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Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

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Yes, Louisiana Allows for Solar Leasing!

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Welcome to the Louisiana solar power information page

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

Solar policy in Louisiana is a bit stop-and-go. More policies and incentives are missing than we’re used to in a state with costs as low and payback time frames as short as they are here. Most of that low cost and quick payback is due to the MASSIVE personal tax credit available for installing a residential solar power system. While relying so heavily on one incentive makes us worry just a bit, the tax credit is SO huge that it pretty much makes up for everything else. Read on to find out the details of that tax credit and all of the other solar policies and incentives here.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Louisiana solar incentives you see below.

Guide to the Louisiana Page

We've designed this page to be the most complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing home solar panels in Louisiana. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into logical sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please support us by forwarding it to someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Louisiana. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Louisiana. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Louisiana is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Louisiana

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Louisiana can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in Louisiana

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or lease. One thing it's important to note is: solar makes you a lot of money in Louisiana. Yes, we said "makes!" You see, even though Louisiana's electricity prices are really low, the state offers a uniquely HUMUNGOUS tax credit that removes about half the initial cost of installing solar panels by the end of the first year. And solar is cheaper than ever before, so that state tax credit, combined with the Feds' 30% solar tax credit, means a solar panel system pays itself back quickly and makes you lots of money over the life of its 25-year warranty... and beyond!

Now let's discuss that chart above. We've examined three scenarios for going solar in Louisiana, including a solar lease, buying solar with a home equity line of credit (HELOC), or buying solar with cash. As you can see, the cash purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but look a little closer. Taking a HELOC and paying for the system over time (the orange bars) means you'll spend virtually $0 of your own money and reap a big financial benefit in year 1.

That's because you take a loan for the system, but you still get all the benefits of paying up front. In Louisiana, that means a both tax credits and big annual energy savings. With those incentives, you'll actually come out way ahead after the first year. And even though you'll be making loan payments, the first-year windfall is so big, you almost won't spend any of your own money.

Finally, take a look at the blue bars. They represent a solar lease or Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA), which are also called third-party ownership. With a lease or PPA, the solar installation company puts panels on your roof at no cost to you, and you make monthly payments that cost about the same as your electric bill savings per month. Leases in Louisiana are awesome, because all that sunshine means your panels won't cost you any money. Your savings may start small, but they'll finish big, because the lease cost will rise by less than the electric company's annual rate hikes. Third-party ownership is an excellent option if you don't have equity or cash to put down, because it can save you money without any financial outlay.

Read more below about each of three options for solar in Louisiana.

 Solar Leases in Louisiana

Leasing is a great way to go solar if you haven't got stacks of cash or oodles of equity in your home. With a lease, it's possible to get solar panels for $0 down and see some decent savings over 20 years!

As for leases in Louisiana: the electricity costs here aren't very high—we're actually almost 15% less than the national average—but the sun shines bright enough here to make solar power really profitable! That means a lease saves you money starting on day 1. For now, the payments on a leased 5-kW solar system should be around $624 per year, and the energy the panels generate will save you just about the same amount. That's breaking even on a $0-down investment in the future of our planet, just for saying yes to solar!

But once the electric utility company raises rates, you'll begin to save money over what you would have paid them for their dirty electricity. Over 20 years, our estimate shows a total savings of $1,716. And the best part is the panels will be owned and maintained by the installation company, so all you have to do is brag to the Joneses down the street about your green habits!

Here's a little more about how a Louisiana solar lease works:

Example Lease savings in Louisiana

Annual Electric Bill Before Solar


Annual Electric Bill After Solar


Est. Annual Solar Payment


Average Annual Savings


The numbers above show the financial breakdown of a solar lease for an average home in Louisiana. The typical electric bill before solar power is super expensive, but with a solar lease, you'll save enough on your bill to just about cover the lease cost, and you'll be saving the planet while you do it! And the electric company will raise rates pretty much every year, but your lease payments are set, meaning you'll start saving money in just a couple years.

Here's how a solar lease saves you money:

With a lease, you're essentially renting your rooftop to a company who wants to install and maintain solar panels on it. You make a monthly payment to them and get all the power the system produces. The payment plus your new, lower power bill will be just about the same as you used to pay, netting you instant solar with nothing down out of pocket! How awesome is that?!

