Biodiesel Laws and Incentives in Iowa

The list below contains summaries of all Iowa laws and incentives related to biodiesel.

State Incentives

Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Loans

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) Energy Infrastructure Revolving Loan Program (EIRLP) provides individuals, businesses, and utilities with low-interest loans for energy infrastructure projects that facilitate electricity, biofuel, and renewable natural gas transmission, storage, or distribution. For more information, see the IEDA EIRLP website.

(Reference Iowa Administrative Code 261.406)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Grants

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) provides grants for projects that benefit Iowa ratepayers and support the implementation of the Iowa Energy Plan, including the purchase of AFVs. Eligible applicants include Iowa businesses, colleges and universities, private and nonprofit organizations. For more information, including eligibility requirements, see the IEDA Iowa Energy Center Grant Program website.

(Reference Iowa Administrative Code 261.404)

Biodiesel Blend Retailer Tax Credit

Retailers selling biodiesel are eligible for a state income tax credit. Credit amounts are based on biodiesel blend level and available in the following amounts:

Biodiesel Blend Level Credit Amount per Gallon Sold
11% to 19% $0.05
20% to 29% $0.07
30% and higher $0.10

The tax credit expires January 1, 2028.

(Reference Iowa Code 422.11P and House File 2128, 2022)

Point of Contact
Anthony Girardi
Public Service Manager 2, Research and Policy
Iowa Department of Revenue
Phone: (515) 240-8417

Biodiesel Production Tax Credit

Qualified biodiesel producers are eligible for a tax credit of $0.04 per gallon of biodiesel produced. Biodiesel producers may claim the tax credit for up to 250,000 gallons of biodiesel. The tax credit expires January 1, 2028.

(Reference Iowa Code 423.4(9))

Biofuel Infrastructure Grants

The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program provides financial assistance to qualified 70%-85% ethanol (E85) or dual 15% ethanol (E15) and biodiesel retailers. Cost-share grants are available to upgrade or install new E85 or dual E15 and biodiesel infrastructure. Three-year cost-share grants are available for up to 50% of the total cost of the total project, up to $30,000. Five-year cost-share grants are available for up to 70% of the total cost of the project, up to $50,000.

Biodiesel distributors may apply for cost-share grants for infrastructure upgrades and installations at biodiesel terminal facilities. Facilities blending or dispensing blends ranging from 2% biodiesel (B2) to 98% biodiesel (B98) are eligible for up to 50% of the total project, up to $50,000. Facilities blending or dispensing B99 or B100 are eligible for up to 50% of the total project, up to $100,000.

The Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Board receives administrative support from staff within the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and has the authority to determine the eligibility of applicants. For more information, refer to the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Program website.

(Reference Iowa Code 159A.13-159A.15)

Point of Contact
Paul Ovrom
Marketing and Renewable Fuels Program
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship
Phone: (515) 242-6239

Diesel Emission Reduction Project Funding

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IowaDOT) provides funding for the replacement, retrofit, or conversion of medium- and heavy-duty (MHD) on-road diesel vehicles with new diesel or alternative fuel vehicles. Grants are also available for off-road diesel vehicle replacements and repowers. Grants are available for MHD school buses, transit buses, and trucks. Non-road vehicles and equipment may also be eligible for funding. Eligible applicants include government, nonprofit, and private entities that own or operate diesel fleets and equipment. Additional restrictions apply. This grant program is partially funded by Iowa’s portion of the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust. For more information, including eligible vehicles, see the IowaDOT Diesel Emission Reduction Act Website.

Laws and Regulations

Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Demonstration Grant Authorization

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (Department) may award demonstration grants to individuals who purchase vehicles that operate on alternative fuels, including but not limited to E85, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, electricity, solar energy, or hydrogen. Individuals may use the grants to conduct research connected with the fuel or vehicle. Grant funding to purchase the vehicle is available if the Department retains the title of the vehicle, the vehicle is used for research, and the proceeds from the eventual sale of the vehicle are used for additional research. Grants are subject to funding availability.

(Reference Iowa Code 214A.24)

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Acquisition Requirements

At least 10% of new vehicles purchased by institutions under the control of the state fleet director, including the Iowa Department of Transportation, Board of Directors of Community Colleges, Board of Regents, Commission for the Blind, and Department of Corrections must be capable of operating on alternative fuels. Alternative fuels include E85, B20, natural gas, propane, and electricity. Vehicles and trucks purchased and directly used for law enforcement and off-road maintenance work are exempt from this requirement.

The state fleet must fuel diesel vehicles with biodiesel blends between 2% and 99%, and gasoline vehicles with ethanol blends between 15% and 85%. This requirement does not apply if such blends are not approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or the vehicle manufacturer. Additional exemptions apply. Vehicles that use the biodiesel and ethanol blends must display a brightly colored, highly visible renewable fuel sticker. Beginning July 1, 2023, and annually thereafter, the Iowa Department of Administrative Services must submit a report detailing the use of ethanol and biodiesel blends in state fleet vehicles to the governor and Iowa General Assembly.

(Reference Iowa Code 89A.360, 8A.362, 8A.368, 216B.3, 260C.19A, 262.25A, 307.21 and 904.312A and House File 2128, 2022)

Biodiesel Fuel Use

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) may purchase biodiesel for use in IDOT vehicles through the biodiesel fuel revolving fund created in the state treasury. The fund consists of money received from the sale of Energy Policy Act of 1992 credits IDOT has banked and other income IDOT has obtained or accepted for deposit in the fund. (Reference Iowa Code 307.20)

Biofuel Specifications

Ethanol-blended gasoline must conform to ASTM D4814, E85 must conform to ASTM D4806, renewable diesel fuel must conform to ASTM D975, and biodiesel-blended fuel containing at least 6%, but no more than 20%, biodiesel must conform to ASTM D7467. Biodiesel blended fuel containing more than 20% biodiesel must conform to standards set by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Additionally, biobutanol must be an agriculturally derived isobutyl alcohol that meets ASTM D7862 for butanol for blending with gasoline for use as a motor fuel. Gasoline blended with biobutanol must conform to ASTM D4814. The state defers to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for potential changes in specifications.

(Reference Iowa Code 214A.2 and Iowa House File 666, 2023)

Biofuel and Renewable Fuel Quality Program

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (Department) must establish and administer programs to audit motor fuel facilities, including biofuel processing and production plants, to screen and test motor fuel, including renewable fuel, and to inspect motor fuel sold by dealers, including retail motor fuel dealers. Biofuels include ethanol, biobutanol, and biodiesel. Renewable fuel is defined as a combustible liquid derived from biomass or produced from a biogas source, such as biofuel and biofuel blended with gasoline. The Iowa Central Community College must test motor fuels, biofuels, and renewable fuels to ensure they meet Departmental standards for motor vehicle use.

(Reference House File 666, 2023 and Iowa Code 214A.1, 214A.2, 214A.2B, and 214A.2C )

Renewable Fuel Labeling Requirement

Biodiesel, biobutanol, and ethanol blend dispensers must be affixed with decals identifying the type of fuel blend. If fuel blends containing more than 10% ethanol are being dispensed, the decal must include the statement: “For Flexible Fuel Vehicles Only.” The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (Department) may approve applications to place a decal in a special location on a pump with special lettering or colors that are clear and conspicuous to the consumer.

(Reference Iowa Code 214A.16)

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