Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

May 25, 2023


In Iowa, the market value added to a property by a solar or wind energy system is exempt from the state's property tax for 5 full assessment years. Residential geothermal systems are exempt for 10 years. Eligible systems include:

  • a system of equipment capable of collecting and converting incident solar radiation or wind energy into thermal, mechanical, or electrical energy and transforming these forms of energy by a separate apparatus to storage or to a point of use which is constructed or installed after January 1, 1978;
  • a system that uses the basic design of the building to maximize solar heat gain during the cold season and to minimize solar heat gain in the hot season and that uses natural means to collect, store, and distribute solar energy which is constructed or installed after January 1, 1981; and
  • a residential geothermal system, new or retrofitted, installed on or after July 1, 2012, including all equipment included in the installation or labor required for the construction, as well as the proportionate value of any well field associated with the system or attributed to the owner.

The Iowa Department of Revenue (DOR) issued an opinion determining that the solar and wind exemption can be applied to systems whose "primary purpose" is to store or provide electricity for use at the site where the system is located. This clarifies that solar and wind systems which periodically export electricity to the grid (e.g., net-metered systems) are eligible to claim the exemption as long as they are used primarily to serve on-site electricity demand.

For the geothermal tax exemption, the person claiming an exemption must submit the appropriate forms to the assessor and must file the forms no later than February 1st of the first assessment year that the exemption is requested.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Iowa
Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive
Web Site:
Administrator: Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Start Date: 01/01/1978
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Wind (Small)
Incentive Amount: Solar and wind: 100% exemption for 5 years
Geothermal: 100% exemption for 10 years
Maximum Incentive: Not specified


Name: Iowa Code § 441.21(8)
Effective Date: 01/01/1978
Name: Iowa Code § 427.1


Name: Energy Divison
Organization: Iowa Economic Development Authority
Address: 200 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines IA 50309
Phone: (515) 725-0434
Name: Iowa Department of Revenue
Address: Hoover State Office Building - 1st Floor 1305 E. Walnut
Des Moines IA 50319
Phone: (800) 367-3388

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.