A PPA, on the other hand, is just what the name says. Your roof still plays host to the panels, but you pay only for the electricity the system generates, at a cost lower than what you've been paying GiantCo utility company. The money you save is only limited by how much sun your roof gets!

Here's the best part: whether you end up with a lease or a PPA, the installation company owns the panels and will do all the maintenance for you. Usually that means just a good cleaning every year, but if any part of that system fails, you're off the hook! That can be a great benefit to homeowners who are risk averse.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Louisiana. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar lease, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Home Solar Power: Leasing Vs. Purchasing

To lease, or not to lease? Willsolar Shakespanels would be proud we're discussing this. Here's the basic deal. If you choose to lease your panels, you benefit from no out of pocket costs and an immediately reduced total electricity payment. Because of this, many regard this option as a no-brainer, since there isn't any downside to think of. The only hiccup you'll start to experience is when you consider the long term financial benefit of owning the solar panel system yourself.

In many situations, if you can afford the outlay or can easily secure financing, the cost of the install becomes an investment with a return outpacing even the strongest performing mutual funds. In addition, there's significantly less principal risk, since the energy credits you will be producing are tied to the sun coming up in the morning instead of our financial markets!

Additionally, if you go the leasing route, you must forfeit all the credits and performance payments you would receive by owning the system yourself to the solar leasing company (after all, that's how they can afford to give you such a no-brainer proposition in the first place).

 Solar Loans in Louisiana

You don't need $20,000 sitting around to pay for solar. As long as you have equity in your home, you can still own solar panels and reap all the benefits. Heck, even if you do have the cash, getting a loan to pay for solar is by far the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment.

That’s because, in Louisiana, using a loan to pay for solar is like investing in a business that's sure to succeed, and also earns you TWO huge tax breaks! You'll come out thousands ahead this year, and you'll see a spectacular profit over the 25-year life of your system. The reason this works so well is that you're paying over time, but reaping all the benefits now.

Here's the deal: Louisiana's tax credit for solar is worth about half your total system costs, up to $10,000, and if there's any excess credit, they'll send you a check for the difference. This is important: cash that check and use the money to pay down your loan. If you make about $60,000 in Louisiana, your state income tax will be about $2,500. The $7,500 you'll get to pay your loan down with will reduce your payback time by 6 years and 8 months, saving you over $5,000 in interest payments. You'll pay the loan off in just over 8 years and end up with almost $17,000 in profits by 2040. That might sound like it's too good to be true... so let's take a look at the numbers.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $20,000, with a fixed rate of 5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period. Don't be put off if you're offered a higher rate. It just means a tiny bit less of the thousands of dollars you'll make with solar.
  • You love making money without much risk.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Louisiana homeowner who makes a solar purchase with a HELOC:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover the system cost.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $624, but your annual loan payments will be $1,898, meaning you would spend $1,274 on solar this year, but...
  • You'll get two huge tax breaks! Uncle Sam will give you 30% of the cost of your system back as an income tax credit, which in this case means $6,000 you won't be paying the Feds this year, and on top of that, the state will give you that $10,000 we talked about above. DON'T FORGET to use the excess credit to pay down your loan.
  • Even after paying $7,500 to the bank, you'll come out $7,226 ahead after year 1, and it's smooth sailing from then on out. Your yearly net cost (electricity savings minus loan payments) for solar will be $1,252 (about $104 per month) in year 2, and will shrink as the cost of electricity rises but your loan payments don't.
  • By the time you've paid off your loan in May of 2024, you'll see yearly savings of over $850. After 25 years, your total profit will be $16,989! Really awesome for a $0-down investment.
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too—113 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Louisiana. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Buying Solar in Louisiana

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the "biggest" financial returns. The reason we put "biggest" in quotes here is because it's technically true—with lower equipment costs and big Federal and state tax credits, solar costs less than ever before, and a solar installation pays itself off in 9 years. But if you're interested in solar as an investment, taking a loan to pay for the system is a better option.

With a loan, you can make monthly payments instead of putting $20,000 down on a solar system, which means you save money on electricity as you pay down the cost of your panels. If you have equity in your home or can get a large loan with an interest rate of 5% or less, a loan is the option to go with. It's like being able to start a business that is sure to succeed, just by having a roof. Read about loans below.

