Going solar in Iowa

In Iowa, an average home needs a 8kW solar system in order cover most of their electricity needs. Given the average residential price-per-watt of $4.25 in Iowa, a 8kW system can cost around $34,000 depending on applicable rebates and other factors.

Select your county by clicking on the map and see the potential generated solar power and panel pricing. See how it compares with the US state average.

Average out-of-pocket cost for a 5 kW system The upfront amount spent to buy and install solar.
Iowa: $21,250US Average: $19,594
Average Payback Period The number of years until you break even on the solar investment.
Iowa: 16 yearsUS Average: 13 years
Average Net 20-year savings The total amount of money saved over 20 years minus the out-of-pocket cost.
Iowa: $5,637US Average: $10,133

Solar Potential in Iowa

Estimated system size and solar electricity production per median viable roof in
Iowa.

Roof size 661sq. ft.
Capacity 9.25kW DC
Electricity 10.9kkWh AC per yr.

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Compare solar panels by system size in Iowa

Get the most value out of your roof by comparing the different benefits a given system size has.

System Size 4kW
Roof Size Min. space required
286 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $733 a year
Est. Price
$17,000
Savings from a 4kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 5,755 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $61
  • Full payback in 23 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 3.04 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 140 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 7,532 mi less a year
System Size 5kW
Roof Size Min. space required
358 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $917 a year
Est. Price
$21,250
Savings from a 5kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 7,194 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $76
  • Full payback in 23 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 3.8 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 175 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 9,416 mi less a year
System Size 6kW
Roof Size Min. space required
429 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,100 a year
Est. Price
$25,500
Savings from a 6kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 8,633 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $92
  • Full payback in 23 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 4.56 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 210 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 11,299 mi less a year
System Size 7kW
Roof Size Min. space required
501 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,283 a year
Est. Price
$29,750
Savings from a 7kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 10,072 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $107
  • Full payback in 23 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 5.33 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 245 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 13,182 mi less a year
System Size 8kW
Roof Size Min. space required
572 ft²
Electricity Value Annual Production $1,466 a year
Est. Price
$34,000
Savings from a 8kWthis system
  • Est. yearly production 11,511 kWh
  • Est. monthly savings $112
  • Full payback in 25 years
Environmental Impacts
  • Reduces CO2 emissions by 5.58 tons a year
  • Equivalent to planting 256 trees a year
  • Equivalent to driving 13,807 mi less a year

Iowa solar incentives, tax credit, and rebates

Iowa has 9 rebates and tax credits that you may be eligable for. Visit the official links for more details to see if you apply.

Solar incentives in IA

Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Personal)

Value:Up to $5,000

Iowa residents who purchase and use solar energy devices may be entitled to an individual tax credit in place of the Iowa Production Tax Credit. The total credit a taxpayer may claim equals 50% of the equivalent federal credit up to $5,000. The Department of Revenue will carry over excess credits for a maximum of ten years. Applicants should submit paperwork for this credit only after the system is installed and operational. Credits are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information is available from the Iowa Department of Revenue website.

Waverly Light & Power - Residential Solar Thermal Rebates

Value:Up to $3,500

Residential Waverly Light and Power customers may be entitled to a one-time rebate on new solar water heaters. Rebate awards are contingent upon the property owner obtaining necessary permits from their county and installing the system through a participating contractor. Each address, rather than each homeowner, may only receive one rebate. As funding for the rebate program is limited each year, applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested customers may apply or find more information on the WL&P website.

Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Corporate)

Value:Up to $20,000

Iowa businesses that purchase and use solar energy devices may be entitled to a corporate tax credit in place of the Iowa Production Tax Credit. The total credit a commercial entity may claim equals 50% of the equivalent federal credit up to $20,000. The Department of Revenue will carry over excess credits for a maximum of ten years. Applicants should submit paperwork for this credit only after the system is installed and operational. Credits are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information is available from the Iowa Department of Revenue website.

Waverly Light & Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates

Value:Varies

Residential Waverly Light and Power customers may be entitled to a variety of rebates on energy efficient projects and equipment. Qualifying projects and programs change from time to time. Current offers include rebates on water heaters, heat pumps, insulation, central HVAC, and some home appliances. Some weatherization projects may be completed at no expense to the homeowner. Additional information is available through the WL&P website.

