Iowa Solar Easement and Access Laws

May 26, 2023


Iowa's solar access easement provision allows for access to sunlight to operate a solar energy system. Those who are unable to obtain a voluntary solar easement from a property owner may apply to the solar access regulatory board for an order granting a solar access easement if the relevant city council or county board of supervisors has created such a board. In the absence of such a board, the matter is referred to the local district court. Applications for an easement must contain specific information about the size, location, and orientation of the solar energy system as well as a description of the actions that have been taken to minimize the impact on neighboring estates.

Persons, including public bodies, may voluntarily agree to create a solar access easement. A solar access easement whether obtained voluntarily or pursuant to the order of a solar access regulatory board is subject to the same recording and conveyance requirements as other easements. A solar access easement shall be created in writing and shall include the following:
a. The legal description of the dominant and servient estates.
b. A legal description of the space which must remain unobstructed expressed in terms
of the degrees of the vertical and horizontal angles through which the solar access easement
extends over the burdened property and the points from which these angles are measured.

Iowa code also grants municipalities the right to issue ordinances prohibiting subdivisions from including restrictive covenants that limit the use of solar collectors.

Note: The department of natural resources shall make available information and guidelines to assist local government bodies and the public to understand and use the provisions. The information and guidelines shall include an application form for a solar access easement, instructions and aids for preparing and recording solar access easements and model ordinances that promote reasonable access to solar energy.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Iowa
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Access Policy
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Photovoltaics


Name: Iowa Code § 564A


Name: Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Organization: Department of Natural Resources
Address: 502 East 9th Street, 4th Floor
Des Moines IA 50319
Phone: (515) 725-8200

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.