If you've got cash and you prefer to pay up front, you'll have to plunk down $20,000, but tax breaks and energy savings will erase nearly all of that after just 1 year. Over 25 years, your system will have produced over $20,000 in income, after your system cost is paid back. The reason this works is that solar offsets your electricity costs—enough to save you $624 in year 1—and it just goes up from there. As the electric company raises rates, you save more and more, and more...

Here’s how the numbers work for a 5-kW rooftop solar system in Louisiana:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000. That's cheaper than solar has ever been, but it still might seem like a big investment. Don’t worry, because after tax breaks and energy savings, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • First, the Federal government offers a great income tax credit of 30% of post-rebate system costs. That's $6,000 you won't be paying to Uncle Sam this year, and it brings your first-year investment down to $14,000.
  • Then there's Louisiana's $2,000/kW tax credit, which counts for up to $10,000 of costs, and you'll get it all. The important thing to note here is that the excess credit is refundable, which means it'll wipe out your whole tax bill, and you'll get a check for the remainder. We're talking a check for up to $10,000. Wow.
  • After those tax credits, we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be $624. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $3,376—a savings of more than 83% off the cost of your system. That's just unheard-of anywhere outside Louisiana.
  • Those electricity savings will quickly pile up, and that last $3,376 of system costs will be paid off in year 6. But your panels carry 25-year warranties, and they'll likely keep on kicking out kilowatts for a few decades or more. You'll see a total net profit of $20,305 by the end of that warranty. The internal rate of return for this investment is an amazing 22.3%. That's close to 3 times better than the return of an investment in stock market index funds, and it's more reliable, too!
  • And here's a nice bonus to consider: your home's value just increased by $12,480, too—your expected electricity savings over 20 years—and it's all exempt from property taxes, thanks to Louisiana's legislature!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 113 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Louisiana. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Louisiana Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Louisiana:



Grade: F

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels. Typically you can tell how strong a state’s solar incentives are just by looking at the RPS. A strong RPS means strong rebates and other cash incentives. A weak, or worse, no RPS at all generally means little to no incentives for solar power. Fortunately that’s not the case here, thanks to that tax credit we’ll get to in a second. But even still, a strong RPS could help shift some of the cost of incentivizing solar power to the utility companies that are still chugging along on fossil-fuel based power.

An RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding the transition to lower electric bills and offering incentives to put solar on roofs is because the state forces them to. Without an RPS, Louisiana is missing opportunities to help homeowners take advantage of clean, reliable solar power.

Even without a strong RPS, there is still good reason to go solar in LA. Read on to find out why.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner.

RPS solar carve out


Grade: F

The best states for solar mandate that a certain percentage of the RPS comes directly from solar energy. Without a mandatory RPS in Louisiana, this is another area that falls short. If an RPS contains specific carve-outs for clean and efficient technologies like solar panels, or mandates for the environmentally necessary increases in distributed generation, you see even stronger incentives for residential solar power.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

Louisiana Electricity Prices


Grade: D

Louisiana pays just 10 cents per kWh for electricity—almost the cheapest rate in the nation. Cheap electricity rates mean you’re probably not feeling too much of a strain in your pocketbook... yet. Just don’t forget why electricity is so cheap.

Most of our electricity still comes from burning millions of tons of fossil fuels. The cost of those fossil fuels in dollars and cents may be low (for now), but the environmental costs are astronomically high. New regulations on carbon emissions and dwindling supplies will likely drive the cost up over the next few decades. But while everyone else is paying through the nose for the fuels of the past, you’ll be rocking that sweet, shiny solar power system on your roof, and making money! Just remember to thank us.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Louisiana Net Metering


Grade: B

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Louisiana’s net metering rules, established in 2005, cover residential systems up to 25kW and commercial systems up to 300kW. Net excess power generated gets credited to your next bill at the full retail rate. Unlike many other states, Louisiana’s net metering program contains no limits; your credits continue to build indefinitely, and are never relinquished back to the utility for non-use over time. For the final month in which you take service from the utility, the utility will pay you for the balance of any credit at the utility’s avoided-cost rate.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Louisiana Interconnection Rules


Louisiana’s net metering law includes basic interconnection requirements, but does not establish any set any actual interconnection rules beyond those basic safety compliance requirements. As a result, there is no standard interconnection process here. The net metering law does not address insurance requirements. Sadly the law does require a redundant external disconnect switch, though many inverter-based systems (as yours almost certainly will be) can qualify for an exemption if other safety shutdown features are in place.