City of Dubuque - Solar Thermal Licensing Requirement

Value:Varies

Solar contractors intending to install a thermal system on Dubuque property must obtain a specialized license from the city in addition to state contracting licenses, journeymen's permits, or applicable municipal building permits. PV systems do not need a Dubuque license. The simplest qualification for most contractors is a minimum NABCEP Solar Thermal certification. Alternatively, installation workers may complete vocational education from Northeast IA Community College. Additional information is available on the Dubuque city website.

Mandatory Utility Green Power Option

Value:Varies

By Iowa law, all electric utilities operating within the state must offer green or renewable energy options when customers request a line extension or first connect to the electrical grid. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) keeps track of each utility's options and distributed energy tariff programs. Additional information is available from the IUB website.

Ames Electric Department - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Value:Varies

Ames residents looking to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy equipment may be entitled to a variety of financial incentives from the city's municipal utility. Qualifying projects and programs will vary over time. Current rebate offers include central HVAC with load control and ENERGY STAR certified home appliances. An additional program incentivizes new home construction that considers ENERGY STAR building standards. Interested homeowners may schedule a free in-home energy efficiency audit with an Ames Electric Services representative. At the time of the audit, the representative may provide equipment to immediately improve home efficiency, including LED bulbs or pipe insulation. Additional information is available from the Ames city website.

IADG Energy Bank Revolving Loan Program

Value:Varies

The Iowa Area Development Group, together with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, manages a revolving loan fund for businesses within the state to install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Loans are available at no interest and will be serviced by IADG or one of the fund's lending partners. Projects funded by these loans should be geared toward cost-efficacy and productivity for the business and job creation for the state. Additional information is available from the IADG website.

Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption

Value:Varies

Solar PV, hydro, and wind energy devices in Iowa are exempt from state sales tax. All solar and hydro system equipment qualifies by default; for wind systems, system, manufacturing, and installation costs are all exempt. Additional information is available from the Iowa Department of Revenue website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • As a general rule, unless there are local limitations, the main limitations to the amount of solar panels you can put on your roof are the available space on your roof, your electricity usage, your providers net metering rules, and the limitations of your house hold electrical system.
  • Based on our research the average price per installed watt is $4.25 in Iowa. This means for a 10kW system you can expect to pay $42,500 though pricing can vary significantly between installers based on the projects requirements.
  • Based on a Zillow research study from 2019, home with solar panels sell for roughly 4.1% more.
  • To generate the most power, solar panels in the United States should face true south as this generally results in the solar panels receiving the most light each day throughout the course of the year. That said, given that energy prices are often variable throughout the day, your installer may recommend you rotate your panels slightly so that the panels will receive more light at the end of the day when energy prices can be more expensive. That said, for most consumers the positioning of solar panels is highly dependent on your home's roof.
  • Based on our continuously updated database of solar installers, we have found 20 verified solar install companies in Iowa

Solar installers in Iowa (20)

Simpleray

Fairfield, IA(800) 808-0786

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Site Gen Solar

Cedar Rapids, IA(319) 734-3120

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

SunPro Solar

Mandeville, LA(866) 599-3643

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Auditing of energy requirements for independent energy generation.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Eagle Point Solar

Dubuque, IA(563) 582-4044

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

SunPower Corporation

San Jose, CA(800) 786-7693

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Monitoring of independent energy generation.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Harvest Solar

Jackson, MI(888) 907-6527

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Olson Solar Energy

Onalaska, WI(608) 780-2347

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Solar systems for selling electricity back to the grid.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

GRNE Solar

Palatine, IL(312) 859-3417

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
  • Consulting on all things solar related.

Entegrity

Little Rock, AR(800) 700-1414

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.

Ideal Energy

Fairfield, IA(800) 634-4454

Services

  • Installation of solar arrays.
  • Reparation of solar arrays.
  • Installation of batteries for energy storage.
  • Expertise in consulting on advantageous financing for solar.
Last Reviewed By: Alex Zdanov
Published: 2022-09-18