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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Net Metering   

Last DSIRE Review: 11/24/2014
Program Overview:
State: Iowa
Incentive Type: Net Metering
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Photovoltaics, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Municipal Solid Waste, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit:500 kW
Aggregate Capacity Limit:No limit specified
Net Excess Generation:Credited to customer's next bill at retail rate; carries over indefinitely
REC Ownership:Not addressed
Meter Aggregation:Not addressed
Authority 1:
Iowa Code § 476.41 et seq.
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
IAC § 199-15.11(5)

Note: In January 2014, the Iowa Utilities Board issued an order commencing an inquiry on distributed generation and interconnection issues under Docket No. NOI-2014-0001. Details will be posted here once a final order is issued.

Iowa's statutes do not explicitly authorize the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to mandate net metering, but this authority is implicit through the board's enforcement of PURPA and Iowa Code § 476.41 et seq. Iowa's net-metering subrule, adopted by the IUB in July 1984, applies to customers that generate electricity using alternate energy production facilities (AEPs).

A detailed description of the Iowa net metering policy background is available here.

Eligibility and Availability

Net metering is available to all customer classes of Iowa's two investor-owned utilities, MidAmerican Energy and Interstate Power and Light. MidAmerican Energy’s net metering tariff is available here, and Interstate Power and Light’s tariff is available here.

There is no explicit limit on either the size of a net-metered system or on total enrollment in the IUB's subrule. However, separate rule waivers have allowed MidAmerican Energy and IPL to limit individual systems to 500 kilowatts (kW).

According to the IUB, net metering is available to approximately 89% of residential customers in Iowa (see Docket No. NOI-2014-0001, “Order Soliciting Additional Comments and Scheduling Workshop,” p. 6). The IUB has so far declined to assert jurisdiction over net metering policies for non-rate-regulated utilities (i.e., electric cooperatives and municipal utilities), but strongly encourages them to adopt net metering policies on a voluntary basis.

Net Excess Generation

Although Iowa's net-metering subrule requires utilities to purchase a customer’s net excess generation (NEG) at the utility's avoided cost rate, subsequent rule waivers allow MidAmerican Energy and IPL customers to carry NEG forward for use in future months as a kilowatt-hour (kWh) credit. The net metering kWh offset effectively provides a credit at the customer's retail electricity rate


An overview of Iowa’s interconnection guidelines can be found here.

  Ellen Shaw
Iowa Utilities Board
1375 E. Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
Phone: (515) 725-7348
Web Site:
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

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