Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)

Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Iowa:

  • Average Cost Per Watt: $2.77
  • Cost of Average System: $18,448*
  • Cost of Energy Without Solar: $42,502
  • Payback Period: 13 Years**
  • Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $17,572

*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 5/22/2022

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Find Cost Savings on Solar in Iowa

As a homeowner in Iowa, you may be wondering: How much do solar panels cost in your area? In this article, we’ll discuss the average cost of a solar installation, how much that can save you on energy for your home and what incentives are available in your region. If you want to jump straight to getting a quote for an installation, you can follow the links below to speak with a verified professional.

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  1. Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa
  2. What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa?
  3. Iowa Solar Incentives
  4. FAQ: Solar Panel Cost Iowa

 

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Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa

Solar panel systems are priced per watt, with an average cost of $2.77 in Iowa. This is above the national average cost of $2.66 per watt. With a typical 9-kW system size to offset the monthly electricity bill of $108 in the state, most Iowa homeowners pay $24,930 for solar before the federal tax credit or $18,448 after the credit. This total cost is above the national average given the higher cost of solar panels and the larger-than-average system size required in Iowa.

Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Iowa

Solar power systems are priced based on the watts required to offset your energy consumption. At a typical per-watt cost of $2.77 in Iowa, every additional kilowatt needed will increase your total price by approximately $2,770. The standard system size needed in Iowa is 9 kilowatts, but the table below provides some average pricing for other typical sizes in the area:

Size of Solar Panel System Iowa Solar Panel Cost Cost After Federal Tax Credit
6 kW $16,620 $12,299
7 kW $19,390 $14,349
8 kW $22,160 $16,398
9 kW $24,930 $18,448
10 kW $27,700 $20,498
11 kW $30,470 $22,548
12 kW $33,240 $24,598

Want to get a free quote from the top solar installers in Iowa that offer affordable, high-quality systems? Click here to see our top picks for solar installers in Iowa.

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa?

Solar panel systems are primarily priced based on the size of the system, which is usually determined by your average monthly energy consumption. However, there are other things to consider when pricing your equipment. Below are some additional cost factors that can significantly affect your cost of going solar.

Solar Equipment

As is the case with any home improvement project, the equipment you choose for your solar conversion can swing the price up or down quite a bit.

The solar equipment brand you select is one thing to consider. Higher-quality brands and pieces of equipment — like Maxeon/SunPower panels and Tesla Powerwalls — will naturally be more costly upfront. However, their higher energy efficiency also means that they can save you more on your electric bills in the long run. If you instead opt for the most affordable solar panel brands, you’ll pay less now but could also save less in the future if they’re lower-efficiency products.

Additionally, the specific pieces of equipment you want to be included in your solar energy system will play a role in your total cost calculation. All home solar projects include solar panels and inverters, but some homeowners choose add-on products like electric vehicle chargers and solar batteries to provide power through outages and at night. Add-on products can increase your total price by thousands of dollars.

Solar Financing

When it comes to paying for solar panels, you have several options. Paying in cash and taking out solar loans are the two that we recommended most often.

Paying for a solar system in cash in Iowa means parting with an average of $18,448 after the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is factored in, but this route is the most affordable over time. Solar financing is often more appealing given the lower cost of entry, but you’ll pay finance charges over time. You can use a solar calculator to figure out the all-in costs of financing your solar system, adding up the equipment and labor costs plus interest over time.

You can save money if you finance with a low-interest-rate loan and also by maximizing your down payment.

Solar Installation Company

Finally, the solar installation company you choose will play a part in how much you pay to go solar in Iowa.

Every installer in the solar industry can charge different pricing for installation costs, and even the same equipment can vary in price between solar contractors.

More important than the installer itself is the equipment provided by the solar company you choose. A solar panel installation company that only deals with high-quality and high-efficiency equipment will naturally cost more, although the more efficient brands stand to save you more money on your utility bills in the long run.

Iowa Solar Incentives

The average cost of $24,930 to go solar in Iowa is very likely intimidating and even unrealistic for many homeowners. Thankfully, the federal government and the state government provide several solar incentives to Iowa residents to make going solar more affordable and accessible. Below are the solar rebates and tax incentives available to homeowners in Iowa.

