In Iowa, a solar tax credit program has led to $15 million in credits paid over the last ten years, and private investment averaging $5 million per year in the state. About 4,600 Iowa homeowners have received credits.
But a vast portion of customers, nearly 3,000, who believed they would receive a credit, are standing by on waitlists. The program was so popular that the $5 million appropriated for the fund dried up, and now customers are waiting for their credits.
The credit is issued to residential and commercial customers in the state. The Gazette reported that Gary Groman of Cedar Rapids invested $35,000 in a solar array, expecting $4,700 in credits from the state and $9,000 from the federal investment tax credit.
Christopher Rants of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association said, “You’ve got folks who didn’t just go buy solar yesterday. You have people on the waitlist who made their investment two years ago and were expecting their credit because at the time they made their investment the credit was ongoing.”
The Iowa legislature is now working on a bill that is aimed at covering the tax credits, but it is not expected to extend the program. This is despite the fact that Iowa’s governor Kim Reynolds said the state has a surplus of revenues, and that historic tax cuts have been approved in the state recently.
Iowa Democrats are calling for more than just relief to the wait list and are hopeful an extension can be crafted. “I think this is the lowest bar,” Rep. Eric Gjerde, D-Cedar Rapids, said at the HF 2395 subcommittee hearing.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) ranks Iowa 30th in the nation in solar deployment with an estimated 440MW installed. An estimated 700-1000 people are employed in the solar industry in Iowa, and SEIA projects a 5-year growth of 980MW for the Hawkeye State.
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