Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides numerous advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- 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: With solar energy systems, you create power without paying the tacked-on costs of grid-tied power. Going off-grid can eliminate your bills completely.
- Better energy independence: Photovoltaic systems with battery storage operate through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the electrical grid for your safety and comfort.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to West Des Moines Homeowners?
Governments and utility companies often incentivize homeowners for going solar. Here are some of the tax credits, rebates, or other programs you could qualify for.
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
100% of value added by renewable system
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: tax.iowa.gov
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 IncentiveWebsite: state.ia.us
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 IncentiveWebsite: iowa.gov
100% exemption for 10 years
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: tax.iowa.gov
20% of the Federal Tax Credit, equivalent to 6% of the system cost
Incentive Type: Corporate Tax ExemptionWebsite: tax.iowa.gov
100% exemption for self-generators, landfill gas and wind
Reduced rate for large hydro
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
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 West Des Moines
The purchase price and performance of solar panels often rely on which company installed them. Make your choice based on the following key factors.
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 a journeymens' or electrical contractors' license. You should also visit a company's website to learn about its private accreditations. Two of the most recognized are the PV Installation Professional and Solar Heating Installer certificates, granted 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 West Des Moines
The type of solar panels you select determines how much energy you can produce. Monocrystalline panels cost more but give you the best performance. Polycrystalline panels produce less power, but they're worth it if you want a traditional panel style without the high cost. Thin-film panels aren't recommended for large residential installations, but they are ideal for small projects like converting RVs and sheds.
You can also add electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total project price, but they can boost your solar system's efficiency. Not all solar contractors include these additional features, so look for a provider that installs them if it's essential for you.
Most West Des Moines homeowners opt for solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $20,050 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can see more specific cost information in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in West Des Moines
Solar providers use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar leases, solar loans, cash payments and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Most solar experts recommend paying cash or using a solar loan. Cash payments demand a large up-front sum, but they save you from paying interest, grant you system ownership, and qualify you for cost-saving incentives. Solar loans have the same benefits, though you'll pay more in total due to interest and fees. Similar to a home or auto loan, you'll pay a set monthly rate with potentially $0 down. Solar leases allow you to pay a monthly fee to rent your panels, while a power purchase agreement lets you pay a fluctuating 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 appropriate in particular circumstances. Look for providers that offer multiple payment plans to find the right fit for your financial needs.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in West Des Moines.
You can claim a 26% federal tax credit from the IRS for new residential solar systems purchased before 2032. Additionally, utilities and local governments may have their own financing plans and rebates that could reduce your total cost even more.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in West Des Moines
How much money could I save by going solar in West Des Moines?
Is solar energy common in West Des Moines?
Should I expect a property value increase after installing solar panels?
What is the average payback period for West Des Moines solar panels?
What can I do to calculate my home's solar viability?
What upkeep do my solar panels need, and how frequently do they need it?
How are a solar lease and PPA different?
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 some incentives. Further, you'll have to "buy out" or transfer the contract if you sell your home during the term.
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