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Louisiana

Louisiana Solar Power Rebates


Grade: F

Like we said, this is where you really see the effect of having no RPS here. Without mandatory minimum levels of renewable energy, the utility companies are happy to keep relying on all those fossil fuels so long as the profits keep coming in. If they have no incentives to encourage solar power, the utilities aren’t very motivated to give you any incentives either. That’s why there are no performance payments or utility rebates available here.

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Louisiana Solar Power Tax Credits

$2,000/kW, up to $10,000

Grade: A

But now the trump card... In short, Louisiana has one of the best state solar power tax credits in the nation. They give you $2,000/kW back as a tax credit, which with current prices, ends up at about half the cost. Wow. Even Brad Pitt is all over it.

That’s $2,000/kW based on the size of your system, with a maximum of $10,000. If you don’t owe that much in state tax you get a CHECK. Also, the $10,000 cap is PER SYSTEM so you could duplicate it if you have multiple meters to solar up. This single incentive is better than most states’ rebates and tax credits combined.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments


Grade: F

Again, without an RPS, there is little incentive for utility companies to pay a premium for solar. That holds as true in the bayou as it does in the desert.

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption


Grade: A

Louisiana also offers tax exemptions to help make solar power more attractive. You are 100% exempt from all property taxes associated with the increase in home value caused by installing a solar power system. And there is an increase. That’s going to save you a pretty nice chunk of change every year.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption


Grade: F

Unfortunately, there is no sales tax exemption here, meaning you’ll pay an extra 4% up front on the cost of your system.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

Switch to solar and save $36.44/mo on avg ($0 installations available) - Click Here

The consensus on Louisiana solar power rebates and incentives

The Louisiana legislature has provided one excellent way for homeowners to take advantage of the benefits of solar power. It was a forward-thinking move, but without any more formalized laws that require utilities to source their electricity from renewable sources, it’s easy to reverse course on the benefits of the tax credit. If the tax credit were to lapse, Louisiana would be a big “F.” Based on the big picture, we had to give it a “D.”

With that big, big tax credit still rolling, however, Louisiana is a great state for solar for now. Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, simply connect with our network of solar experts. They’ll help sort out all the pricing, get you access to special deals, and they’re super friendly to boot!

2015 Louisiana Solar Power Report Card

72 thoughts on “Louisiana Solar Power for your house – rebates, tax credits, savings

  1. Anonymous says:

    i t s’ not fair because i own a townhose, I can’t buy solar energy. who do I blame?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Where are you seeing that the LA State credit will be phased out July 1, 2015?

    1. Ben Zientara says:

      Not sure what that person is talking about. Louisiana’s tax credit goes through 2017:

  3. Anonymous says:

    you can only get tax credit for either solar panels or solar water you cant get both. You can only get the tax credit once in a lifetime, the louisiana state rebate is 50% on purchases and 28% on leases, the federal is 30% on leases and purchases. The louisiana rebate is being phased out july 1 2015 get

  4. Neal Estay says:

    UP Date on my Solar System

    It’s been 8 1/2 months now that my system has been operational. I pay 11.00 dollars a month and have over 6,000 KWh banked. I started a savings at the bank and put 160.00 (average for last 12 months) dollars a month into a savings account, right now i have 1,580.00 dollars in that account. Still to me a

  5. Paul Rizzo says:

    Not sure about solar water, but from my best guess if I control my air conditioner which apparently a incredible energy hog my Received(sun) vs Delivered on my net meter should be favoring me very soon.

