The complete list of Louisiana solar incentives and tax credits for 2023, plus how to take advantage.
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Louisiana gets more sunshine than average in the U.S., but the state’s low cost of electricity and lack of solar incentives means the Bayou State ranks just 38th for installed solar capacity. The state produces less than half a percent (0.43%) of its energy from solar, with just 20,500 or so homes powered by the sun in Louisiana, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
Things used to be better for Louisianans interested in going solar at home. Until 2016, the state offered a very generous 50% tax credit that could save homeowners up to $12,500 on a solar installation even before applying for the federal solar tax credit. This combination alone made going solar in Louisiana an easy choice for many homeowners.
Now, however, the federal tax credit is the biggest incentive for installing solar in the state of Union, Justice, and Confidence. Homeowners can still sign up for net metering in Louisiana, though, and can make use of a solar state property tax exemption to keep costs down even as their property values rise.
Louisiana State Solar Incentives
|Low-cost solar loans and leases||Solar for All NOLA offers New Orleans, LA, residents low-cost options to purchase or lease home solar energy systems|
|State property tax exemption for solar||Louisianans who install home solar don’t have to worry about increased property taxes based on value added by the array|
|Net metering in Louisiana||Louisiana law allows for net metering, but the rules are less generous than they used to be and net metering is no longer required by law|
Solar for All in Louisiana
There are no statewide subsidized solar loans programs in Louisiana, but if you happen to live in New Orleans, check out the Solar For All NOLA program.
Solar for All NOLA offers solar purchasing and leasing options for homeowners in New Orleans. Qualifying homeowners can install solar panels with no money down or no loan, depending on whether they want to own the solar system outright.
Through the program, homeowners can get a free solar evaluation courtesy of one of two local installers: PosiGen Solar and Solar Alternatives. This evaluation helps check the feasibility of residential solar and if a typical system would generate enough energy to make going solar worth the cost of installation.
State property tax exemptions in Louisiana
Louisiana offers a property tax exemption for homeowners installing solar. Under this law, solar panels and solar heating equipment are considered personal property, rather than taxable property, making them exempt from ad valorem taxation. As such, property assessors are instructed to not consider the value of solar arrays when assessing a building’s value for the purposes of taxation.
Net metering in Louisiana
Louisiana used to have a net metering mandate, but it was scrapped in 2019, meaning utilities can now offer net metering but aren’t required to by law.
Under the current system, some utilities continue to offer net metering, albeit at a much lower buy-back rate.
For example, Entergy customers in Louisiana who installed home solar after December 31, 2019, are billed under Rider Schedule DG. This tariff uses two-channel billing, where customers pay retail rate for all electricity (in kWh) purchased from the utility but are credited only at the utility’s current Avoided Cost rate for excess energy exported to the grid. The current buy-back rate was approximately $0.0368 beginning April 1, 2022.
Under the Entergy tariff, customers are still charged a fixed Customer Charge or minimum bill, with any remaining bill credit carried over to the following month’s bill. At the end of the annual billing cycle, customers with any unused credits will receive a check from the utility for the credit balance at the Avoided Cost rate.
Final thoughts on state solar incentives in Louisiana
Louisiana may not have many state solar incentives remaining for installing residential arrays, but homeowners here can still enjoy a property tax exemption and some compensation through net metering.