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Best 4 Solar Companies in Waterloo, IA

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

With Waterloo's clear skies and below-average rainfall, it's an excellent area for families and businesses hoping to harness the added sunlight. Solar installers take a uniquely educational approach, helping homeowners understand the underlying technology and tune it to their requirements. On this page, we'll highlight Waterloo's premier solar installers and provide 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 Waterloo Solar Companies

Prodigy Power Logo

Prodigy Power

4.4/5
Based on 42 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Permit Assistance Solar Panel Upgrades Residential Panels Consultation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
6300 Rockwell Dr Ne Suite 104, Cedar Rapids, IA 800-871-6998 prodigypower.solar
Purelight Power of Cedar Rapids Logo

Purelight Power of Cedar Rapids

4.5/5
Based on 60 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Permit Assistance Consultation Residential Panels

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
1120 Depot Ln Se #100, Cedar Rapids, IA 319-382-7581 purelightpower.com
ECG Solar Iowa Logo

ECG Solar Iowa

4.6/5
Based on 147 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Commercial Panels Off-Grid Solar Systems Consultation Financing Assistance Battery Storage Residential Panels Maintenance Skilled Repairs

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
9635 230th Ave, Anamosa, IA 319-326-0922 ecgsolar.com

Ranking Methodology

We analyzed a multitude of Waterloo solar companies, using the following criteria to determine the superior:

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Facts about Waterloo
Average Max Temp: 57°F
Solar Payback Period: 10.6 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 52%
Homes Powered by Solar: 249
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,176
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 multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Utilizing solar is a surefire way to decrease your carbon footprint and home fossil fuel dependency.
  • Better energy independence: Solar energy can keep your home running through emergencies and blackouts. You can use your solar energy anytime with optional battery backup.
  • Lowered energy bills: With solar panels, you create power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-connected power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Waterloo Homeowners?

Iowa homeowners who decide on solar could qualify for rebates, reimbursements, special financing and tax credits. Here are just a few of the region's incentive offerings.

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 Waterloo

Choosing a company is the first step toward a well-oiled and cost-efficient solar array. Here are some essential aspects to bear in mind while shopping for a solar company.

Licensing and Training

In Iowa, anyone making at least $2,000 annually from non-DIY solar or electrical work is a contractor and must pursue licensure from the Division of Labor. To install solar photovoltaic systems, a company will need an electrical contractors' or journeymens' license. Solar companies can also obtain certificates from trade groups and standards organizations. The most prestigious ones in the industry come from the NABCEP. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.

Cost of Solar Panels in Waterloo

Different solar panel types look and perform differently. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. 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 car (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total project price, but they can boost your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar provider provides these additional features, so look for a contractor that sells them if it's a priority for you.

A majority of Waterloo homeowners choose solar systems rated for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $20,050 to install, considering both parts and installation. You can see more specific cost information in the table.

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

Financing Solar Energy in Waterloo

There are many ways to pay for a solar energy system, and the right one will reduce your expenses. A few of the most common options include loans, leases, cash payments, and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Though it involves a large up-front payment, cash is the most cost-effective choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the runner-up option. As with a car loan or mortgage, 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 fee to rent your panels, while a PPA lets you pay a variable rate based on only the energy you use. We generally advise against these options since you won't own your system and are disqualified from solar incentives, but they might be suitable in specific circumstances. We suggest working with a provider that offers multiple financing options. Speak with each agent about what's available, and obtain more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your budget.

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

You are eligible for a 26% federal tax credit for new solar energy devices until the year 2032. City and state officials and utility companies might also offer discounts, rebates, and dedicated financing plans that could save you 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 Waterloo

How much money could I save by going solar in Waterloo?

On average, Waterloo homeowners shell out roughly $1,176 per year on energy bills. Once you repay your solar array, you could reduce your costs by $841.43 per kilowatt you produce.

How common is solar energy in Waterloo?

Yes, solar energy is readily available in Waterloo. A growing number of area homes are already using solar power on-site or through utility grids, and Iowa has about 869 jobs forming its solar economy.

Should I anticipate a property value increase after installing solar panels?

Yes, new solar systems translate 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.

What if I live in a rainy or dark

Even if you reside in one of Waterloo's few dark areas, you could still use solar energy. Your technician will enhance your system's performance by choosing the proper site for panels, cleaning them regularly, positioning them to capture the most sunlight throughout the year, and installing a battery backup system. This way, you can store solar power and use it as necessary.

How do I care for my new solar system?

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

What size should my new Waterloo solar system be?

The average Waterloo solar system size is 9.7 kilowatts (kW). However, your final system size depends on your household's energy needs. Your panel model, surrounding shading, and roof size could also impact your final result. A professional solar contractor will consider these factors and determine the right system size for your home.

How are a solar lease and PPA different?

After you sign a power purchase agreement, your solar company will not charge to install or maintain your new panel array. Instead, you'll pay them only for the electricity you generate. Typically, PPAs last for 10–25 years or until you "buy out" of the contract.

If you choose a lease, you'll make fixed payments each month.

With both leases and PPAs, you don't own your panels and lose eligibility for most incentives. Further, you'll have to "buy out" or transfer the contract if you sell your home during the term.

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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