Iowa ranks #20 in America for savings from installing solar panels on your home

Solar power in Iowa

Last fact checked on July 22, 2019 by Catherine Lane

Iowa has some room for improvement when it comes to solar incentives. However, what the Hawkeye State lacks in incentives, makes up for in sunshine. The high solar irradiation means that a solar system here will produce more than what solar systems in other areas of the United States will. 

Iowa homeowners can take advantage of the state-based tax credit and the federal tax credit. Combined, these incentives will cover 45% of the costs of your system in the form of tax credits. With almost half of the system costs being covered, going solar in Iowa is a no-brainer!


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Solar power in Iowa

Iowa solar power facts


Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2020
Price shown before incentives

5 Years 7 Months

Average payback time


Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital


levelized cost of solar energy


If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years


Annual power production

Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 7.04kW system

This 7.04kW system would offset 100% of your energy usage if your typical monthly bill in Iowa is $150, however your situation may vary so try our solar calculator to get a result tailored to you.

Solar companies in Iowa that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace


Best solar offers currently available in Iowa

Solar calculator and quote comparison tool

Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Iowa

How much do solar panels cost in Iowa

$2.62 per watt

Cash purchased solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

$2.90 per watt

Financed solar system
Before 26% solar tax credit

N/A cents/kWh

Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator

What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Iowa

The biggest advantage of installing solar panels in Iowa is the state-based tax credit. This tax credit can be used in conjunction with the federal tax credit, providing major savings on system costs. Iowa also receives a lot of sunshine, meaning a system here will produce more electricity than a system in other parts of the US. 

SolarPowerRocks provides a great breakdown of solar incentives and policy for each state within the US.

The disadvantage of installing solar panels for your home in Iowa is that aside from the state tax credit, there are almost no solar incentives or rebates available. Electricity prices in Iowa are low, so the payback time on a solar system here is longer than payback times in other states.

Enter your details to calculate the potential costs and savings you can expect to see when installing solar panels on your home

Best brands of solar panels

To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusted solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.

However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so while solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.

For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.


Unlock live pricing on the best solar panel brands!


How much electricity will solar panels produce in Iowa

Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.

Around the Des Moines area solar panels installed on a south facing 1310 degree pitch roof will typically produce:

27kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity

For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your zipcode below.


See how much electricity your solar panels could produce

I want to buy a solar panel kit and install it myself

What rebates, solar tax credits and other solar incentives are available in Iowa?

Iowa State Solar Tax Credit

Iowans can claim a state tax credit that is equal to 50% of the amount of the federal tax credit a homeowner is eligible for, up to $5,000 each year. Any remaining credit can be carried over for up to 10 years. 

For example, if you installed a $20,000 solar system in 2019, you would receive a federal tax credit of $6,000 ($20,000 * 30% = $6,000). In this case, your state tax credit would equal $3,000 ($6,000 * 50% = $3,000). That’s a total of $9,000 that you would save on your federal and state taxes!

The full 30% federal tax credit is only available until December 31, 2019, so the time to get the best savings is now!



Net metering in Iowa

Net metering policy in Iowa requires the state’s two investor-owned utilities, MidAmerican Energy and Interstate Power and Light, to provide their customers with net metering. If a solar system creates more energy than what the home uses, the excess energy is credited to the homeowner’s electric bill to offset future electric costs. 

For example, if your solar system creates 30 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy in one day and your home only uses 25 kWh in that same day, you will receive a credit for 5 kWh for the following day. Depending on your system’s production and the amount of energy you consume, you have the potential to eliminate your electric bill entirely.



Tax exemptions

Iowa offers two types of tax exemptions: a sales tax exemption and property tax exemption.

The solar energy sales tax exemption allows solar energy equipment to be fully exempt from the state’s sales tax. 

The property tax exemption for renewable energy systems serves to exclude the market value added to your property by a solar system from state property taxes for 5 years.



Alternative energy revolving loan program

This program provides zero-interest loans for the development of alternate energy production projects.

The minimum loan amount is $25,000 and it can be used to cover up to 50% of eligible project costs. Eligible project costs must be a minimum of $50,000 to meet requirements. The maximum loan amount is $1 million.

For more information, please refer to the Alternative Energy Revolving Loan Program page.

Iowa Solar Calculator

Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Iowa we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.



What you can find out about installing solar panels in Iowa using our full monthly solar calculator

This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:

If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this Iowa solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.


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Solar calculator

Going solar in Iowa

Check out all of the ways energy providers of Iowa can help you be more energy efficient and save money.

The following programs are available:
Incentive Name Eligibility Type
Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit Federal Personal Tax Credit
Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Personal) State Personal Tax Credit
Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems State Property Tax Incentive
Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption State Sales Tax Incentive
Net Metering State Net Metering
Find your local rebates and incentives

Your city may have further incentives to offer. Please keep in mind that the best source of up-to-date information on incentives are the solar installers who specialize in your area.