Iowa Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Iowa Rebates and Incentives Summary

Iowa

Iowa ranks fifth in the nation for per capita energy consumption. That’s a lot of energy. But the predominately agricultural state uses a lot of liquid fuel for maintaining those food production operations, which the Energy Information Administration counts in total consumption. Perhaps the more surprising statistic is that the state gets almost 27 percent of its electricity from wind. In fact, wind is second only to coal in the state as a source of electricity generation. With a strong wind energy market, the state is relatively green even as it ranks only 23 in terms of solar policy. While Iowa promotes renewable energy and solar power, the policies aren’t particularly robust, which hasn’t resulted in big industry growth.

Still, the state’s low- and no-interest rate loans, rebate programs, tax incentives, performance-based incentives and other programs have promoted some solar installations.

The state established the Iowa Office of Energy Independence in the early 2000s. The office is charged with producing the state’s annual Energy Independence plan and manages the Iowa Power Fund, which helps finance clean energy development in the state.

While not technically called a renewable energy portfolio standard, Iowa became the first state in the country to require its investor-owned utilities to get a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources when it passed its alternative energy law in 1983. The two utilities combined are required to source 105 megawatts of electricity from renewable sources.

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Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas and Electric) - Low Interest Energy Efficiency Loan Program

Interstate Power and Light (Alliant Energy), in conjunction with Wells Fargo Bank, offers a low-interest loan for residential, commercial and agricultural customers who purchase and install energy efficient measures. If a loan term of 12 months or less is chosen, the customer is eligible for a loan with no interest; longer terms are eligible for the 6.9% interest rate. All measures must meet minimum efficiency standards and be confirmed before installation in order to be eligible for this program.

If a customer qualifies for this loan's bank requirements, they will not have to pay any loan processing fees, points, down

Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas and Electric) - New Home Construction Incentives

Interstate Power and Light's New Home Program gives incentives to builders and contractors who build energy efficient homes. A base rebate is available to those customers that make the minimum energy efficiency levels, based on the size of the house. Base reward amounts will be prorated for homes less than 1,800 square feet in size. Incentive payment for the base reward can be paid to the builder or the homeowner but cannot be split. Additional rebates are available for homes meeting a 47 and 42 for their HERS score and for homes using a qualified geothermal system.

Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Interstate Power and Light (Alliant Energy) offers residential energy efficiency rebates to Iowa customers for a variety of home upgrades. Rebates are available for certain heating, insulation, water heating and building envelope measures. All equipment must meet certain efficiency requirements listed on the program web site. Landlords and renters of multi-family homes can also take advantage of various rebates for energy-efficient equipment in the residential and commercial programs. Equipment must meet efficiency levels specified on the program website.

IPL also offers base rebates through the New Home Construction Program. The exact rebate level varies depending on the square footage of

Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Interstate Power and Light (Alliant Energy) offers residential energy efficiency rebates for Iowa customers for a variety of technologies. Rebates are available for certain HVAC equipment, lighting, and doors. Landlords and renters of multi-family homes can also take advantage of various rebates for energy-efficient equipment in the residential and commercial programs.  Equipment must meet efficiency levels specified on the program website.

IPL also offers incentives through the New Home Construction Program. The exact rebate level varies depending on the square footage of the home, and whether or not the home receives heating and/or cooling energy from Alliant Energy-IPL. Bonus rebates reward

Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program

The Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program (AERLP), administered by the Iowa Energy Center, provides low-interest loans to individuals and organizations that seek to build renewable energy production facilities in Iowa.

Successful applicants receive a low-interest loan that consists of a combination of AERLP and lender-provided funds. The AERLP provides 50% of the total loan at 0% interest rate up to a maximum of $1,000,000. Rural electric cooperatives and municipal utilities are limited to one loan every 2 years with a maximum loan of $500,000. The remainder of the loan is provided by a lender at market rate.

Eligible Technologies

Eligible

Alternative Energy Law (AEL)

In 1983, Iowa became the first state in the U.S. to adopt a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by enacting the Alternative Energy Production law. The Iowa RPS requires its two investor-owned utilities (MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light) to own or to contract for a combined total of 105 megawatts (MW) of renewable generating capacity and associated energy production.

As of the end of 2017, Iowa had more than 7,312 MW of wind capacity installed and ranked the third in the U.S. with 36.9% of the state’s electricity generation coming from wind.

