Iowa state auditors have determined taht local community solar installations have been quite beneficial to residents and small business owners. According to the review, solar facilities across Iowa have saved more than $26,000 each year on average.
The review, which was released by the office of auditor Rob Sand, was part of a report by the Public Innovations and Efficiencies. These reports are completed to determine if taxpayer and public money are being used effectively and efficiently. However, it is not an official audit to determine where funding has gone.
Based on the report, it has been determined that the yearly savings have reached upwards of $80,000. The total average savings over the community solar installation’s lifetime has amounted to more than $700,000. Sand noted that taxpayers could see more than $375 million in net revenue if similar installations were built in every county and by every school district.
The report commenced after Sand’s office received a compilation of solar projects that are part of the Iowa Solar Energy Trade Association. From these public sector projects, officials contact 27 and based their information on the 13 that provided a response. Participation in Sand’s report was not mandatory.
According to the report, the community solar installations were described as “cost-effective” and were deemed to have little to no environmental impact. One of the responses stated that the savings it had incurred were equivalent to the salary of a teacher. Another claimed that the savings prevented it from having to consolidate.
Reports like the one filed by Sand’s office serve as a reminder of the benefits that community solar installations provide. Along with the money saved by municipalities and the revenue generated, subscribers also see a slice of the perks through bill credits, which were not part of the review.