Solar Panel Cost in Iowa (2022 Local Savings Guide)

In this EcoWatch guide on the cost of solar panels in Iowa, you’ll learn:

  • What the average cost of going solar in Iowa is
  • How solar system sizes affect installation costs in Iowa
  • How Iowans can save money when going solar

This guide has helped thousands of Iowa homeowners save time and money when going solar. Let’s get started!

Ecowatch Author Karsten Neumeister

By Karsten Neumeister, Solar Expert

Updated 9/19/2022

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ADT Solar

  • Pros icon Industry-leading warranty coverage
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Energy Consultants Group (ECG)

  • Pros icon Competitive pricing
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Purelight Power

  • Pros icon Offers products from leading manufacturers
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How Much Do Solar Panels Cost 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 $17,451 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.

Watch Below: 800,000 Acre Solar Power Project Underway in Louisa County

How Do Iowa’s Solar Installation Costs Vary By on System Size?

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 $11,634
7 kW $19,390 $13,573
8 kW $22,160 $15,512
9 kW $24,930 $17,451
10 kW $27,700 $19,390
11 kW $30,470 $21,329
12 kW $33,240 $23,268

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.

See also: Calculate the costs and savings you can get from installing solar panels

What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa?

The average cost of a solar panel system in Iowa is around $17,451 after the federal tax credit, with most homeowners paying anywhere from $11,000 to $24,000 for their systems. The range of typical prices is quite wide because some important cost factors can swing your total up or down by thousands of dollars. 

We’ll discuss these factors below to help you get an idea of what your system will cost.

Solar Equipment

One of the main things that can affect your system total is which equipment you have installed, both in terms of the different pieces of equipment you choose and the equipment brand.

iowa solar panel cost

Iowa residents experience 200 sunny days per year, which is just below the 205-day national average. With a moderate amount of available sunlight, most Iowa residents don’t need to choose the most efficient solar panels available. 

Panels with moderate efficiency to match the quantity and intensity of sunlight in IA should be able to produce enough energy to offset your electricity consumption. This is great news for Iowans, as this means generally lower pricing for required panels.

Additionally, Iowans are no strangers to extreme weather, with tornadoes, intense thunderstorms, hail and other weather events contributing to somewhat-frequent power outages. As a result, many homeowners in the state choose to purchase solar batteries, which are add-on products that will raise the cost of your system but also provide power through blackouts. 

If you choose solar batteries, your system total will likely be higher than average.

Solar Financing in Iowa

The payment method you choose for your solar panels is also a significant cost factor for both up-front and long-term costs. 

Paying with a solar loan, for example, will mean you pay more for your equipment because of interest, but your up-front payment will be minimal or nonexistent. Paying with cash means a huge outlay of money when you install your system, but you’ll save money over time by avoiding interest. Power purchase agreements and solar leases are other no-money-down options, but they tend to cost even more than solar loans.

The State of Iowa does take some steps to help residents secure affordable financing. For example, the Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program and the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program are both designed to make solar loans more accessible and affordable. 

Unfortunately, Iowa doesn’t yet have a solar financing plan to help low-income households secure solar financing.

price of solar panels in iowa

Iowa Solar Installation Company

The solar installation company you choose will affect the price of your system, as well as the overall value you receive.

Each solar installer in Iowa has varying pricing for labor, and some companies discount or upcharge equipment based on supply and demand. Buying the same exact system from two different companies can yield different totals, so you might want to shop around and find an installer that suits your needs and fits into your budget.

Every company also offers different equipment, which can cause disparities in pricing. For example, Energy Consultants Group LLC, a local solar company in Iowa, offers several second-tier and third-tier solar panel options, including LG, Panasonic, Huawei and Solaria. These panels will be less expensive than the top-tier Maxeon panels offered by SunPower, one of the national companies that services Iowa.

It’s important to note that comparing installers based on value is just as important as comparing cost. SunPower’s panels are some of the best in the industry and come with an industry-leading warranty. They are more costly than most other brands, but they might be the best choice for you if you want the highest-quality products.

Additional Considerations and Costs

There are some additional considerations and cost issues you’ll want to think about when installing solar panels in Iowa. We’ll briefly discuss these below.

  • Permits: Each municipality in Iowa requires that you pull building permits and pass inspections for your solar system installation. Most reputable installers will take care of pulling the permits and scheduling the inspections for you, but note that you’ll have to pay the permit fee and might be required to be present for inspections.
  • Licenses: The State of Iowa requires that all photovoltaic installers be registered as licensed electricians within the state. This doesn’t affect your pricing, but you should ensure that your preferred contractor is properly licensed before signing anything.
  • Warranties: Solar panel systems are expensive, so it’s sometimes a good idea to choose an installer or solar panel brand based on the warranty. Warranty coverage includes the equipment, workmanship, power production or some combination of all three. The more comprehensive and lengthy your warranty is, the better.
  • HOAs: Iowa maintains solar rights and easement laws, which prevent homeowners’ associations from prohibiting solar panel systems from being installed. All homeowners have the right to install solar, as well as the right to the airspace above their homes for solar production.
  • Environmental zoning: The zoning laws in Iowa are conducive to solar installation, so it’s unlikely that you’ll run into any issues.

Iowa Solar Savings and 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 30% of your total installation costs. It’s slated to be reduced incrementally starting in 2033 and will be eliminated for residential systems in 2035 unless Congress extends it.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Iowa

Installers in Iowa offer different solar panel brands, and choosing the right one for your home and budget is crucial. The table below includes some of the top solar brands available in Iowa, as well as a relative pricing guide. This should help you figure out which brands are most likely to be affordable given 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 $$$

Ready to see how many panels your home needs and what your total system cost will be? Fill out the form below, and we’ll have a reputable solar installer in your area provide a free quote.

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FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Iowa

The EcoWatch team gets lots of questions from Iowa residents about solar system costs and the process of converting to renewable energy. Below are some of the questions we see most frequently, along with our responses. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at solar@ecowatch.com.

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Karsten Neumeister

Solar Expert

Karsten is a researcher, editor, writer and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.