    It is already paying for itself easily. The lease to own system that solar companies are doing is the real way to make solar viable to the average guy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is there any way that I can get both solar electricity and water?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I’m looking into getting solar panels put on my home, but I’m also interested in getting solar water. Is there any way that I can get both of them?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Neal Estay
    I’ve installed a 12.5 kw system on my house 3 months ago. My electric bill for those 3 months has been ZERO. I also banked 1839 KWh since i turned them on for future use. They will with stand winds up to 130 miles an hour. My panels are guareented to produce 97% of thier power for the 1st 13yrs. and 80% up to 30 yrs. and my micro invertors are guareented for 25 yrs…i’ll have my money back in 6 1/2yrs. I’m getting $29,000 back from state and
    $14,880 back from fed. this year ..i’ll get the rest of my money back from fed. next year($4,091). You have up to 6 yrs. to get your money back from feds….TO ME IT’S A WIN..WIN ..SITUAITON

  9. Chuck says:

    Can someone update me on what is going to happen in Louisiana next year in terms of solar. I just bought a house in New Orleans, I replaced the entire air conditioning system without any rebates. I also replaced all windows with double pane and I could not find any incentives. I know there are some tax incentives for solar now but I wonder what the situation will be like next year when I can afford the investment. I work for a solar company so I have access to inexpensive equipment. Thanks!

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Chuck, I’m from Louisiana and so is my girlfriend. I don’t live there so I’m not 100% up, but last I checked about a year ago, you could get a 50% state tax credit that you could add to the 30% federal tax credit, and the state tax credit was refundable (you don’t even need the tax hunger to take advantage of it).

      but, I’m not a tax pro so consult one please

  10. neal says:

    I will be installing solar panels in about 2 weeks also will be doing th spray foam which also qualifies for a fed. rebate. Everybody it is a smart move get with you CPA, like i did, have them run the numbers and i guarantee you will see the light.

  11. Roger A Laine says:

    Any website information on the white roof paint mentioned?
    I put a white roof on my house 6 years ago and it is now black, can’t pressure wash white sanded asphalt roofing, bleach turns it orange-yellow. The new paint needs anti microbial additives, as should any white roofing.

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Sorry Roger I don’t know too much about white roofs, but it sounds like a pressure washing is in order like you already thought about, maybe just use water and not bleach and see how it goes?

    2. Patricia says:

      I have a white roof that is 9 years old, it had weathered to nearly black. Just had it “soft washed” by Green Tiger Softwash Roof cleaning. It is sparkling white now and guaranteed to stay white for 5 years!!

  12. Alex galiouras says:

    Please call me for estmite

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Alex, what you want to do is sign up here and someone will call you pretty quickly.

      Take care,

  13. Jenn says:

    I have solar it’s assume my company did 1 year no interest no payment I did 12 panels one year than 14 2 years ago now 2012 I going off the grid solar is terriffic

  14. Tony says:

    Currently we are installing solar from a 5k system to 500 k system for no more than 4dollars per watt Therefore a 3 k system will cost 12000 the rebate is 12500 do the math , !

  15. kevin says:

    Hello, in Louisiana, locally, if I have a system shipped in, what is the total cost to have your group do the install?

  16. Steve says:

    I own a small apartment bldg with 4 apartments; one of which I live in. Are there any programs that will help me make the jump to solar?

  17. Ben says:

    Are the state and federal rebates a one-time deal? If I want to upgrade down the line am I still eligible for the rebates?

  18. D Carl says:

    OK, this is 2011, when does the state of LA run out of funds for this 50% rebate and does anyone know for sure how both rebates work to get your refund of 80% any government websites for additional info?

  19. C says:

    I am a property owner in LA with my primary residence in MS. Are there any restrictions to the LA ‘rebate’ if I add solar panels to my property in LA; but, live out of state? Also, is there a State of LA office that I could contact to ‘double check’ the rebate process?

  20. GreenCity says:


    Entry level NABCEP really doesn’t impress. Its better to be a journeyman or master electrician to enter the industry. The future of installation belongs to electricians (as it should).

    We have a free online class at that offers a good project development overview.

  21. Heath says:

    I will be attending a solar training course in a few months and want to know how good my chance is getting hired at one of Louisiana’s solar companies. I will receive NABCEB’s Entry Level Certificate after the completion of my course. I’m still undecided on taking an intensive, hands-on class at our states community college or taking an online class that lasts several weeks. I hope to eventually become a certified PV installer.
    Is solar energy even a profitable career in Louisiana?

