Iowa city considering program to put solar panels on homes

DUBUQUE — Officials in Dubuque are proposing a pilot program to help low- to moderate-income residents install solar panels on their homes.

The City Council plans to discuss the idea Tuesday, The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports. The city has budgeted nearly $41,000 for the project, which would install panels on 10 homes.

The cost of installing the panels would be about $10,000, but with tax credits, grants and the sale of energy credits, homeowners would pay about $2,600, according to council documents. Households would save from $800 to $1,000 annually in energy costs.

The city also would create a market for solar energy credits. The city would pay homeowners in the program to cover the costs of the credits and claim them as part of its effort to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030.

City Council Member Danny Sprank said he was supportive of the pilot, having researched the cost of putting solar panels on his own house.

“If we can offset energy costs on a lot of these older homes that folks have, it’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. “You’re looking at lower energy bills. I think it’s a solid investment that folks should be doing if they can afford it.”


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