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Best 3 Solar Companies in Cedar Falls, IA

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Written By Max Peterson|Last Updated: April 18, 2024

Cedar Falls homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to generate energy and heat their water. If you reside in one of the area's numerous old homes, you might question whether your electrical system would accommodate solar panels. However, new technology and knowledgeable installers can help these homeowners access sustainable, clean power. On this page, we'll show you Cedar Falls' top solar providers and share expert advice for your solar journey.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons

Top Cedar Falls Solar Companies

Purelight Power of Cedar Rapids Logo

Purelight Power of Cedar Rapids

4.6/5
Based on 142 customer reviews.

Services Offered

ConsultationPermit AssistancePanel InstallationGrid-Tied Solar System

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
1120 Depot Ln Se #100, Cedar Rapids, IA 319-382-7581 purelightpower.com
Prodigy Power Logo

Prodigy Power

4.4/5
Based on 52 customer reviews.

Services Offered

ConsultationPermit AssistancePanel Installation

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
3289 Armar Dr, Marion, IA 800-871-6998 prodigypower.solar

Ranking Methodology

We evaluated dozens of Cedar Falls solar installers, using the following criteria to select the best:

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Facts about Cedar Falls
Average Max Temp:57°F
Solar Payback Period:10.6 years
Average Daily Sunlight:52%
Homes Powered by Solar:149
Average Annual Energy Bill:$1,253
Solar Power per Capita Percentile:48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy offers several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Better energy independence: Solar panel systems can keep your home running through emergencies and blackouts. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery backup system.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Utilizing solar is a surefire way to lower your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Lowered energy bills: You can skip the expensive cost of grid-tied power by creating some electricity at home. Plus, many states offer net metering which can allow you to sell your unused energy back to help pay for your energy bill.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Cedar Falls Homeowners?

Governments and utilities often incentivize homeowners for adopting solar. Here are some of the tax credits, rebates, or other programs you could qualify for.

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% of value added by renewable system

Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive

Website: tax.iowa.gov

Incentive Amount:

100% of sales tax

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: tax.iowa.gov

Incentive Amount:

50% of Federal ITC (15% for 2019 and earlier, 13% for 2020, 11% for 2021, 5% for 2022, 0% for 2023 and later).

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: state.ia.us

Incentive Amount:

Property valued at 0% of the net acquisition cost in the first assessment year, increasing annually by 5 percentage points to a maximum of 30% of the net acquisition cost in the 7th and succeeding years

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: iowa.gov

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption for 10 years

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: tax.iowa.gov

Incentive Amount:

20% of the Federal Tax Credit, equivalent to 6% of the system cost

Incentive Type: Corporate Tax Exemption

Website: tax.iowa.gov

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption for self-generators, landfill gas and wind
Reduced rate for large hydro

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: alliantenergy.com

Incentive Amount:

Advanced Power Strips: up to $20
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

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: cfu.net

Incentive Amount:

Clothes Washers: $100
Clothes Dryers: $50-$100
Water Heater (Tank or Tankless): $300
Heat Pump Water Heater: $400
Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling: $50
Window A/C Recycling: $25
LED Bulbs: Instant in-store rebate
LED Lighting Fixture: 50% of cost
Natural Gas Boiler: up to $400
Natural Gas Furnace with Variable Speed Blower Motor: Up to $200
Central A/C: Up to $350
Ground-Source Heat Pumps: Up to $300/ton of new ground loop plus up to $300/ton of heating capacity installed
Air-Source Heat Pumps: $600
Ductless Mini Split Systems: up to $100/ton cooling
Duct Work Modifications: 30-75% of cost
Programmable Thermostat: $50
Attic and Sealing Insulation: 60% of cost
Sidewall Insulation: 60% of cost
Foundation Insulation: 60% of cost
Duct Insulation: 60% of cost
Rim/Band Joist Insulation: 60% of cost
Air Sealing, Caulking, and Weather-Stripping: 60% of cost
Doors: $25-$75

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Cedar Falls

The more thorough your company research is, the better your solar installation will ultimately function. Make your choice based on the following crucial aspects.

Licensing and Training

In Iowa, anyone making at least $2,000 per year from non-DIY solar or electrical work is a contractor and must pursue licensure from the Division of Labor. To install solar PV systems, a company will need a journeymens' or electrical contractors' license. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private accreditations. Two of the most respected are the Solar Heating Installer and PV Installation Professional certificates, awarded by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). Some companies don't publish this information online, so you should also ask your estimator about them.

Cost of Solar Panels in Cedar Falls

Your solar panels' style will affect how much power you can generate. Monocrystalline panels are among the highest quality and cost the most but perform the best. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. Thin-film panels have a low cost and are excellent for non-traditional roofs, but aren't recommended for large home installations.

You can also add battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can boost your solar system's performance. Not every solar contractor provides these additional features, so look for a provider that installs them if it's a priority for you.

If you're a resident of Cedar Falls and are looking into a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $20,050 for materials and labor. See more information on specific component and solar panel costs in the table.

Solar Panel CostAverage Cost
Solar Monocrystalline$1,104
Solar Polycrystalline$861
Thin-Film$504
Solar Battery$707
Solar Home EV Charger$2,650

Financing Solar Energy in Cedar Falls

Solar providers use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar leases, solar loans and cash payments. Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most economical choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the second most effective option. As with a car loan or mortgage, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for money-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly rate to rent your panels, while a power purchase agreement lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally don't recommend these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in specific circumstances. Ask each company you're considering about the financing options it offers. A representative can help you determine the optimal option for your financial situation.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Cedar Falls.

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal solar tax credit on total system costs, so long as you purchase it before 2032. Local governments and utilities might also offer their own financing programs, rebates, and incentives that could save you more money.

Solar System CapacityEstimated Payback period
1 kW2.1 years
2 kW4.3 years
5 kW10.6 years
10 kW21.3 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Cedar Falls

How much money could I save by going solar in Cedar Falls?

Most Cedar Falls homeowners spend about $1,253 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $917.28 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How popular is solar energy in Cedar Falls?

Yes, solar energy is becoming increasingly popular in Cedar Falls. Some homes already generate solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're supported by a state solar economy with 869 workers and counting.

Should I anticipate a property value increase after switching to solar energy?

Yes, new solar systems lead to higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could increase your home's value by $12,000.

How long is a Cedar Falls solar panel's average lifespan?

Today's solar systems are impressively durable, lasting up to 25 years. Monocrystalline panels and other high-end models tend to live longer than "budget-friendly" models.

What maintenance do my solar panels need, and how often do they need it?

Solar panels don't require much maintenance to keep working well. All you'll need to do is clean and inspect the panels every six months or as necessary in dusty seasons. Solar installers frequently offer maintenance packages to assist in your system's care.

What size should my new Cedar Falls solar system be?

A typical Cedar Falls solar home has a 9.7-kW panel array, but you might need a smaller system if your energy needs are higher. Solar installers will evaluate your property's energy consumption and roof shading to determine the appropriate system for you.

How can I boost my solar system's performance?

To enhance your solar system's performance, you can implement the following strategies:
  • optimize the panels' position with your solar installer
  • regularly clean your solar panels
  • upgrade to a more efficient inverter trim or cut down trees in the way of your panels
  • use energy-efficient appliances

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

Sources