We're excited to have quality local contractors available to install solar photovoltaic systems for area homes, farms, businesses, and institutions. Check out our Northeast Iowa Renewable Energy Map to see tremendous activity, and consider the following steps:
1. Learn as much as you can about solar, talk to home or business owners that have been through the process, and always do EFFICIENCY FIRST! A couple resources include our brief 2015 homewner handout on solar (already a bit outdated in 2016), and the more comprehensive Iowa Energy Center's Solar PV Energy Guide.
2. Financially, your most important policy is retail level net metering, which Alliant and MidAmerican are trying to end: see our Distributed Generation docket page to learn and speak out. The federal tax incentive (30%) and Iowa tax incentive (15%) for solar continue at full value through this decade, and for farms/businesses, adding depreciation can bring simple payback periods to around 5 years - a great investment. If your are representing a non-taxable entity (local government, nonprofit, etc) see our local government resource page.
3. Start LOCAL, but get at least two, possibly more, bids for your project so you can compare quotes, recommendations, and ask for clarifications.
4. Ask each installer to include in their bid/report:
- their site assessment regarding shade, roof, mounting, and interconnection issues
- identification information on brand/models of hardware, including panels, inverter, racking, etc
- specific warranty information on hardware components, labor, maintenance (and what happens if the manufacturer goes out of business?)
- Proposed system size in kilowatts DC, and estimated annual production in kilowatt hours AC
- all-inclusive $$ per DC Watt installed cost to you - this is the bottom line figure for comparison, you'll want to know any caveats, and how "firm" the price is, NOT counting incentives
- then a financial/economic summary showing how available incentives will likely impact your final outlay IF you're able to take advantage of them, and what your final simple payback MAY be
All Solar Installers listed are Energy District sponsors and partners
Decorah Electric, 563-382-9473, info@DecorahElectric.com. Based in Decorah, Winneshiek County, Iowa. Decorah electric is a major sponsor of the Energy District. They are not yet NABCEP certified but in the process.
Tom Massman Construction, 563-382-5712, email@example.com. Based in Decorah, Winneshiek County, Iowa. A builder of sustainable homes, Massman Construction have added solar installations to their services. They are not yet NABCEP certified but in the process.
Perry Novak Electric, 563-382-2179, firstname.lastname@example.org. Based in Decorah and Charles City, Winneshiek and Floyd Counties, IA. An Electrical & Solar contractor / installer serving all of northeastern Iowa. Their home and businesses are utilizing solar and they are in the process of NABCEP certification.
Go Solar, 563-382-3242, email@example.com. A small Decorah company owned/operated by solar pioneer Dennis Pottratz, the first nationally certified (NABCEP) solar installer in Iowa. Winneshiek County, Iowa.
Iowa Wind and Solar, 800-8080-SUN, firstname.lastname@example.org, Based in Fairfield, Jefferson County, IA. Solar PV, solar thermal (hot water), and wind. Not NABCEP certified. Note, IWS works with Jirak installation crew from Waucoma in Fayette County.
** note, to be listed here and on our renewable energy map requires Energy District sponsorship, contact us for more information