Louisiana solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Financial resources for going solar in 2024

Author pictureAuthor picture
Author picture
Written by
Author picture
Edited by

Do you own or rent?

house with veranda with solar panels on roof

Louisiana is one of the most expensive states to get solar panels. Before using any tax credits, a typical residential system costs $32,126 (about $10,000 more than the national average). That price drops to $22,488 after using the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

Louisiana also offers a property tax exemption for the value a solar energy system adds to your home, and there are low-interest solar loans through the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.


Key insights

  • You can take advantage of solar tax breaks and loan programs in Louisiana.
  • The average federal tax credit value is $9,638 in Louisiana.
  • Louisiana residents who go solar receive an estimated average net savings of $13,646 over 25 years.

Solar incentives in Louisiana

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest factor in reducing the cost of going solar in Louisiana. If you install a residential solar panel system by the end of 2032, you will receive a federal income tax credit equal to 30% of the system's total cost — including equipment, labor and permits.

ITC drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

For example, the average system in Louisiana costs $32,126. At this price, you can get a $9,638 credit when you file your taxes.

The solar tax credit is not a rebate or refund — you must claim it when you file federal taxes in the year that your solar panel system becomes operational. To do this, you have to complete Form 5695. The credit is also nonrefundable, so any unused portion rolls over into the next tax year.

» MUST-KNOW: Tax deductions for homeowners

Statewide residential solar incentives in Louisiana

Louisiana has two solar incentives for residents wanting to go solar. The property tax exemption includes solar panels and other solar equipment. The other is a way to finance energy efficiency improvements through a partially subsidized loan program.

Property tax exemption

Homeowners get a 100% property tax exemption on any value solar investments add to their properties. This means there’s no increase in property taxes if their property value increases after installing solar panels.

It’s an ad valorem tax exemption, which means “according to value” in Latin. The exemption applies to solar panels, solar water heaters, solar space heaters and solar pool heating.

Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)

Homeowners can get loans of up to $12,000 to pay for solar panels, solar water heaters, solar space heaters and geothermal heat pumps.

The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources (LDNR) funds half the loan amount. The LDNR portion of the loan has a fixed 2% interest rate. The other half of the loan is subject to the market interest rate set by the lender. The overall interest rate is calculated as a blend of the LDNR’s 2% rate and the market rate on the other half.

Each lender sets its own maximum loan amount and interest rate, so terms vary. The program is designed to give borrowers lower interest rates than they could otherwise get. Unfortunately, the number of participating lenders is limited.

What to know about net metering in Louisiana

If you don’t store the excess energy that your solar system produces, you have the option of selling it to your electric company. This is called net metering. The electric company gives customers credits on their power bill as compensation for the power. If the credits aren’t used, the customer can exchange them for money when they discontinue their electric service.

Louisiana models its net metering after Arkansas’ policy. It requires utility companies to offer net metering to residents who generate electricity with solar, wind and other natural resources. Residential systems up to 25 kilowatts (kW) in capacity qualify. Commercial and agricultural systems can be up to 300 kW.

» GREENEST STATES: Louisiana ranks No. 38

Solar resources in Louisiana

Below are some additional resources that can guide you through transitioning to solar in Louisiana.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation

Find solar companies in Louisiana

Compare popular solar companies available in Louisiana below. Read our guide to finding the best solar companies for more.

Do you own or rent?

FAQ

Can I get solar panels for free in Louisiana?

No, but you can lease or enter a power purchase agreement (PPA) with minimal upfront costs. Still, neither is totally free. Solar leases generally require a flat monthly fee; PPAs make you pay per unit of electricity.

» FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

How can I pay for solar panels?

You can pay cash, but most people finance solar panels with a solar loan. It works a lot like any other type of loan — there’s an application and approval process, and you pay it back over time (with interest). Two other options are a lease or power purchase agreement.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

How much can I save with solar panels in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, the average savings is $13,646 over 25 years. Even if you don’t generate 100% of your energy needs, you can still save a lot of money versus paying traditional utility bills.

Are there any disadvantages to going solar in Louisiana?

Louisiana is the most expensive state for solar. In fact, going solar in Louisiana is 35% more expensive than the national average. There are few incentives to make the process cheaper, as well.

» MORE: Solar energy pros and cons

Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels?

By law, HOAs cannot restrict your solar panels in Louisiana.

Bottom line: How much are solar panels in Louisiana?

While going solar in Louisiana is more expensive than in other states, there are a few ways to lessen the blow on your budget. While you’re shopping around, get a low-interest solar loan offered by the state to make paying off your new system easier. Also, make sure to take advantage of the ITC and the state’s property tax exemption.

The ConsumerAffairs research team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine how much it costs to go solar in Louisiana and the average solar costs in other states.

Solar costs: Louisiana vs. nearby states

*Before the federal investment tax credit (ITC); **When you pay in full upfront

Article sources

ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

  1. DSIRE “Louisiana Programs.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  2. DSIRE, “Net Metering in Louisiana.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  3. EcoWatch, “How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Louisiana?” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  4. United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Summary of Inflation Reduction Act provisions related to renewable energy.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  5. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Louisiana Solar.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  6. Louisiana State Legislature, “HB 751.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  7. State of Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, “Technology Assessment Division.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  8. State of Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, “HELP - Home Energy Loan Program.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
Did you find this article helpful? |
Share this article