Iowa solar installers forced to adapt as lawmakers let solar tax credit expire

Iowa solar installers say the expiration of a state solar tax credit could make solar panels a tougher sell for residential and small business customers. The Iowa Legislature adjourned last month without extending the state’s popular solar tax credit, which is scheduled to sunset at the end of the year. 

The program has had a growing waitlist in recent years as demand has outstripped a $5 million annual cap put in place by lawmakers. More than 750 customers who have already applied are now unlikely to receive the incentive. 

The program’s future was unclear for years, and some solar installers had already started to change their sales pitches to customers, emphasizing benefits such as self-sufficiency and resilience instead of long-term cost savings. “Now, we just talk up the benefits of the system,” said Andrew Fisher, a solar energy specialist with 1 Source Solar. “It’s more about creating energy on your own and energy security.