Attention all Iowa Homeowners: Money-Saving Solar Incentives Abound

Solar Panel InstallationsFederal incentives are available to people in all 50 states, and they are intended to encourage people to make the switch to renewable energy sources. Iowa has additional advantages which will not only result in lower electricity costs for the long term, but they will also significantly cut the cost of solar installation. Among those benefits are Iowa state incentives as well as rebates and incentives from utility companies.

Going Solar is Smart

Iowa incentives and rebates aside for a moment, there are other undeniable benefits to installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on your rooftop; and it’s just smart to get in on them. Whether you live in Iowa, New Jersey, California, Wisconsin, or anywhere else, the following are great benefits of going solar:

  • Every month you can save money on your electric bill; and your savings begin immediately, even if you finance your solar PV system, in the majority of cases. In addition, your solar system pays for itself entirely over time.
  • Having solar panels helps to protect you against hikes in electricity rates. Every time the cost of gasoline increases, it’s like you are increasing your amount of savings by using solar energy. Over the past 30 years, utility rates have gone up, on average, 5% annually. In 2006 alone, some residential rates jumped as much as 55% in more than one state.
  • The value of your home is increased by $20,000 for every $1,000 reduction in annual electricity rates. Even if you are concerned you may be moving, a solar installation will pay off in the end.
  • You reduce the amount of air pollution, such as carbon dioxide emissions, when you use solar energy, which is 100% clean. Fewer power plants that produce dangerous gases would need to be built if more people were using solar electricity.
  • Solar helps achieve energy independence. The price stability of solar power is unaffected by the effects of natural disaster and instability of foreign oil sources. In addition, there is less strain on the public power grid when more people are drawing clean energy from the sun.

Two of Many Iowa Solar Incentives

A solar tax credit is available for solar PV and solar thermal systems in Iowa, thanks to Senate File 2342, signed on May 25, 2012, by Governor Branstad. The cap on the awards is $1.5 million, and the credits are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis. The income tax credit is for solar energy systems which are installed on Iowa property. The following are a few details about how the tax credit is computed:

  • Dubuque Iowa Solar StoreFor resident properties: 50% of the solar-related federal residential energy efficient property credit provided in sections 48(a)(3)(A)(i) and 48(a)(3)(A)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Code, the maximum amount being $3,000.
  • For commercial & agricultural properties: 50% of the solar-related federal energy credit provided in sections 48(a)(3)(A)(i) and 48(a)(3)(A)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Code, for a maximum of $15,000.

There is a website which shows the long list of Iowa incentives and rebates for renewable energy such as solar on the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiencies.

Contact our Iowa NASS store- Dubuque Solar Store– for help in sorting out rebates and incentives that may be available to you as you make the smart decision to switch to solar energy.

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Solar Power Benefits for Veterans and the Military

low cost solar panels

Organizations work to bring low cost solar panels to the homes of returning US soldiers.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to past and present military personnel who defend our freedoms.  The solar energy industry has found various ways in which to say thanks, including providing cost-effective solar-powered electricity for veterans and current military members who are home from deployment and more.

Adopt-A-Solar-Panel

In New Jersey, for instance, the Adopt-A-Solar-Panel program can benefit military families in a couple of ways.  First, veterans are given the opportunity to sell solar panels; when they do, they are able to be rewarded with commissions of an above-average amount.  In addition to that, organizations and companies can allow a portion of the money they pay for new solar installations to go toward providing free solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems to organizations which benefit the military, such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

In a recent release, the Adopt-A-Solar-Panel Program was introduced as a way to help veterans garner sizeable sales commissions for each organized program sale and as a way to provide clean energy to non-profit organizations by linking them with sponsors.

Military Base Installations

solar panel installations

The US military is always looking for ways to use more alternative energy.

The United States military is also aggressively pursuing partnerships that encourage greater use of clean energy.  There is a billion dollar effort underway to add solar panels to 120,000 housing units that are privately managed housing for use by the U.S. military. A federal loan guarantee worth hundreds of millions fell through in 2011, but the developer and a solar-savvy bank got together to provide funding for this huge solar project for use by the military with a combination of debt and equity.

These privately managed military projects will be able to qualify for 30% tax incentive credit which applies through the end of 2016. Combine that incentive with the fact that PV modules have experienced a drop in prices in the last few years and we have an entirely new set of financial circumstances; thus, making it possible for the military to proceed with ambitious plans for going green.

The original plan that called for generating 371 megawatts of solar power from a total of 160,000 PV installations on military bases situated in 33 different states has been downsized, but the effort still qualifies as the largest single rooftop solar project in the U.S.

San Fernando-Santa Clarita Valley Habitat for Heroes

An offshoot of Habitat for Humanity, which is a nationwide organization, the San Fernando-Santa Clarita Valley Habitat for Heroes has announced recently that they will team up with solar installers in California to provide solar PV arrays for veterans’ homes at no charge.  The current plan is to build 80 brand new homes beginning in spring 2013, all of which will be powered with solar energy.

The program will also allow qualified veterans the opportunity to get a drastically reduced rate on a new California solar installation on a home they already own.  Thanks to the program, one family has been able to afford the purchase of a system which would have otherwise cost them about $23,000; they are now well equipped to reduce their previous $300 monthly energy costs.

subsidized solar

The organization called Habitat for Heroes helps out US soldiers by providing them with free or subsidized solar panels for their homes.

Naval Weapons Station Goes Solar

The largest solar installation used by the Navy has been installed at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, which is located approximately 120 miles from Los Angeles.  About 30% of the station’s annual electricity needs are being provided by a new PV power plant which generates 13.78 megawatts of solar power.

This installation has the benefit of solar trackers, which ensure that the panels can track the sun and capture the maximum amount of electricity possible.

This power plant was financed through a 20-year term solar power purchase agreement (PPA).  Neither upfront capital nor maintenance obligations were required by the Navy to secure this system which will provide electricity at up to 30% below the available rate through 10-year PPAs.

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