Legislation could illuminate Iowa's clean energy future


By Cody Smith, former staff member

Across rural Iowa, farmers, small businesses, and homeowners are leveraging solar energy to lower their costs and invest in the communities they live and work in. 

Since its enactment in 2012, rural Iowans have counted on the Iowa Solar Tax Credit to employ solar energy as a crucial cost-saving strategy to help meet their bottom line. 

On farms, solar has been used for the activities, such as operation of grain drying equipment and ventilation of animal confinements.

A bill introduced this session in the Iowa Legislature—House File 221 (HF221)—is proposing to expand the solar tax credit, as well as decouple it from the federal tax incentive.

Expanding the credit would promote economic recovery and growth in our state’s rural communities. In a clear indication of its demand, the credit has been oversubscribed since 2015—leaving a years-long waiting list of farmers, small businesses, and homeowners who have already invested in solar energy. As proposed, doubling the state-mandated cap from $5 million to $10 million annually and paying down the years-long wait list would put rural communities in a competitive position to attract jobs and investment from private industry. 

Additionally, decoupling the tax credit from the federal incentive could ensure long-term prosperity in a rapidly approaching clean energy future and reaffirm Iowa’s place as a national clean energy leader while providing certainty for solar customers.

Given the demonstrable positive impact the Iowa Solar Tax Credit has already had, we encourage swift passage of House File 221 to bolster our state’s clean energy leadership well into the future.

Feature photo provided by Center for Pollinators in Energy.