  22. fred says:

    Has anyone seen Obama’s “Energy-Czar” advocating to people to paint their roofs white? I also had a small company solicit me to do same with an added material to the paint, specifically, very tiny ceramic air filled spheres, reportedly used on space shuttle tiles for added insulation from heat entering roof. It does make sense to me that a light color roof would result in much less heat absorption in attic, as it would reflect sun, any thoughts, experience ? Know this isn’t about solar, but the less cooling you would have to do in South Louisiana would result in less energy needing to be produced.

  23. Karen says:

    When does the Louisiana rebate of 50% expire? When does the Federal rebate of 30% expire?

  24. Jimmy says:

    serious questions with the upcoming climate change legislation in DC that’s coming down the pike…from what I’ve read, Entergy, LA may want to reconsider its policy and buy all the excess solar and wind that is generated and put on its grid. The only way to make renewables widespread in usage and feasable is to make it profitable for someone who might have extra acerage that they could put a stand-alone system or two on.

  25. Stefanie says:

    Do the panels have to be installed on your roof? It makes me nervous to think about roof repairs/replacement and having to find someone to remove panels and work with roofers to avoid voiding of warranties. It seems like it would be easier and less costly to just install them in the yard.

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Depends where you live, but most people lease solar now where the lessor guarantees the performance of the system (much like they would have to fix a leased car if it broke)

  26. Here’s how I see it: Solar is an affordable option because it enjoys generous incentives. Residential systems can earn up to an 80% tax credit – 30% federal and 50% state. Plus, enjoy a 5-year accelerated depreciation scenario, and the savings you’ll get from not paying the utility kinda make it a no-brainer, don’t you think?

  27. Bill says:

    In the future, when I have a roof replacement/repair, can the panels be removed temporarily and at a reasonable cost?

    1. Dan Hahn says:

      Hi Bill,

      Yes, you can temporarily remove the panels, re-roof, then reinstall them relatively easily. However, this might cost about $1000-$1500 to do. Before going solar, we recommend having a roof that is no more than 7 years old. If older, it usually makes more financial sense to re-roof before installing the panels. Also, you get better piece of mind knowing everything is top notch above your head.

      Before you re-roof, make sure your solar company has agreements with a local roofing company so that you’ll get double warranty in the extremely rare event of a leak. Sometimes, the solar warranty can void the roofer warranty and vice versa. It’s a mess you want to avoid.

  28. patrick says:

    Is the Louisiana state tax credit for solar applied to the total installation costs or only the installation costs minus the federal 30% credit. The estimator on the La. Clean Tech site took off the 30% before calculating the credit.

  29. Michael Xu says:

    I am not sure your math. $27,000-12,500-8,100=6,400; how do you get $5,400?

    The electrical bill is average $55/month assumed, $55×12=$660/yr, how do you get $600 for the first year? and $1,078/mon during 25 year life span? At the begaining you said 20 year to pay its self, how you calculated? why at the end you said 5.5 year to breakeven? How much interest you assumed for the invest? I am interested in solar, but want to have a convencing math for basis. Thanks!

  30. Bart says:

    I am considering installing a solar powered attic fan to aid in ventilation of my residential attic space. It seems the fans(either the fan/solar panel combo unit or separate pieces for conversion) cost around $300-400. I’m more saavy with DIY handywork than I am with taxes. I was wondering if it is a simple thing to do with claiming it on my taxes? Is it like getting half of the cost paid for? Is it worth the investment as my roof does have passive ridge vents? I do have a spare vent that looks like a good place to convert with inside mounted fan and an a roof top solar panel. Thanks for any input.

  31. Henry says:

    I have 100 acres of farm land. Can I put in several acres of solar panels and sell excess to utility company?

  32. Murray says:

    If you wish to be able to use the Solar system when the Grid system is down you will need a battery system, a charge controller, an off grid inverter and at least a manual switch to disconnect from the Grid. Most people dont want to spend the extra money.

  33. Scott Mahoney says:

    Whenever additional incentives such as cash rebates, prizes or gift certificates are offered in addition to the tax credit, the eligible cost must be reduced by the value of the incentive received.

