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  • Written by
    Max Peterson
  • Fact Checked
  • Updated

Iowa City homeowners are fortunate to live in plentiful sunlight, both to appreciate and use for energy. Many are working with top solar installers to get panels on their roofs. Local homeowners might opt for solar to break free of high power costs from sources like wind. A professional solar installer can help you set up and optimize a system that fulfills your energy needs without breaking the bank. In this guide, we'll highlight Iowa City's best solar installers and offer advice for your company choice, so you can find the right one for your home.

6 Best Solar Companies in Iowa City

Brands are algorithmically curated from a database of local service providers near you. We require a minimum number of Google reviews and average ratings for provider inclusion.

Top Rated Provider
True Solar Logo
Top Rated

True Solar

4.7/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 53 reviews


170 Greenfield Dr Unit D, Tiffin, IA 52340

(855) 873-2797

truesolariowa.com
Iowa Solar Pros Logo

Iowa Solar Pros

4.5/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 20 reviews


2431 Coral Ct #1, Coralville, IA 52241

(319) 929-0992

www.iowasolarpros.com
Purelight Power of Cedar Rapids Logo

Purelight Power of Cedar Rapids

4.6/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 146 reviews


1120 Depot Ln SE #100, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

(319) 382-7581

purelightpower.com/cedar-rapids-solar...
ECG Solar Cedar Rapids Logo

ECG Solar Cedar Rapids

4.6/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 20 reviews


4701 1st Ave SE #10, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

(319) 326-0763

ecgsolar.com/locations/cedar-rapids-i...
Prodigy Power Logo

Prodigy Power

4.4/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 53 reviews


3289 Armar Dr, Marion, IA 52302

(800) 871-6998

prodigypower.solar

ECG Solar Iowa

4.6/5

Ratings are based on our detailed proprietary methodology and review standards.

Based on 155 reviews


9663 230th Ave, Anamosa, IA 52205

(319) 326-0922

ecgsolar.com

Ranking Methodology

Our team used the following criteria to determine the best Iowa City solar companies.

  • Warranty and service offerings: Solar installers should stand behind their systems and services with warranties. We evaluated how each provider responds to issues and warranty claims, focusing on timeliness and customer happiness.
  • Reviews and feedback from customers: Most Iowa City solar installers have both positive and critical reviews. However, a good review ratio demonstrates a company's dependability and responsiveness to issues.
  • Panel brands and quality: The top solar companies keep up with new technology, providing equipment from cutting-edge and trustworthy manufacturers.
  • Experience and professional licensure: Each contractor on our list meets state and city licensing requirements and keeps current with industry best practices. Many of them have served the Iowa City community for a decade or longer.
  • Educational approach: Solar technicians must be excellent teachers. They should utilize their years of experience answer your questions on how to maintain your system and optimize its performance.

Facts about Iowa City

  • Average Max Temperature:
    59°F
  • Solar Payback Period:
    16 years
  • Average Daily Sunlight:
    52%
  • Homes Powered by Solar:
    284
  • Average Annual Energy Bill:
    $1,176
  • Solar Power per Capita:
    42.4%

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy comes with multiple advantages. Here are some highlights.

  • Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home functioning through blackouts and emergencies. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery storage system.
  • Reduced carbon footprint: The sun is the universe's most abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on "traditional" sources.
  • Lowered energy bills: Solar panels allow you to generate your own energy to power your home, decreasing your monthly electricity costs. You can eliminate your bills completely if you go off-grid. Plus, a significant number of states have adopted net metering, which permit you to earn money by selling your unused energy back to the grid.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Iowa City Homeowners?

Iowa homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for reimbursements, special financing, tax credits and rebates. Here are just a few of the area's incentive programs.

Incentive Type:Property Tax Incentive

Incentive Amount:

100% of value added by renewable system

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Iowa City

The more thorough your company research is, the better your solar panels will ultimately perform. Make your choice based on the following important considerations.

Licensing and Training

In Iowa, anyone making at least $2,000 annually from non-DIY electrical or solar energy 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. Look for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the solar industry's most trusted trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in Iowa City

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels offer the best energy production but cost more than other options and generally have the highest quality. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but start at a more budget-friendly price point. Thin-film panels work well for small projects like RVs and sheds, but they're not ideal for larger installations due to their low performance.

You can also add electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total installation cost, but they can improve your solar system's performance. Not all solar contractors include these additional features, so look for a provider that installs them if it's crucial for you.

If you're a resident of Iowa City and want a five-kilowatt solar energy system, you could plan to spend about $20,050 for materials and labor. Find 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 Iowa City

Solar installers offer multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are power purchase agreements (PPAs), solar leases, cash payments and solar loans. Though it involves a large up-front payment, cash is the most cost-effective choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the next best option. As with a home or auto loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for cost-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 advise against these options since you will not have ownership of your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be appropriate in particular circumstances. Ask each installer you're vetting about the payment plans it offers. A staff member can help you determine the most suitable option for your pocketbook.

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

A 26% federal solar tax credit applies to new home solar systems purchased through 2032. Further incentives may be available through local governments, usually in the form of rebates and special financing programs.

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

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar in Iowa City

Sources

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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