renewable and energy efficiency standards.  If you missed it, the Ohio legislature voted to essentially continue the freeze, however, Gov. Kasich vetoed that bill.  Thus, the standards went back into play in January.  Here is a nice article that outlines what has happened at the state level: http://midwestenergynews.com/2017/01/03/ohio-energy-standards-resume-but-still-weakened-by-2014-laws/

One of the topics that came up was a question regarding property taxes in Ohio and how solar may impact those.  I promised to get some clarifying info and what I found is this:

Commercial solar installations are exempt from real property tax in Ohio.  Residential systems are exempt in Cincinnati and Cleveland, but nowhere else in Ohio.  This means that the value of a residential system could be included in the value of your house/property.  This doesn’t mean that a taxing authority is going out of its way to include the value.  I can say from personal experience that Licking County has yet to document my array as part of its assessment and others have had similar experiences.  

What probably does happen, is that an array may allow you to put a higher price on your home/property when you sell it and thus, the buyer pays more.  This sale price can eventually have an impact on property valuation done by the auditor.

Here is the link I mentioned that has the current incentives for Ohio: dsireusa.org

In addition, I found this link today that does a decent job of describing the situation in Ohio:  https://solarpowerrocks.com/ohio/

We discussed next steps for the Solar Cooperative and it was determined that there are two emerging threads: 

1) There is still a lot of interest in education around installation of systems (especially DIY) and learning more about the technology itself  – continued work on this aspect is necessary; 

2) There is interest in doing outreach and activism around energy policy locally and beyond – we decided that reaching out to a number of new organizations that have mobilized on environmental and social issues after the election to hold a broader more inclusive meeting, would be a good next step.  It would be good to explore how our group and others can collaborate.

Still left to discuss at a future meeting:

Planning for a 3rd Annual Licking County Solar Conference & Tour

Workshop on the integration of battery technology into home energy system with solar pv

Mark your calendars for Sunday, March 26 in the afternoon.  We’ll tentatively plan our next meeting for then and this meeting will focus on policy and outreach efforts.  I’ll work to invite other interested groups.

Another idea that was floated after the meeting that warrants further exploration would be to arrange a private tour of specific solar arrays for some of our elected officials in Licking County.  With some strategic advance planning, we can turn an event like this into an opportunity to promote solar and energy policy with these officials.  This may be best done after the Denison and Newark arrays are completed i.e. this Fall.

Cheers,
Jeremy

Jeremy King ’97
Sustainability Coordinator
Denison University
Doane 304B
740-587-8680
kingje@denison.edu

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

 

“In the Solar Co-op we are peas in a pod working together.”
–Richard Downs, Granville

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