Solar Panel Cost Guide in Iowa City, IA (Feb 2023)

  • Iowa City Solar Installation Cost: $18,692
  • 25-Year Savings: $24,336
  • Payback Period: 10.9 Years

See cost of a solar system near you:

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

Why you can trust EcoWatch

We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

Average Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa City

Find out what the average cost of installing solar panels is in Iowa City.

Currently, the national average cost of solar panels is $2.66 per watt. However, in Iowa City, the average cost of solar panels is $3 per watt. Using this figure, a typical 9.6 would cost about $18,692 before the 30% federal solar tax credit is applied.

The actual price you pay can go higher or lower than the average in Iowa City depending on a few factors, such as the model of solar panels you choose and the solar contractor you hire. For many homeowners, the upfront investment in solar panels is worth paying. On average homeowners in Iowa City see about $17,000 in savings on utility bills over 20 years.

You can click the button below to get connected with a top solar installer in Iowa City that can help you get a more accurate cost estimate for your home.

Solar savings over time in Iowa City

Year Return on Investment
1 years $-16,971
3 years $-13,529
5 years $-10,086
7 years $-6,644
9 years $-3,202
11 years $240
13 years $3,683
15 years $7,125
17 years $10,567
19 years $14,010
21 years $17,452
23 years $20,894
25 years $24,336

Top Solar Installers in Iowa City

Although it's possible to install solar panels on your own, it requires extra time and knowledge. Because of that, almost all homeowners choose to go with a solar panel installer. A solar company can also help save you money over the lifespan of your system by providing warranties, repairs and component replacements.

There are several licensed solar professionals that can install solar panels for you. Here are our suggestions:

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • 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

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

See all of the solar companies in Iowa City

Factors that Affect Solar Panel Costs in Iowa City

For many Iowa City homeowners, the decision to adopt solar energy rests on cost. However, the range of solar installation costs can be quite wide in Iowa City, with typical prices between $20,000 to $40,000. There are a number of factors that greatly influence the price you'll pay, which we'll go over below.

Solar Equipment

The size of the solar energy system you need to offset your energy usage, which is measured in kilowatts, is the most significant cost factor to consider. For every additional kilowatt you need, you can expect your total to increase by about $2,770. The type of solar panels and equipment you want is another factor that will considerably influence costs. Solar panels that have higher efficiency, like monocrystalline panels, tend to come at a higher price. Plus, solar equipment is more than just the solar panels themselves. You'll also need to make decisions about the kind of racks used to mount the panels, inverters, solar batteries, etc. It's important to take all of this into consideration when looking into a solar system that's in your budget.

Solar Financing Terms

For some homeowners, paying for solar panels out of pocket can be challenging. Solar loans are available from most installers in Iowa City, which can bring down, or in some cases completely eliminate, your upfront costs to make solar more accessible. However, the interest on solar loans also adds to your total costs, so it's important to take that into consideration as well. You can always lower the total you pay in interest and in some cases even your APR by making a larger down payment.

Solar Panel Installation Company

The solar installation company you pick will impact your total cost to make the switch to solar energy. Different companies will bill different amounts for the equipment and labor. Additionally, some companies in Iowa City have more knowledge about local solar incentives and can help you take advantage of additional rebates or tax exemptions. However, they may charge more for that service. Even if they cost more upfront, they could help you save more money in the long run.

Solar Panel Cost Data by System Size

System size Cost per system watt Solar system cost 25-Year savings Payback period
6 kW $2.88 $12,099 $14,687 11.3 years
8 kW $2.83 $15,822 $19,894 11.1 years
10 kW $2.77 $19,390 $25,255 10.9 years
12 kW $2.71 $22,803 $30,771 10.6 years
14 kW $2.66 $26,060 $36,442 10.4 years
16 kW $2.60 $29,163 $42,269 10.2 years
18 kW $2.55 $32,110 $48,251 10.0 years
20 kW $2.49 $34,902 $54,387 9.8 years

How to Save on Solar Panels

The company that does your system installation will affect the warranties and brands available to you, and it will also have an impact on your total cost. Since choosing a company can be difficult, we have some tips to help you, such as:

  • Installation Process: Get details from your solar company about the installation process and what to expect, including when the site survey will be completed and how long it will take.
  • Reputation: Your solar installer should have a sound reputation as a company and have demonstrated expertise in the field. Two ways to check this are to look for whether a company has technicians that hold a certification from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and if it has satisfied reviews from previous customers.
  • Solar Panel Brands: Homeowners will have different preferences for panels based on their locations and energy needs. Even though there are many options for which model of solar panel you can get, not every company will have the exact one you may want or need, so be sure to ask for their list of offerings before deciding.
  • Contract: Although reading through a contract can take a lot of time, it's important to do it thoroughly so you can make sure you understand how much the equipment and services will cost and the terms of the warranty.

Best National Provider

SunPower

★★★★★
5.0

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer

Best Technology

Tesla Energy

★★★★★
4.5

  • 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

Best Warranty Coverage

Sunpro Solar

★★★★★
4.0

  • Industry-leading warranty coverage
  • Expansive service area
  • Some reported communication issues
  • No leases or PPAs

EcoWatch's Iowa City, IA Solar Cost FAQs

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

This is a hard question to answer exactly, because the cost depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, it costs about $13,850 for a 5-kW system and $27,700 for a 10-kW system after the ITC is applied. It will cost more if you want additional solar equipment or higher quality panels, or if you have higher-than-average energy consumption. On the flip side, you can spend less if you want a smaller solar panel system or less efficient solar panels.

Are solar panels free in Iowa City?

You can't get solar panels for free in Iowa City. However, you may still be able to install them on a lower budget. You can lease solar panels for a low upfront cost or, if you'd prefer to own your solar panels, you can finance them with a solar loan.

How much can I save on electricity bills after switching to solar?

Solar panels can potentially eliminate your electricity bills depending on your location and how much sunlight your home gets. Even if it doesn't get rid of them completely, you can save a lot of money on your bills, about $892.89 per year.

How long do solar panels last in Iowa City?

Though the average lifespan of solar panels is 25 to 30 years, that doesn't mean they are completely unusable at that time. What this means is how much energy they produce will have decreased significantly after that point. You can replace them once you've had them for that long or you can continue to use them at a lower efficiency.

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.

Company 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.

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