State Rep. Advocates for Solar Using Family History

    IOWA CITY, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - The solar power industry is continuing to grow in Iowa.

    One state lawmaker said Iowa's tax incentives offset nearly half the cost of installing solar panels.

    The 14 solar panels on Mary Mascher's roof are her way of letting her father's legacy live on.

    "My dad was a farmer all of his life and was very much into conservation," Mascher said.

    Mascher is a State Representative for Iowa's 86th District. She said she's backed solar use and energy conservations and wants to see Iowans follow suit. Her father died at age 92, but with an inheritance fund, she bought solar panels to carry on his passion.

    "Solar was something that he was extremely interested in, as well as wind," she said.

    Mascher said the solar energy system tax credit in Iowa opens the door for businesses and homeowners to save money.

    "It's a 30 percent credit at the federal level and an 18 percent credit at the state level," she said.

    Tim Kruse with Green Light Renewable helped Mascher install her solar panels and said it's a simple addition that does a lot.

    "We're expecting 50 years or more out of the panels," Kruse said.

    "It saves about 50 percent of the cost in installing them," Mascher said.

    The tax incentives are set to expire in 2016, but Mascher hopes Iowans will stay ahead of the curve and fight to keep a cost-effective asset.

    "You're basically locking in your utility rate for all those years and after it's paid off, it's free electricity," Kruse said.

    She thinks her father is proudly shining down on that idea.

    "He is with me all the time and when I look at those solar panels, I think of him always," Mascher said.

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