Iowa Solar Incentive How it Affects the Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa
Property Tax Exemption Iowa’s Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems ensures that, even though your new solar system will increase your home’s value, your property taxes won’t rise as a result.
Sales Tax Exemption Iowa’s Renewable Energy Equipment Exemption ensures that you won’t pay sales tax on the solar equipment you purchase.
Net Metering Through Iowa’s statewide net metering program, if your solar system produces more energy than your home needs, you can feed that power back into the local grid in exchange for credits from your utility company. These credits are valued at the retail cost of electricity and can be used to pay your future utility bills. Learn More
Local Solar Rebates & Incentives Be sure to check with your city, county and utility company for any additional rebates or incentives.
Federal Solar Tax Credit The federal solar tax credit is currently valued at 26% of your total installation costs. It’s slated to be reduced to 22% in 2023 and will be eliminated for residential systems in 2024 unless Congress extends it.

Best Solar Panel Brands and Installed Solar System Costs in 2022

Iowa residents have plenty of solar equipment brands to choose from, ranging from affordable options to some of the most efficient solar panels on the market. The table below provides a list of some of the best solar panels accessible to Iowa homeowners, along with relative pricing to help you determine which are most likely to fit within your budget.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
LG Solar $$$
Canadian Solar $$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

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EcoWatch FAQ: Solar Panel Cost Iowa

The EcoWatch team gets lots of questions from Iowa residents about the cost of solar panels and the process of converting to renewable energy. Below are some of the questions we see most frequently, along with our responses.

How much does it cost to install solar panels in Iowa?

The average cost to install solar panels in Iowa is $2.77 per watt. With a typical system size of 9 kilowatts, most homeowners pay an average of $24,930 before the federal tax credit or $18,448 after the credit.

With that being said, your price can fall significantly above or below this figure. The best way to get an accurate quote for your home is to have a reputable solar installer provide a customized estimate based on your monthly energy needs, shading on your property, the equipment you want and other factors that can affect your total.

Do solar panels increase home value in Iowa?

Yes! Solar installations boost property value in Iowa, and this is one of the premier benefits of going solar. According to a study done by Zillow, the average home jumps up in value by around 4.1%.1 With an average home value in Iowa of $180,839 at the time of publication, that’s a typical increase of approximately $7,414!2 Your value increase could be more significant in higher-value areas, like Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.

It’s important to understand that this increase in value is only expected if you finance or buy your panels via a cash purchase. Leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs) will not provide the same benefits, as with these, you don’t actually own the solar system on your roof.

Is it better to lease or buy solar panels in Iowa?

Generally speaking, it’s better to buy or finance your panels in Iowa. Leasing often seems more appealing, given the low- or no-cost entrance into renewable energy it provides, but it doesn’t let you take advantage of the same benefits.

For example, a solar lease won’t increase your property value, so you’ll miss out on an average of $7,414 with a lease. You also won’t get the federal tax credit, which is another $6,482 you won’t get with a lease.

Additionally, many solar loans offer no-money-down and low-APR options to make them just as appealing and accessible as leases to most homeowners.

Are solar panels free in Iowa?

No, solar panels aren’t free in Iowa or anywhere else. Some companies advertise “free panels,” but they aren’t actually free. These companies are usually trying to get you to sign a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA), neither of which is advisable if you can avoid it.

With that being said, many homeowners in Iowa find that their solar systems pay for themselves over time and save them tens of thousands of dollars in the long run, effectively making the solar system free.

Can solar panels in Iowa eliminate my energy bills?

Yes, an appropriately sized solar panel system can eliminate your energy bills in Iowa. Homeowners in the Hawkeye State have below-average energy needs, relatively low electricity rates and access to state-mandated net metering programs. As long as your roof can handle the system size you need, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem bringing your electric bills down to $0 a month.

What solar power system size is right for my home?

This question is impossible to answer accurately without completing an assessment of your property. The system size you need is based on your average monthly energy consumption in kilowatt-hours, your home’s energy efficiency, the direction your roof faces, the equipment you want to be installed, shading on your property and much more.

The best way to get an accurate estimate for going solar is to have a reputable solar panel installation company complete a site assessment and customize a quote based on your needs.

People Also Ask 

EcoWatch FAQ: Solar Panel Cost Iowa

The EcoWatch team gets lots of questions from Iowa residents about the cost of solar panels and the process of converting to renewable energy. Below are some of the questions we see most frequently, along with our responses.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten Neumeister is a solar energy specialist with a background in writing and the humanities. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the renewable energy sector of New Orleans, focusing on solar energy policy and technology. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.