Eligible Technologies

Eligible resources include solar,

Ames Electric Department - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

The Ames Electric Department provides free energy audits and multiple energy efficiency rebates for commercial and industrial customers. The rebate programs available include: The Appliance Rebate Program, The High Efficiency Heat Pump Program, The Power Factor Correction Rebate Program, and the High Efficiency Lighting Program. 

All programs require that the customer submit a completed application form within 30 days of equipment installation. In addition to specific rebates, AED also offers a custom rebate program of $500 for every kW of load reduced (photovoltaic systems are included in this rebate). Visit the program website to access application forms and additional program information.

Ames Electric Department - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

The City of Ames Electric Services offers a variety of services and rebates for residential customers interested in purchasing energy efficient appliances or making energy efficiency improvements to eligible homes. They also offer the residential efficiency construction program for new homes that meet certain Energy Star standards described on the program web site.

To assess the energy needs of customers, the City of Ames Electric Services offers free energy audits to any interested residential customers. Audits are performed by certified energy experts who assess the energy efficiency level of the home and will supply the customer with certain free energy saving

Black Hills Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

Black Hills Energy offers its residential Iowa customers incentives to encourage energy efficiency in their homes. Rebates are offered for certain energy efficient appliances and thermostats as well as insulation and maintenance measures. For more information, interested customers should refer to the program website.

Black Hills Energy (Gas) - Residential New Construction Rebate Program

Note: According to the BHE website, this program is currently only being offered in the Grimes, Iowa area.

Black Hills Energy (BHE) offers new construction rebates for home builders in the eligible service area.  A program application with complete program information is also available on the program web site. Contact Black Hills Energy for other program information.

Building Energy Code

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

In 2006 Iowa enacted H.F. 2361, requiring the State Building Commissioner to adopt energy conservation requirements based on a nationally recognized building energy code. The State Building Code Commissioner, in conjunction with the State's Building Code Advisory Council, adopts rules and holds public hearings on the proposed rules.

Effective June 1, 2014, the 2012

Cedar Falls Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

The Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) Energy Efficiency Rebate Program provides rebates for energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, thermal envelope improvements and appliance recycling. The amount of the rebate varies by technology and all technology must meet specified energy efficiency requirements listed on the program website. All recycled appliances must be in working condition and be picked up by CFU. All receipts must be mailed to CFU along with a completed application. Contact CFU for more information on this program.

City of Dubuque - Solar Thermal Licensing Requirement

The City of Dubuque requires a Solar Thermal License in order for a person to install a solar thermal project on a home or business. The requirement does not apply to solar photovoltaics. The licensing requirement can be met one of two ways:

  • An installer may be Solar Thermal Certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) or
  • An installer may complete the Northeast Iowa Community College Solar Thermal Training

Installers are also required to obtain a permit before altering or installing a system. Application details are available on the program website.

 

Corn Belt Power Cooperative Rebate Program

Corn Belt Power Cooperative is a generation and transmission electric cooperative that provides power to nine distribution rural electric cooperatives and one municipal electric cooperative. These utilities provide power to farms, rural residences, small towns and commercial/industrial customers in 41 northern Iowa counties.

The member cooperatives of Corn Belt Power Cooperative have established energy efficiency rebate programs to encourage greater efficiency in members' homes, farms, and businesses. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the website of their local electric utility to learn about the specific rebates available and program requirements.

The member cooperatives participating in the program are:

1. Iowa

Energy Replacement Generation Tax Exemption

Iowa imposes a replacement generation tax of $0.0006 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) on various forms of electricity generated within the state. This tax is imposed in lieu of a property tax on generation facilities.

Under the Energy Replacement Generation Tax Exemption, the following facilities are exempt from the replacement tax:

  • All energy generated by methane gas conversion property to the extent the property is used in connection or conjunction with a publicly-owned sanitary landfill or used to collect waste that would otherwise be collected by or deposited with a publicly-owned sanitary landfill,
  • Wind energy conversion property that is eligible for a tax

Farmers Electric Cooperative (Kalona) - Residential Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) offers a grant program which splits the cost of simple energy efficient improvements to the home. The utility will cover 50% of the cost of eligible improvements made by the participating member. Grants are limited to $100 per year. A variety of measures and equipment are eligible for this incentive, including, but not limited to clothes lines, insulation, ceiling fans, programmable thermostats, and occupancy sensors. Participants must be FEC members and provide all necessary purchase and installation information. FEC also offers rebates on HVAC equipment, lighting measures, water heating units, and appliances. Contact FEC or visit

Farmers Electric Cooperative (Kalona) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Farmers Electric Cooperative (FEC) offers a variety of rebates for the purchase and proper installation of energy efficient equipment for the home. Incentives are available for geothermal heat pumps, air source heat pumps, central air conditioning, lighting, heat pump water heaters, freezers, and refrigerators. FEC also offers a grant program to customers for implementing similar measures. More information can be found on the program website.

