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Best 4 Solar Companies in Council Bluffs, IA

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Written By Max Peterson | Last Updated: February 05, 2024

Council Bluffs homeowners are increasingly using solar panels to produce their electricity and heat their water. Local homeowners might opt for solar to break free of high power costs from sources like wind. A professional solar company can help you set up and tune a system that matches your energy needs without costing a fortune. In this article, we'll show you Council Bluffs' best solar providers and offer suggestions for your company choice, so you can find the right one for your residence.

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 Council Bluffs Solar Companies

Great Plains Renewables Logo

Great Plains Renewables

4.6/5
Based on 17 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Maintenance Commercial Panels Residential Panels Financing Assistance

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
21854 Platteview Rd #116, Gretna, NE 402-600-0885 greatplainsrenewables.com
ABC Electric Company, Inc. Logo

ABC Electric Company

4.2/5
Based on 24 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Solar Panel Upgrades Residential Panels Cleaning

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Informative resources
  • Prompt service delivery
1012 N 25th St, Lincoln, NE 402-435-3514 abcelectric.net
SWT Energy Logo

SWT Energy

4.4/5
Based on 15 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Battery Storage Energy Efficiency Audit Residential Panels Maintenance Solar Carports Commercial Panels Tesla Powerwall

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
8800 S 55th St, Lincoln, NE 402-440-5064 swtenergy.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team focuses on the following criteria to determine the best Council Bluffs solar companies.

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Facts about Council Bluffs
Average Max Temp: 60°F
Solar Payback Period: 10.6 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 54%
Homes Powered by Solar: 230
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,068
Solar Power per Capita Percentile: 48.0%

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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 has several advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Lowered energy bills: You can skip the added cost of grid-tied power by generating some electricity at home.
  • Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery backups function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the power grid for your safety and well-being.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: Utilizing solar is a surefire way to decrease your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Council Bluffs Homeowners?

Iowa agencies and electric companies offer several solar incentives to help offset your solar system costs. Below is a breakdown of relevant solar programs where you live.

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: 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 Council Bluffs

The more comprehensive your company research is, the better your photovoltaic system will ultimately operate. 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 electrical or solar energy work is a contractor and must pursue licensure from the Division of Labor. To install solar photovoltaic systems, a company will need a journeymens' or electrical contractors' license. Solar installers can also obtain certifications from standards organizations and trade groups. The most prestigious ones in the industry come from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.

Cost of Solar Panels in Council Bluffs

Your solar modules' style will affect how much power you can produce. Monocrystalline panels perform the best but cost the most. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.

Additional components, such as battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) chargers, will increase your overall costs. However, they might make your solar system more efficient and convenient to use. Not all solar companies offer these optional components, so look for a provider that installs them if it's crucial for you.

You can plan to spend about $20,050 on average for a five-kilowatt solar energy system in Council Bluffs. Use the table in this section to get an idea of the amount Council Bluffs solar companies might quote for your specific system.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,106
Solar Polycrystalline $862
Thin-Film $504
Solar Battery $708
Solar Home EV Charger $2,654

Financing Solar Energy in Council Bluffs

Choosing the right financing option will impact your overall solar system cost and expected savings. Common payment options include power purchase agreements, loans, leases, and cash payments. We recommend paying with cash or using a solar loan for the highest return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you’ll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You’ll also own your system and can apply for solar incentives to cut your total costs. Solar loans are another solid option if you don’t want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in installments while still benefiting from energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you’ll pay more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases let you rent your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, akin to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and do not provide you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Ask each installer you're evaluating about the financing options it offers. A team member can help you determine the best option for your pocketbook.

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

You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, local governments and utilities may have their own rebates and financing plans that could reduce your total cost even more.

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 2.1 years
2 kW 4.3 years
5 kW 10.6 years
10 kW 21.3 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Council Bluffs

How much money could I save by going solar in Council Bluffs?

On average, Council Bluffs homeowners spend roughly $1,068 per year on power bills. Once you pay off your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $804.96 for every kilowatt you produce.

Is solar energy easily accessible in Council Bluffs?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Council Bluffs. A growing number of local homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Iowa has about 869 jobs making up its solar economy.

Should I expect a boost in my property value after installing solar panels?

Yes, a solar PV system will boost your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for every dollar you reduce on energy bills, your home value increases by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

What is a Council Bluffs solar panel's average lifespan?

Today's solar systems are impressively durable, lasting up to 25 years. Monocrystalline options and other top-tier models tend to last longer than "budget-friendly" models.

What care do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?

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

What size should my new Council Bluffs solar system be?

A typical Council Bluffs solar home has a 9.4-kW panel array, but you might need a larger system if your energy needs are more demanding. Solar experts will consider your property's power usage and roof shading to recommend the appropriate system for you.

What are the signs I shouldn't use a particular solar company for my job?

Even the most renowned Council Bluffs solar companies will have both glowing and critical reviews. To make the most informed decision possible, focus on these warning signs to know if a company isn't worth your time:
  • Aggressive sales pitch
  • Being evasive about warranties, cost, training and credentials and references
  • Inflexible options
  • Superficial, rushed site evaluation
  • Limited online information

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

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