2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Ames, IA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Ames.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Ames solar installers to see how much you can save.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Ames?
Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems
Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption
Solar Energy Systems Tax Credit (Personal)
Local Option - Special Assessment of Wind Energy Devices
Methane Gas Conversion Property Tax Exemption
Geothermal Heat Pump Tax Credit
Energy Replacement Generation Tax Exemption
Reduced rate for large hydro
Alliant Energy Interstate Power and Light - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
Air Source Heat Pump: $300-$800 for existing homes, $180-$480 for new homes
Appliance Recycling: up to $50
Central A/C: $150-$600 for existing homes, $90-$360 for new homes
Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump: Varies
Electric Heat Pump Water Heater: $300-$350 for existing homes, $180-$210 for new homes
Electric HVAC System Tune-Up: up to $50
Gas Furnace: $180 for existing homes, $80 for new homes
Geothermal Heat Pump: $1,320-$1,750 for existing homes, $790-$1,050 for new homes
Learning Thermostat: $100 for existing homes, $60 for new homes
LED Light Bulbs: In-Store Rebates
Online Home Energy Assessment: FREE
Room Air Purifier: up to $30
Variable Speed Pool Pumps: up to $220
Ames Electric Department - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs
Energy Audit: FREE
LED Lighting: 20% of cost
Refrigerators: $25 - $75
Clothes Washing Machines: $50
Electric Dryer: $50
Air Conditioner: Varies by technology
Solar Photovoltaics: $300/kW
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. The incentives may include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, some by the Iowa government and some by your utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which would allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when paying property tax on your house. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. These might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Ames utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you may make back a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives may be the first thing that comes to mind. You might have heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit equal to a specified percentage of the money you spend installing solar panels.
The ITC covers solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, accessories and equipment. You can receive this credit for a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To find out exactly how much the ITC could save you, get in touch with your local Ames solar panel installer.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was expanded and extended by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. Homeowners are now eligible for a credit of 30% of the total solar system installation costs for projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed before the end of 2032. The percentage will then decrease yearly until the Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, reach out to your local Ames solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; tax credits, rebates and more are often offered at the state and local level. These incentives — which may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Iowa — could be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Ames
The expanding number of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the last 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from the Iowa government, the federal government or your local utility company. Reach out to your local solar panel installer today to learn more and to save the most money possible on solar panels for your Ames home.
Best Warranty Coverage
- Industry-leading warranty coverage
- Expansive service area
- Some reported communication issues
- No leases or PPAs
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Ames, IA Solar Incentives FAQs
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Ames' top solar panel companies.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
You can decrease your carbon footprint by 450 pounds of CO2 a year by switching to solar panels. This adds up to approximately 9,000 pounds in 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, previously called the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is scheduled to end on January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
Can I claim incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are eligible for, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming the correct incentives and getting the most money you can.
Can I use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Be sure to go over your ideas with your local Ames solar installer. They can help you as you plan for your project and also help you understand the various incentives that you may or may not qualify for.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.