 

 

Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credit

In May 2012 Iowa enacted a series of tax incentives for residential geothermal incentives. Geothermal heat pumps installed on residential property in Iowa are eligible for a tax credit equal to 20% of the Federal Tax Credit. Because the federal tax credit is set at 30%, the state tax credit is equal to 6% of the system cost . Any credit in excess of the tax payer's liability may be carried forward for up to 10 years. The credit may be applied retroactively to systems installed beginning January 1, 2012, and expires after December 31, 2016. The tax credit

IADG Energy Bank Revolving Loan Program

The Iowa Economic Development Authority in partnership with the Iowa Area Development Group (IADG) is offering Iowa businesses and industries a low-interest financing option for energy efficiency improvements, renewable energy projects, energy management, and implementation plans. The establishment of the IADG Energy Bank Revolving Loan Fund is intended to provide an ongoing source of low interest financing for the implementation of cost-effective projects that will save energy and money, improve facilities and processes, and enhance job creation and profitability.

Indianola Municipal Utilities - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Indianola Municipal Utilities offers a number of energy efficiency rebates to residential, commercial and industrial customers. The program provides rebates for commercial lighting, central air conditioning, add-on heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps, and energy audits.

All rebates except the commercial lighting are available for both residential and commercial customers. All equipment must meet efficiency standards listed on the program web site and rebate forms. Rebates are given in the form of a credit to the customer's city utility account. The application and invoice must be received within six months of purchase date to qualify for the rebates. Applications are located

Interconnection Standards

Note: The Iowa Utilities Board is conducting an inquiry on distributed generation and interconnection issues under Docket No. NOI-2014-0001

The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) adopted rules for utilities in May 2010 for the interconnection of distributed generation facilities in Iowa.

Rate-Regulated Utilities

Rate-regulated utilities include the state's two investor-owned utilities, MidAmerican Energy and Interstate Power and Light (IPL), and Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative, which opted to have the IUB set its rates. The rates of municipal utilities and other rural electric cooperatives are not regulated by the IUB.

Process

Interconnection standards for rate-regulated utilities apply to distributed generation

Liberty Utilities Iowa High Efficiency Equipment Rebate

Liberty Utilities offers a rebate to its Iowa residential and small business customers for the purchase of high efficiency ENERGY STAR natural gas home heating and water heating equipment. Equipment must be installed by qualified dealers; no homeowner installation is allowed. Interested customers should mail the Iowa High-Efficiency Rebate Installation and Verification Form to the address provided on the website; do not send the form with the Liberty Utilities monthly bill payment. A separate form must be provided for each rebate requested. Rebate checks will be issued approximately 8-10 weeks after receipt of all required paperwork. Liberty Utilities also provides

Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative Association (Linn County RECA) is a member-owned cooperative. To encourage energy efficiency, Linn County offers a number of rebates to residential customers. View the program website to review full equipment requirements and program procedures. Contact Linn County RECA for more information on this program and to ensure eligibility.

Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative - Solar Water Heater Rebate Program

Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative Association (Linn County RECA) is a member-owned cooperative. To encourage energy efficiency, Linn County offers a number of rebates to commercial, residential, and agricultural customers. Owners of both new construction and existing buildings are eligible for a $350 rebate for solar water heaters. The water heaters must have an auxiliary tank of at least 40 gallons and the solar water heater must be ENERGY STAR rated. See the program web site for applications and more information.

Local Option - Special Assessment of Wind Energy Devices

Any city or county in Iowa may pass an ordinance assessing wind energy conversion equipment at a special valuation for property tax purposes, beginning at 0% of the net acquisition cost in the first assessment year and increasing annually by five percentage points to a maximum of 30% of the net acquisition cost in the 7th and succeeding years.

