Democrats in the Senate are proposing $10 million worth of rebates for Iowans who install solar panels or small wind turbines to power their home, business or farm.
Dave Krejchi, president of Dalton Plumbing, Heating and Cooling in Cedar Falls says over the past three years his company has installed solar-panel systems that provide the power for hot water heaters in seven homes in the Cedar Falls area.
“Our measurements show that the systems we have installed reduced energy for hot water consumption by 75 percent. That is a huge energy savings provided by the sun,” Krejchi says. “Based on our experience we believe solar is the growth industry for us and for Iowa.”
Those systems cost up to $10,000. Installing solar panels to provide electricity for an entire home can cost up to $40,000. Over 1300 individual Iowans and up to 400 businesses could qualify for the state tax credits Democrats propose. Senator Pam Jochum, a Democrat from Dubuque, says it will help a “diverse group” of small businesses that are installing these small-scale solar and wind systems.
“Over time, however, helping the small solar and small wind industry get a better foothold in our state will do much more,” Jochum says. “It that will build a green energy economy that will benefit every community in our state.”
Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, says Iowa is behind neighboring states like Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota on offering incentives for installation of solar panels and small wind turbines.
“What our fledgling Iowa solar and small wind industry needs now are customers,” Bolkcom says. “Our proposal for home, farm and business consumer rebates will help jump-start this industry in every Iowa county.”
The maximum rebate for residential solar and wind projects would be $3000 and for businesses, the maximum rebate would be $15,000.