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Iowa Solar Energy Incentives and Net Metering

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Iowa is a largely agricultural state and ranks 5th in the nation for per capita energy consumption. Although they are not a leader in terms of solar policy, ranking 23 rd in terms of solar policy, Iowa was the first state in the country to require its investor-owned utilities to obtain a certain percent of their total power from renewable energy. The state has further joined in on the debate on net metering, with the Iowa Utilities Board considering putting a cap on net metering as early as April 1 st, 2017. While current users will be able to keep their current rates, installers and solar proponents worry that the cap hinder homeowners and businesses from adopting solar. The Iowa Utilities Board ensures that the tariff will be temporary, and will only be in affect over a three-year study period. The coalition of solar companies and nonprofit groups is actively working on trying to sway the decision in their favor with an online petition.

Regardless of its rankings in terms of solar policy and the debate over net metering, Iowa offers a number of incentives to homeowners and businesses that help alleviate some of the costs of the initial investment into renewables. The Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption, available for wind, solar, and hydroelectric, ensures that all renewable equipment purchased is tax free. The Kalona Renewable Energy Purchase Rate is a performance-based incentive available for solar and wind systems. In order to take advantage, homeowners must participate in the Green Power Project, and be a member of its Cooperative as well as signing a ten-year contract. The Green Power Project pays members $0.0125 per kilowatt hour for 100% of energy consumption through a renewable, as well as an additional $0.06 for energy sold back to the grid.

The widest spread incentive is the Aliant Energy Residential Efficiency Rebate, which covers insulation, heat pumps, programmable thermostats, and other high-efficiency HVAC systems. It will cover up to 50% of all installation costs covered including:

  • Central Air Conditioners: $200-$500
  • Air Source Heated Pumps: $300-$600
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps: $1,600-$3,200
  • Programmable Thermostats: $10-$50
  • Tank Water Heater: $75
  • Electrical Heat Pump Water Heater: $300
  • Ceiling/Foundation/Wall Insulation: 70% of Total Installation Cost up to $750
  • Caulking/Weather Stripping: 70% of Total Installation Up to $250
  • Room Air Conditioners: $20
  • Solid/Thermal Entry Door: $10-$25
  • LEO & CFL Bulbs: 50% of Cost

See the list below for additional incentives and rebates as well as state regulations in Iowa.


Renewable Energy Incentives


Corporate Tax Exemption:
  • Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate)
  • Energy Replacement Generation Tax Exemption
Loan Program:
  • Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs)
  • Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs)
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas and Electric) - Low Interest Energy Efficiency Loan Program
  • USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan Guarantees
  • FHA PowerSaver Loan Program
  • U.S. Department of Energy - Loan Guarantee Program
  • USDA - Biorefinery Assistance Program
  • Energy-Efficient Mortgages
  • IADG Energy Bank Revolving Loan Program
  • Alternate Energy Revolving Loan Program
  • MidAmerican Energy (Gas and Electric) - Residential Energy Advantage Loan Program
Corporate Tax Credit:
  • Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)
  • Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
  • Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders
  • Renewable Energy Production Tax Credits (Corporate)
  • Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Corporate)
Grant Program:
  • Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Tribal Energy Program Grant
  • USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program
  • USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program
  • USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants
  • USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program
  • MidAmerican Energy (Electric) - Municipal Solid-State Lighting Grant Program
Rebate Program:
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas and Electric) - Farm Equipment Energy Efficiency Incentives
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Electric) - Business Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas and Electric) - New Home Construction Incentives
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light (Gas) - Business Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • Rural Electric Cooperatives Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs (Offered by 12 Utilities)
  • Waverly Light & Power - Residential Solar Thermal Rebates
  • Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative - Solar Water Heater Rebate Program
  • Muscatine Power and Water - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates
  • Cedar Falls Utilities - Residential New Construction Program
  • Cedar Falls Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Black Hills Energy (Gas) - Residential New Construction Rebate Program
  • Black Hills Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • Black Hills Energy (Gas) Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • MidAmerican Energy (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • MidAmerican Energy (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • Cedar Falls Utilities - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • MidAmerican Energy (Gas) - Commercial Energy Advantage Rebate Program
  • MidAmerican Energy (Electric) - Commercial Energy Advantage Rebate Program
  • MidAmerican Energy (Gas and Electric) - Commercial New Construction Energy-Efficiency Program
  • Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate (Offered by 16 Utilities)
  • Atmos Energy (Gas) - Residential Efficiency Program
  • Business Energy Efficiency Rebate (Offered by 16 Utilities)
  • Muscatine Power and Water - Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Rebates
  • Farmers Electric Cooperative (Kalona) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Linn County Rural Electrical Cooperative - Agricultural Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Linn County Rural Electric Cooperative - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Farmers Electric Cooperative (Kalona) - Residential Efficiency Matching Grant Program
  • Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate (Offered by Several Cooperative Utilities)
  • Ames Electric Department - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
  • Indianola Municipal Utilities - Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
  • Waverly Light & Power - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebates
  • Ames Electric Department - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
Personal Tax Credit:
  • Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
  • Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit
  • Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit (Personal)
  • Geothermal Tax Credit
  • Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Personal)
Personal Tax Exemption:
  • Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Personal)
Corporate Depreciation:
  • Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)
Corporate Tax Deduction:
  • Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction
Performance-Based Incentive:
  • Farmers Electric Cooperative (Kalona) - Renewable Energy Purchase Rate
Sales Tax Incentive:
  • Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption
Property Tax Incentive:
  • Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
  • Methane Gas Conversion Property Tax Exemption
  • Local Option - Special Assessment of Wind Energy Devices
Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards:
  • Federal Appliance Standards


Regulatory Policies


Green Power Purchasing:
  • U.S. Federal Government - Green Power Purchasing Goal
Interconnection:
  • Interconnection Standards for Small Generators
  • Interconnection Standards
Energy Efficiency Resource Standard:
  • Energy Efficiency Standard
Net Metering:
  • Net Metering
Renewables Portfolio Standard:
  • Alternative Energy Law (AEL)
Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing:
  • City of Dubuque - Solar Thermal Licensing Requirement
  • Small Wind Innovation Zone Program and Model Ordinance
Solar/Wind Access Policy:
  • Solar Easements
Solar/Wind Permitting Standards:
  • Small Wind Innovation Zone Program and Model Ordinance
Generation Disclosure:
  • Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure
Mandatory Utility Green Power Option:
  • Mandatory Utility Green Power Option
Energy Standards for Public Buildings:
  • Energy Efficiency in State Facilities
  • Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Government
Building Energy Code:
  • Building Energy Code


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