If a city or county repeals the ordinance, the wind energy property shall be valued at the special rate until the end of the 19th assessment year following the first assessment year. Once this period has ended, the property is valued

Mandatory Utility Green Power Option

All electric utilities operating in Iowa, including those not rate-regulated by the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), are required to offer green power options to their customers. These programs allow customers to make voluntary contributions to support the development of renewable energy sources in Iowa. Utilities must file their program plans and tariff schedules with the IUB; however, the filings for non-rate-regulated utilities are intended to be for informational purposes only. 

Methane Gas Conversion Property Tax Exemption

Note: This exemption is only available to facilities operated in connection or conjunction with a publicly-owned sanitary landfill. The exemption was available to other entities only for systems placed in service by December 31, 2012. Systems in place before this date are eligible to receive the property tax exemption for 10 years.

Under Iowa's methane gas conversion property tax exemption, real and personal property used to decompose waste and convert the waste to gas, collect the methane or other gases, convert the gas to energy, or to collect waste for these purposes is exempt from property tax. This

MidAmerican Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs

MidAmerican Energy offers a variety of incentives for residential customers to improve the energy efficiency of eligible homes. The Residential Equipment Brochure on the program web site above provides specific rebate amounts, efficiency requirements and further details. After installing qualifying equipment, customers should submit a completed Equipment Rebate Application and a detailed invoice to MidAmerican. Heating and cooling dealers have a supply of Equipment Rebate Applications and will participate with customers. 

Muscatine Power and Water - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates

Muscatine Power and Water (MP&W) offers rebates on certain energy efficiency appliances to residential customers. Rebates for a variety of energy efficient measures including electric refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers, room and central air conditioners, ground source heat pumps, and water heaters.

Appliances must be purchased during the current calendar year to be eligible for the rebates offered during that year. Applications for appliances purchased during the previous year must be received by March 31 of the following year in order to be eligible for a rebate. Make, model, purchase date, purchase location, quantity and price must be included

Net Metering

In May 2017, the Iowa Utilities Board approved new net metering pilot programs for MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy. These new programs make substantial changes to the net metering rules offered by these utilities. The maximum system size limit has been increased to 1 MW from 500 kW; however, under both programs customers are not allowed to net meter more than 100% of their load. The two utilities measure the 100% cap differently; MidAmerican bases it on annual energy use, while Alliant bases it on maximum annual demand. The pilot programs also make changes to excess generation compensation; whereas previously

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

In Iowa, the market value added to a property by a solar or wind energy system is exempt from the state's property tax for 5 full assessment years. Residential geothermal systems are exempt for 10 years. Eligible systems include:

  • a system of equipment capable of collecting and converting incident solar radiation or wind energy into thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy and transforming these forms of energy by a separate apparatus to storage or to a point of use which is constructed or installed after January 1, 1978;
  • a system that uses the basic design of the building to maximize solar

Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption

Iowa allow a sales tax exemption for solar, wind, and hydroelectricity equipment. As of February 2016, the Iowa sales tax rate is 6%.

Wind

For wind energy the exemption includes the total cost of wind energy equipment and all materials used to manufacture, install, or construct wind energy systems. The exemption does not apply to equipment used to construct a plant to manufacture wind energy systems.

Solar

Effective July 1, 2006, solar energy equipment is also exempt from the state sales tax. Solar equipment means any equipment that is used to convert incident solar radiation to energy, or equipment used

Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (Personal)

Note: As of April 2015, capacity limits for both 476C and 476B tax credits had been reached or had applications pending approval that would result in the capacity limit being reached. Applications in excess of capacity limits will be placed on a waiting list. However, H.F. 645, enacted in June 2015 and effective beginning January 2015, added 10 MW of utility-owned (or contracted) solar for 476C eligibility. 

In June 2005, Iowa enacted legislation creating two separate production tax credit programs for energy generated by eligible wind and renewable energy facilities. An eligible facility can qualify for only one of the

Renewable Energy Production Tax Credits (Corporate)

Note: As of April 2015, capacity limits for both 476C and 476B tax credits had been reached or had applications pending approval that would result in the capacity limit being reached. Applications in excess of capacity limits will be placed on a waiting list. However, H.F. 645, enacted in June 2015 and effective beginning January 2015, added 10 MW of utility-owned (or contracted) solar for 476C eligibility. 

