Iowa solar rebates and tax credits calculator

Solar incentive

Federal ITC 26% (tax credit)

State tax credit: Yes ($5,000)

Net metering (by utility)

Calculate for your homes location

There can be solar tax credits and incentives available at the federal, state and local levels. The calculator above will show you the value of all incentives your home is eligible for.

Summary of Iowa solar incentives 2020

The Iowa solar tax credit helps you install solar on your home for 2020 and beyond. It provides some cash back in the first year, making your payback time-frame and return on investment a better than the national average. Pair that with the 26% Federal tax credit, and you've got a compelling investment case for home solar. Read on to learn all you need to know about incentives, policy, and savings for home solar power in Iowa.

On this page, you can:

  1. Learn what solar incentives are available to Iowa homeowners

  2. See what Iowa solar incentives you qualify for based on your utility company and city

  3. Find out how much these incentives and/or Iowa solar tax credits will reduce your cost to go solar and add batteries

Federal solar investment tax credit

The federal solar investment tax credit will have the biggest impact on the cost you will face to go solar in Iowa

This perk is commonly known as the ITC, short for “Investment Tax Credit”. If you install your photovoltaic system in 2020, the federal tax credit is 26% of the cost of your solar panel system. This is 26% off the entire cost of the system including equipment, labor and permitting.

Example: If your solar energy system costs $20,000, your federal solar tax credit would be $20,000 x 26% = $5,200.

The federal tax credit falls to 22% in 2021. Unless new legislation is introduced in Washington D.C., this program will be gone in 2022.

Net energy metering in Iowa

With net metering in some states, you get full retail rate credit for the amount of electricity you send back into the grid with your solar panels.

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Iowa was one of the first states in the country to get on board with net metering, passing its first standard way back in 1984. The state's current net metering policy is pretty strong, though municipal and cooperative electric utilities are not covered.

MAE and AEIPL carry your surplus electricity you send back to them forward toward future bills, rather than actually giving you cash back. Regardless, savings are savings, and Iowa’s strong net metering policy helps make going solar here more sensible.

Iowa solar rebates

Iowa doesn't have any statewide rebates, but if you’re lucky enough to be served power by the Ames Electric Department, you can qualify for a rebate of $300 per kilowatt (kW), up to a maximum of $5,000. For example, if you install a 6-kW solar energy system, you can claim $1,800. Explore more information about the Ames solar rebate program by visiting the city’s website.

Iowa solar tax credit

Iowa offers a personal tax credit equal to 50% of the federal solar tax credit of 26%. So, for an average 6kW solar energy system installed for $18,000, you are eligible for $4,680 from the Federal government (26% * $18,000), and an additional $2,340 (50% of the Federal credit).

Both amounts can be claimed on your yearly tax returns for after a solar installation was completed on your home. There’s a maximum credit of $5,000. Any excess credit (i.e., if your credit reduces your tax burden below $0) may be carried over for up to ten years, which is great news for Iowa homeowners interested in solar power.

New solar owners in Iowa must apply online by May 1st of the year after installation. Each year, the state has a $5 million cap for all tax credits, but timely applications will be put on a waiting list for the next year's limit. Once your application is approved, a tax credit certificate will be mailed to you. Read more about Iowa solar tax credits here, and apply here.

Tax exemptions

Your solar power system adds value to your home. A bunch of value – like, thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars of value. Normally all that added value comes with added taxes.

In Iowa, however, the increase in property value resulting from the installation of a solar power system is exempt from all associated property taxes for five full assessment years. That’s not the full (i.e. doesn't expire) exemption we’ve seen in a lot of other states, but it IS a nice chunk of change you won’t be responsible for paying.

Another chunk of change you won’t be responsible for paying is the 5-7 % sales tax (depending on where you live) attached to most other items. Yep, Iowa exempts your solar power system from this one too. Good show, Iowa!

Cost of solar panels in your part of Iowa after all applicable solar incentives

Solar prices near you

Cost range of local prices

$20,016-$24,464

Payback period

9.5-11.6 years

Net profit (savings less system cost)

$30,941-$37,817

Average size system installed in IA in 2020

10.9kW

Solar panel cost calculator

Best 10 solar companies in Iowa

10 solar companies in Iowa provide pricing on SolarReviews. Here are the best rated companies near you.

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