  34. Jack says:

    I agree Keith. Solar for alternative energy is great, but not good as a power outage alternative. You would need a very large system with a battery back up hybrid inverter for it to work. A net meter type solar system would not function during a power outage because it does depend on the grid.

  35. Keith says:

    I was giving consideration to solar instead of natural gas generator for storms. My house is 2600sq.ft. and mother in law apt. in back is 500sq.ft. I’d need 22kw. With tax incentives where they are and cost no way. Plus I guess panels are too fragile. Are tax breaks a one time thing or can you get additional tax breaks next year if you expand system?

  36. Mr E. Max says:

    Mr Rushing your on the right track…
    But i will bet that you will pay the whole bill then get your percentages, when you can pry them from their cold dead hands…
    Also I agree with you I feel we should be given cash for the entergy we produce not a credit if and when we use it… and if we are suppling them we also should not be charge the default fee for being connected… Now to be fair we should only collect the current wholesale rate for the excess produced.

  37. Rick Rushing says:

    I have a concern in the MATH being used in these examples. The above cost analogy uses a “federasl tax credit” of $8100 and they say your out of pocket net will be $5400. Isn’t a tax credit an amount you take off your taxes at the end of the year, an amount you don’t pay taxes on? If so, then then the MATH should be a net of $13,500 and a tax break of $8100 you don’t have to pay taxes on at years end.

  38. Cheri Vincent says:

    My house is approx. 1800 sq.ft. I had my electric company fax me my monthly usages for last year. The maximum monthly KWH was 3899 and 128 KWH/Day. What size system would I need and What kind of cost am I looking out? Do I file for the rebates or do you file for them and have them sent directly to you?

  39. john says:

    When you pay your electric bill you pay them cash. The more power they have to use from your system the less cash you have to pay them. The main reason they give you a credit instead of cash is because you will usually use more power from them than they will from you, unless you have a large stand alone system, which you don’t have.

  40. wsurrette says:

    if you can not sell the over produced energy for cash why bother?

  41. Cece says:

    Just to let you know, the net-metering rule for commercial has a limit now of 300kw. Here is a link to a news article about it

  42. anne says:

    have there been any solar arrays installed in louisiana, not associated with a specific business or building. an array for the sole purpose of selling energy back to the grid??

  43. jeff says:

    One of the products we sell is called “Thin Film” by the manufacturer so that’s why we call it that. See

    The Department of Energy website is estimating a 10% annual increase in energy costs. I guess you can predict whatever you want.

    If your company needs any product give us a shout!

  44. JR says:

    The Energy Information Administration predicts energy cost will decrease year over year between now and 2015. If you are going to advertise South Cost on this board, make sure you are offering your customers a proper economic analysis.

    Thin Film in the photovoltaic industry does not refer to solar laminate. It refers to 2nd generation Copper-Indium products that will drastically reduce solar material costs. Some manufacturers also use it to refer to amorphous polysilicone and nickel based modules which have some decrease in material costs.

    The solar industry experienced impressive product changes in 2008, which will continue into 2009. If you need specific advice on what solar products are best for Louisiana’s rebate program, I am happy to help. My email is

  45. john says:

    What about consumer financing? What if you don’t have equity in your home ? Is there a company that will do direct lending ? If so, what is the name of the company ?

  46. Dan Hahn says:


    What is SCS?

  47. collin says:

    Is this SCS site?

  48. Chester Chesbro says:

    We live in Monroe, LA. Do you work in northeast LA?

  49. Pat Hazlip says:

    My annual electricity cost are now at 4000.00 average . I live in Ferriday LA 71334 and my home is about 3400 square feet living space. Is there such a thing as a whole house system. Seems if I save 4000 annually plus the tax credits it may be worth it to do it. Pat Hazlip

  50. Darrin Butler says:

    I am buying a home and I am interested in installing solar panels. I live in New Orleans and will buy home in six months.

  51. Adrian Bruneau says:

    South Coast Solar is the solar provider for my environmental consulting firm:

    Phoenix Environmental Group

    In addition to implementing solar systems, I would highly recommend a “green audit” to identify other energy efficiency measures for the home or business to maximize energy savings.

  52. James Thomas says:

    I have a small double wide mobile home in the country. My current elec usage is @ 1400 KWH per month. How much would a turn-key setup cost? My address is 9881 Highway 159 Shongaloo LA 71072

  53. butler ives says:

    A little correction, above it states that a typical 3kw system in New Orleans installed is $58,500..THIS IS NOT CORRECT.

    A typical 3kw system, installed, by a good, professional solar energy contractor, should run less than $25,000..installed..with NO SALES TAX ADDED.

    Especially if we ( South Coast Solar) do it for you!!

    By the way, I’ve heard that some companies are charging people sales tax. ( you know who you are) This is NOT LEGAL. Call the la dept of revenue and ask them if an improvement to your home ( which is considered immovable) can have sales tax charged.

    South Coast Solar is setting the bar in Louisiana for the most honest, dependable solar installations possible.

    In the gulf south solar is relatively new, so be sure to do your homework, ask a lot of questions, and pay close attention to the smell test.

    Don’t pay sales tax, don’t pay for a site visit, and make sure that when a company tells you how much energy a system will generate, they include things such as inverter inefficiencies, solar haze, dust on the collectors, etc.

    Also, check to make sure they have workers comp and general liability insurance.

    Butler Ives

  54. butler ives says:

    Ed, if initial costs are your concern, you should really consider Solar Thermal for heating the water in your home.

    Our systems sell for a little less than $8,000, and with the tax credits, your out of pocket is less than $2000.

    You’re going to have to pay taxes anyway, so just take the money you’ve saved for that, put it towards thermal now, and by the time tax season rolls around you might have already paid for 1/2 of it!

    Email us if you are interested @

    It is an affordable way to “go” solar.

    Butler Ives
    Director of Sales & Marketing
    South Coast Solar, LLC
    New Orleans, La

  55. Rick says:

    The Chevy Volt electric (mostly)car in late 2010 changes the economics for me. Solar can charge my house system batteries by day and then time shift my solar power to charge my car batteries at night. The pay back on something like this, while difficult to calculate, certainly passes my “gut check” logic.

  56. Ed says:

    If the costs came down to earth on the equipment and installation, thousands more people would be able to afford this product. The up front cost makes it almost impossible to think about making solar power a reality instead of just talk and speculation about its benefits.

    Let’s get the costs down, make this an easy choice for people everywhere wanting to use solar power for their residences and commercial property, reduce greenhouse gases, and put the big power companies out of business.

  57. Jeff Shaw says:

    To answer Johns question about “solar film”… we’ve been offering solar laminate for people with sloped metal roofs or flat roofs for years. The problem is that most homes have shingle roofs and film will not stick to them. Thin film is about half the efficiency of modules so it will take twice the area for the same power.

  58. John says:

    When are solar power companies going to move from panels to the commercially available roll on solar films?

  59. Tina says:

    I am about to rebuild my home that I lost to Katrina and will be rebuilding about 1300sq.ft. does anyone have an idea what size solar system that I would need and if it would make since to invest that kind of money on such a small place?

  60. butler ives says:

    PS…you also have to figure that energy rates will not stay the same in the future. So you need to add about 5%/year minimum to whatever you are paying now to figure ROI.

    Butler Ives
    South Coast Solar
    New Orleans, La

  61. butler ives says:

    If you include the fact that the systems themselves have value, the ROI is really day one. Without that, it is about 15.5 years.

    With thermal, the ROI again, if you figure the equipment is worth at least $1,000, is less than one year.

  62. ken says:

    I agree, the credits you get don’t really help much. I’ve looked into this and wait and see how things work out.Also you have to hope nothing breaks/i.e. hurricanes, weather in general

  63. Hi Chris, Systems can possibly last 50 years.. there are no moving parts and the PV panels themselves are made of inert Silicon. The inverter will probably not make it that long, but if replaced, you could seriously get power our of your system for that long. We have systems we did 30 years ago that are still kicking.

    Also, Louisiana will need some new subsidies, but the payback period is probably not 26 years unless you have very low electrical usage and maybe some shading issues. It’s best to get a quote and see what the scoop is.

  64. chris says:

    With the present Solar units lifespan of 20 years then the “years to break even” figure of 26 years doesn’t give much credence to install such a system… “green house” gas or not!
    The cost is still to high… maybe if the life of a system was 50 years.

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