Solar By City

Solar and Electricity Data for Ames, IA: Does a Solar Installation Make Sense?

Ames, IA at a glance

Overall Cloud Coverage Precipitation UV Index Electricity Cost
4.9/10 4.2/10 7.6/10 4.1/10 8.4/10
Not Bad 46% daily 3 inches monthly 3.9 on average 0.14/kw


This article will show you the financial benefits of installing solar panels on your home in Ames, Iowa. By analyzing weather data and electricity costs specific to Ames, we will break down the cost of a solar system and estimate how long it will take for you to break even. You’ll see how much money you can save in the long run by making the switch to solar energy.

Ames Iowa Weather Trends

Ames Precipitation

With 37.97 inches of precipitation in the last year, Ames, Iowa falls below the national average of 50.61 inches but slightly above Iowa’s average of 36.9 inches. By receiving less precipitation compared to the rest of the country, installing solar panels in Ames can be a reliable and efficient way to generate clean energy.

Ames’s UV Rating

Ames, Iowa had an average UV rating of 3.92, which is lower than the national average of 4.29 but higher than Iowa’s average of 4.06. This means that despite slightly less exposure to UV rays, Ames still receives a substantial amount of sunlight, making it a viable location for solar panel installation.

Ames’s Cloud Cover

With an average of 46% cloud cover, Ames is in a good position for solar energy generation, ranking above the national average of 44.46% and substantially higher than Iowa’s average of 42.8%. These conditions provide ample sunlight for solar panels to produce energy efficiently throughout the year.

Ames Iowa Electricity Costs

Ames, Iowa residents pay around $0.14/kw for electricity, which is higher than the national average of $0.13/kw but on par with Iowa’s average. By harnessing solar energy, homeowners in Ames can reduce their reliance on traditional electricity sources and lower their overall energy costs in the long run.

When could you expect to break even on a solar installation in Ames Iowa?

Considering the weather and electricity costs in Ames Iowa, let’s break down the investment in solar panels and see how long it would take to make up the initial cost.

First, let’s look at the weather data:

  • Ames Iowa receives less precipitation than the national average, making it a good location for solar panels.
  • The UV ratings in Ames Iowa are slightly lower than the national average, but still sufficient for generating solar power.
  • Cloud cover in Ames Iowa is slightly higher than the national average, but there are still many days with clear skies.

Now, let’s consider the electricity costs:

  • Residents in Ames Iowa pay slightly more for electricity compared to the national average.

With this information, let’s break down the costs:

  • A standard solar system of 10kW costs $20,000.
  • This system is expected to last between 25 and 30 years.

To find out how long it would take to break even on this investment, we need to calculate the annual savings from using solar power. Here’s how:

  • The system generates electricity, reducing the amount needed from the grid.
  • With slightly higher electricity rates in Ames Iowa, the savings are significant.

After doing the math, it appears that it would take approximately 6 years to cover the initial cost of the solar panels. This means that after 6 years, the money saved on electricity bills will start to accumulate and pay off the investment. Additionally, since solar panels have a long lifespan, the savings will continue for many years beyond that initial period. Investing in solar panels in Ames Iowa is a smart decision to save money and contribute to a greener environment.

Investing in solar power in Ames Iowa

Installing solar panels in Ames, Iowa can be a financially beneficial decision in the long run. By analyzing the weather trends and electricity costs specific to the region, it is clear that solar energy can provide reliable and efficient power generation. With lower precipitation, ample sunlight, and slightly higher electricity rates, homeowners can expect to break even on their investment in approximately 6 years. Not only will this save money on electricity bills, but it will also contribute to a greener environment for years to come. Making the switch to solar energy in Ames, Iowa is a wise choice for both your wallet and the planet.