In June 2005, Iowa enacted legislation creating two separate production tax credit programs for energy generated by eligible wind and renewable energy facilities. An eligible facility can qualify for only one of the

Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate (Offered by 18 Utilities)

Bright Energy Solutions offers energy efficiency cash incentive programs to residential and business customers of municipal utilities that are members of Missouri River Energy Services. In Iowa, this includes:

  • Alton Municipal Utilities
  • Atlantic Municipal Utilities
  • City of Pella
  • Denison Municipal Utilities
  • Hartley Municipal Utilities
  • Hawarden Municipal Utilities
  • Kimballton Municipal Utilities
  • Lake Park Municipal Utilities
  • Manilla Municipal Utilities
  • Orange City Municipal Utilities
  • Paullina Municipal Utilities
  • Primghar Municipal Utilities
  • Remsen Municipal Utilities
  • Rock Rapids Municipal Utilities
  • Sanborn Municipal Utilities
  • Shelby Municipal Utilities
  • Sioux Center Municipal Utilities
  • Woodbine Municipal Light and Power 

Rebates are offered for a variety of efficient technologies and measures

Rural Electric Cooperatives Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs (Offered by 12 Utilities)

The Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO) is a generation and transmission cooperative serving 12 rural electric cooperatives (REC) and one municipal electric cooperative in the state of Iowa. They are:
 
  • Clarke Electric Cooperative 
  • Consumers Energy Cooperative 
  • East-Central Iowa REC 
  • Eastern Iowa Light and Power Cooperative
  • Farmers Electric Cooperative
  • Guthrie REC
  • Linn County REC
  • Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative
  • Midland Power Cooperative 
  • Pella Cooperative Electric Association 
  • Southwest Iowa REC 
  • T.I.P. REC
  • South Iowa Municipal Electric Cooperative Association (SIMECA)

CIPCOs’ members serve a population of nearly 320,000 rural and urban residents in 58 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Each has established energy efficiency

Solar Easements

Iowa's solar access easement provision allows for access to sunlight to operate a solar energy system. Those who are unable to obtain a voluntary solar easement from a property owner may apply to the solar access regulatory board for an order granting a solar access easement if the relevant city council or county board of supervisors has created such a board. In the absence of such a board, the matter is referred to the local district court. Applications for an easement must contain specific information about the size, location, and orientation of the solar energy system as well as a

Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Corporate)

Iowa offers a 15% corporate tax credit for solar energy systems. Specifically, the law allows individuals and corporations to claim a state tax credit worth 50% of the Federal Investment Tax Credit, which is set at 30% of installed costs (50% * 30% = 15%). Each taxpayer may claim up to $5,000 for residential systems and $20,000 for commercial systems under this program, and any excess credits may be carried over for up to 10 years. 

A taxpayer may claim a credit for each separate and distinct solar installation. The cumulative value of the tax credits claimed by applicants

Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Personal)

Iowa offers a 15% individual tax credit for solar energy systems. Specifically, the law allows individuals to claim a state tax credit worth 50% of the Federal Residential Tax Credit, which is set at 30% of installed costs (50% * 30% = 15%). Each taxpayer may claim up to $5,000 for residential systems and $20,000 for commercial systems under this program, and any excess credits may be carried over for up to 10 years. 

An individual may claim the tax credit allowed an LLC, S corporation, trust, estate, or partnership that elects to have the income taxed directly to the

Waverly Light & Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates

Waverly Light and Power (WL&P) offers rebates for the purchase and installation of a variety of energy efficiency measures and the purchase of energy efficient appliances. Rebates are available for: 

  • Central AC units 
  • Water Heaters
  • Heat Pumps
  • Spray foam insulation and air sealing
  • Appliance recycling

WL&P Also offers free weatherization measures for interested customers. For further information these programs, including lists of eligible appliance models and participating dealers, customers should consult the program web site or contact the utility.

Waverly Light & Power - Residential Solar Thermal Rebates

Waverly Light and Power (WL&P) offers rebates for solar hot water heating systems to its residential customers. All purchases must be pre-approved through WL&P's solar water heater application process. In addition, residential customers must obtain a county-issued permit prior to installing a solar water heating system. There is a limit of one rebate per address. Funding is available until the rebate fund is exhausted.
 
Visit the Waverly Light and Power Solar Hot Water Heater rebate web site for more information.