Solar Panel Home Tour

Urban Ambassadors had the opportunity to meet with homeowner, Bob and Tim Kruse from Green Light Renewable for our meet-up in June.  We had a great turnout and perfect weather on Thursday, May 19th.  

Here are some things we learned about residential solar panels:

- Installation took 2 weeks: it took multiple steps for securing the panels and ensuring a waterproof system

- Maintenance is minimal during rain, shine, and snow; the panels can even withstand severe weather and are tested against lightning strikes and hail

- There are significant decreases in energy bills: Bob’s last bill was $11.33 - the solar panels generated about 80% of his costs on average.

- However, as to be expected, the summer months can generate as much as 140% and winter months can be as low as 17%. Not to worry, excess energy is sold back to MidAmerican Energy and is reduced from the next month’s bill.

- MidAmerican works with you to connect the system to the grid and their is no charge

- Emphase is a software program that helps track how much energy is produced by solar panels:

- Typical panels cost about $770. For Bob’s system it was around $20,000. With federal (30%) and state (up to 60% of federal credit with a max of $5000) tax credits, almost 40% of the project was paid for. Here is more information about those programs:

Iowa Solar Tax Credit info -

Federal Tax Credit Info -

Interested in having solar panels on your roof?  Start by talking to your city and find out the community guidelines on solar panels. Each city differs in terms of regulations.  If your city does not offer an ordinance in favor of solar panels, you can connect with city council members or go to council meetings to speak in favor of new policies and ordinances.

Additional resources:

Tim Kruse-Green Light Renewable:

Medicap Pharmacy in Urbandale - 90 solar panel: