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

2017 Policy

F

Avg. Yearly Savings

$544

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Louisiana

2016 Policy

F

Avg. Savings/yr

$544

At Solar Power Rocks, our dream is to turn your thoughts of solar power for your home into reality

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.

Over the past few years, solar policy in Louisiana has been a bit stop-and-go. And as of right now, it's full STOP. The state has ended the former solar tax credit that was VERY successful, and net metering is no longer something solar owners can expect. For 2017, we cannot recommend going solar in Louisiana, unless the other benefits of solar ownership are worth thusands of dollars to you.

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.

Your guide to going solar in Louisiana

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Louisiana. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with 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. Before you scroll down, we'll get right to the point: unless you're willing to sink thousands of dollars into solar with little hope of a finacnial return, Louisiana is not a good place to invest in panels for your home.

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

 Buying Solar in Louisiana

Paying up front used to be the only way to get panels on your roof, and it's still the option that allows you the most control. But it isn't the best option from a percentage return on investment standpoint—that award goes to the solar loan option.

Still, an outright purchase means you own the system from day one and reap the benefits. You get the 30% Federal solar tax credit and electricity savings to bring your first-year costs way down. The trouble is, in Louisiana, these benefits are environmental; not financial.

In our example, you put down $20,000, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced more than $5,200 in income. But that late income makes the system not worth its cost, compared to an alternative investment. Check out the NPV:

Net Present Value: -$4,129

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Louisiana's -$4,129 NPV on a 5-kW solar system means you'd be that much better off investing your money in stocks over 25 years than solar. Electricity is just so cheap in Louisiana right now, a solar system for you home isn't a good investment unless the environmental benefits are worth at least $4,129 to you.

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

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $20,000.
  • The Feds calculate their 30% tax credit based on actual out of pocket costs, so you'll get $6,000 back as a tax credit, for a new price (after year 1) of $14,000. Note: you can take the credit over as many years as necessary if you don't owe $6,000 in Federal taxes this year.
  • Next, you'll subtract your first-year energy savings, which will add up to about $544, bringing your cost after the first year to $13,456. Those savings will continue for the life of your system, and will only get bigger over time, considering that utility companies raise their rates 3.5% annually on average.
  • By the time your system pays itself back in year 20, you’ll be seeing over $900 per year in savings until the end of your 25-year warranty.
  • When all is said and done, our estimate shows a total net profit of $5,261, with an internal rate of return of 2.5%. That's not even half as good as a 25-year investment in the stock market, which means solar isn't the best investment option—but it is a way to make a little money while doing good for the environment.
  • On top of those returns, your home's value just increased by just about $14,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • And speaking of doing good for the environment... your system will create some green for the earth by not using electricity from fossil-fuels. In fact, the energy you’re not using has the carbon equivalent of planting 101 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.

 Solar Loans in Louisiana

Usually, this is where we tell you that taking a loan for solar panels is a no-brainer, because it means investing in an income-generating asset. And technically, that's true in Louisiana, too. It's just not a sure-thing like it is in other states, because Louisiana has some of the lowest electricity prices in the nation, and the savings aren't as great.

As you can see from the chart above, you'll start out with a big windfall, because with a loan, you're not putting any money down, and you get the Federal 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of your system. Then, over the 15-year repayment term of your loan, you'll be spending more than you're saving in electricity costs, to the tune of about $1,000 per year until you pay the loan off.

After that, you'll save over $800 per year in electricity costs from your paid-for solar panels, but by the end of the system's 25-year warranty, you still won't have broken even. That means a solar investment like this in Louisiana will cost rather than save you money over the long term.

Net Present Value: -$2,503

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Louisiana's -$2,503 NPV on a solar loan means you'd be that much better off investing your money in stocks over 25 years than solar. We believe in the environmental benefits of solar, but $2,503 is a lot of money to pay for something that usually saves you money over the long term.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Louisiana solar purchase with a solar loan:

  • 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 it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $544, but your loan payments will total $1,775, for a difference of $1,231, or about $102 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your tax savings for the year will be $6,000! You'll come out nearly $4,800 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • When your loan’s paid off after year 15, you’ll start see over $800 year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • Still, at the end of your 25-year panel warranty, you'll be in the hole about $1,400. That's not a huge amount of money, but considering what you could have made from an alternative investment, it ain't pretty.
  • If you decide the cost is worth it, the environmental benefits might make you smile a little. Operating your system will take as much carbon out of the air as planting 101 trees 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.

 Small Rooftop Systems in Louisiana

Let's say you don't have a ton of extra cash laying around, but you do have a bit of equity in your home. Can you get solar panels? YES! Is it a good idea in Louisiana? That depends on what you're in it for...

See, solar saves you money on your electric bill, but in Louisiana, we only pay $.09 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity, which means solar saves you less money than in states with high electricity costs. You'll still save a little over the long-term with solar, but it won't be better than an alternative investment.

Here are the factors we'll look at for this example:

  • A 2-kW rooftop system that will cost around $9,600 installed.
  • A HELOC for that amount with a 10-year payback at 4% interest.

Just like with a big system, you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get the big federal tax credit for buying solar. You'll get the 30% of your solar costs back as a tax credit and the energy bill savings will start right away. Your loan payments will be about $103 per month while your energy bill savings will be about $18—a difference of $83. Basically, for the cost of cable TV service, you do your part to save the planet from carbon pollution, and make a little money later in your life, too.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Louisiana solar purchase with a small rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 2-kW solar system should cost about $9,600. Your loan should be for this amount.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $218, while your loan payments will cost $1,166.
  • At the end of the year, the Federal government will give you a tax credit of 30% of the cost of your system. That's $2,880 that you won't owe this year. You can take that credit over as many years as necessary if you don't owe that much in federal taxes this year.
  • When your loan’s paid off after year 10, you’ll see over $285 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • At the end of your system's 25-year warranty, you'll end up in the hole a little bit; -$1,079 per our estimate.
  • Your system will remove as much carbon from the air as planting 40 trees per year, which is a pretty great thing, we'd say.
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.

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:

RPS

None

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. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

None

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

$0.09/kwh

Grade: F

Louisiana pays just 9 cents per kWh for electricity—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

D

Grade: D

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.

Unfortunately, Louisiana’s net metering rules are kind of a joke. Arbitrary net metering caps here mean new solar owners can only expect to receive half-price for any kilowatt-hours they don't use to power their own home. Until the legislature gets this figured out, the state is a bad, bad place for new home solar.

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

None

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

None

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

None

Grade: F

This is where Louisiana used to shine, but no longer. The state once offered huge solar income tax credits that cut people a CHECK for any portion over their tax bill. It made going solar here a really good idea, but the gravy train has been parked in the garage, disassembled, and sold for scrap. No more tax credits mean Louisiana's solar industry is all but dead.

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

None

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

100%

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

None

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).

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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!

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

  1. Marion says:

    Can a HOA forbid someone to install solar panels in Louisiana? Is there any type of legal text? Thanks…

  2. Anonymous says:

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

  3. 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: http://programs.dsireusa.org/system/program/detail/2636

  4. 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

  5. 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 win..win..situation

  6. 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.

  7. Anonymous says:

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

  8. 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?

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!!

  13. Alex galiouras says:

    Please call me for estmite

    1. Dave Llorens says:

      Alex, what you want to do is sign up here https://solarpowerrocks.com/free-solar-estimates/ and someone will call you pretty quickly.

      Take care,
      Dave

  14. 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

  15. 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 , !

  16. 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?

  17. 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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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?

  20. 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?
    C

  21. GreenCity says:

    Heath,

    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 http://www.cleantechtraining.com that offers a good project development overview.

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. Karen says:

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

  25. 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.

  26. 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)

  27. 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?

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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!

  31. 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.

  32. Henry says:

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

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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?

  37. 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.
    e…

  38. 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.

  39. 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?

  40. 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.

  41. wsurrette says:

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

  42. 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 http://blog.nola.com/tpmoney/2008/08/the_state_has_increased_the_ma.html.

  43. 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??

  44. jeff says:

    JR,
    One of the products we sell is called “Thin Film” by the manufacturer so that’s why we call it that. See http://www.uni-solar.com/

    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! http://www.gulfsouthsolar.com

  45. JR says:

    Butler,
    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.

    Jeff,
    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.

    All,
    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 jcromer@greencityaustin.com.

  46. 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 ?

  47. Dan Hahn says:

    Collin,

    What is SCS?

  48. collin says:

    Is this SCS site?

  49. Chester Chesbro says:

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

  50. 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

  51. 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.

  52. Adrian Bruneau says:

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

    Phoenix Environmental Group
    http://www.phoenixenvironmentalgroup.com

    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.

  53. 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

  54. 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

  55. 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 @ info@southcoastsolar.com

    It is an affordable way to “go” solar.

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

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. John says:

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

  60. 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?

  61. 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

  62. 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.

  63. 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

  64. 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.

  65. 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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