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Iowa solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Iowa State 19 solar panels available

  • $0.50/W Average gross price of a solar power system as of May 2022
  • 2 years Average system payback period
  • 49 686 / year Average savings from going solar in Iowa
  • 4 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 5.79 kW Recommended system size

Benefit from a PV system
in Iowa

Solar panels in Iowa

Iowa #34 in the US
Solar Ranking

What our happy customers say

The website UI is really intuitive and I figured out what I want pretty quickly. Went for Canadian Solar panels plus a solaredge inverter. I went to their fulfillment center to grab my order, and they were very quick to bring it out. The staff really made sure to warn me that panels are fragile and I appreciate that. Drove the package home safely, unpacked, all good. Right now we’re in the middle of the installation process, they sent a letter asking how I’m doing and asked for a review. Here I am! The panels are nice and it was a pleasure doing business with you.
Lime
Via Trustpilot
Apr 7, 2022
Fantastic company. Everything went smooth and the shipped was fast. The customer service was great.
Joe M.
Via Trustpilot
Apr 5, 2022
So I’m from LA and everybody’s going solar here so though that I should too. But I was really afraid it would be too much of a hassle. Eventually i went on google and soon found a1store. They got a pretty website and lots of articles on solar, and I flicked through a couple. So I decided to contact them, they were very friendly and we scheduled a call with their engineer. He was very patient with me and explained all the basics that I needed to know.

So i made an order, one of their centers is nearby, so i ordered pickup. I drove there, and they warned me to drive the panels carefully and pack them well for the road. seems like it's a recurring thing that people break their panels on the way home. I was real careful and yeah, I got home safely. Panels are in my garage now. I already found the installer. we have to take care of some papers and then it’s on!
Jerry Burton
Via Trustpilot
Mar 23, 2022
Great selection of high quality solar panels, good pricing, fast shipping, everything arrived in great condition.
Paul
Via Trustpilot
Mar 8, 2022
I ordered some solar panels. The top 4 ones were damaged during delivery (A1 had emailed me in advance what to check for before I took delivery which I followed even though the truck driver was pushing not to inspect them as thouroughly) and A1 replaced them in a timely manner and kept me informed. The price on the panels were some of the best on the internet (delivered). I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Google
Nov 27, 2021
I ordered some solar panels but during delivery, the top 4 were broken by the shipping department.

A1 replaced them and kept me informed when the replacements would be in. I would buy from them again.
Robert Broughton
Via Trustpilot
Nov 27, 2021

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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Iowa you need to know

Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Save up to $5,000 with Iowa’s individual tax credit

This program allows you to claim 50% of the Federal Solar Tax Credit, meaning it is equal to 13% for PV systems installed in 2020-2022. In total, you can claim up to $5,000 for each separate solar setup. If you install a system on each of your properties, you are eligible for as many tax credits. However, there’s a $5,000,000 cumulative limit for all participants and the credits are issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. Hence, it makes sense to fill out the form as soon as possible. The Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit is compatible with all other credits and incentives. It means that, together with the federal 26% ITC, you can recover almost 40% of the system’s cost! Before applying, make sure your system is complete and operating.

Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program

Solar laws in Iowa allow customers of all investor-owned utilities to join Net Metering programs. Participation for electric cooperatives and municipal utilities is voluntary, but strongly encouraged. In total, the program is available to almost 90% of residential customers in Iowa. Hence, households have an option to send the excess electricity back to the grid instead of storing it with battery banks. When you sell your solar power to the utility, you receive credits that can be used to offset your next bills. In Iowa, their value is equal to full retail electricity price. If you accumulate any unused credits, they will be purchased from you annually at the avoided cost rate.

Buy solar equipment tax free and save 6%

In Iowa, solar equipment is exempt from the state’s sales tax, meaning these additional 6% stay in your pocket. Solar equipment includes any device used to convert sunlight into energy. Anything needed to prepare the energy for storage or put it to use is also subject to the exemption. Thus, everything you need to build a PV system of any scale can be bought tax free in Iowa.

Freeze your property tax with Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

A solar PV system installed in a home increases its value by about 4%, says 2019 Zillow report. In Iowa you don't have to pay extra taxes during the first few years. According to the state laws, 100% of the value added as a result of a solar PV system installation shall be exempt from taxation for 5 full assessment years.

Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Easements

A solar easement contract is a written agreement between you and another party, for example, your neighbor. This type of contract helps to ensure a stable supply of sunlight for your PV system for years to come. A solar easement protects your panels from potential impairments, such as vegetation and structures. It is voluntary and must contain the description of protected space, a list of restrictions and a clause on revision or termination of the contract. Once signed, it is tied to the land, not the owner. Any such agreement must be created in written form and must meet the general requirements for legal contracts. If a solar easement can’t be obtained in a voluntary manner, the issue may be taken to the solar access regulatory board or to the district court.

Install your solar panels in Iowa with no worries

It is legal to install solar panels on your house in Iowa. However, there is no statewide legislation that makes it unlawful to restrict installation of solar PV systems. Note that municipalities are permitted to enact ordinances which prevent homeowners associations (HOAs) from unreasonably restricting the use of solar panels. Still, it’s best to contact your HOA or study its declaration and rules to find more information. You may have to submit your project for approval before changing the exterior of your house. The board may ask you to hide the system from view, reduce the number of panels or just reject your proposal. 

Solar panels help Iowa survive severe storms

Iowa is prone to major floods, winter storms and tornadoes. These events invariably lead to damages, disrupting the work of both generating plants and power lines. Your PV modules are well equipped to meet most hurricanes and hail, and that’s good news in case of a power outage. In 2020, a storm left more than 28,000 Iowans without electricity. In some cases, it took more than a week to restore it. The Environmental Protection Agency warns that extreme weather events will become more frequent and powerful, adding to the list of reasons to opt for solar.

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