Cost of solar panels in Louisiana

How much is it to go solar in 2024?

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Louisiana is one of the most expensive states to install solar panels in. The average cost to install solar panels is $32,126 before using the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). On the bright side, the price drops to $22,488 after the ITC.

Going solar in the Pelican State is about 35% more expensive than the national average. The out-of-pocket investment is higher than in other states, and the state offers few incentives to lessen the price of solar for residents. You can still save money over the life of your system, though.


Key insights

  • The average cost per watt is $3.15 in Louisiana.
  • The average payback period is 9 years if you pay for your system upfront.
  • Louisiana residents who go solar save an estimated $13,646 over 25 years.

How much do solar panels cost in Louisiana?

Installing residential solar panels generally costs between $10,000 to $30,000 or more. The size of your system is a big factor in how much you pay overall. The average size of solar systems in Louisiana is 12.5 kW.

Average cost by system size in Louisiana

Source: EcoWatch

Are solar panels worth it in Louisiana?

It depends. Solar panels are worth it for many residents in Louisiana. One resident, Jon in Houma, told us their electric bills “decreased a lot” after buying solar panels in 2015. That was almost 10 years ago when electricity rates were cheaper. With solar panels, your monthly energy costs are predictably low and don’t go up when utility companies raise their rates.

If you live in a more remote or shaded area — or if your energy consumption is really low — the upfront costs might not outweigh your savings over time. Louisiana's power rates are below average, but the state's energy consumption is also above average. Higher energy consumption means you need larger solar installations, which increases your overall costs.

Financially, it makes sense if what you pay for the panels each month is cheaper than your current electric bill and the panels generate most or all of your energy needs. It's best to evaluate your situation and compare a few quotes from reputable solar installers to see if solar panels are worth it.

» STILL NOT SURE? Solar pros and cons

Cost factors of going solar in Louisiana

How much you actually pay for your solar panels depends on a range of factors, including the size of your system, the quality of your panels and even the condition of your roof.

Your energy usage

Not surprisingly, the smaller your system, the less you pay. You can easily determine what size system you need. First, look at your electric bill account online to see how much electricity you used last year in kilowatt-hours (kWh). Divide that number by 1,200.

A typical Louisiana household uses 14,304 kWh per year. Using this formula, a typical home needs about a 12-kW system.

» WATT’S THE DIFFERENCE? kW vs. kWh

Solar equipment costs

Your system’s solar panel efficiency, the size and weight of your panels and what type of equipment you buy along with the panels can all play a part in how much you pay overall.

Here are some average costs you can expect for panels and other equipment:

» COMPARE: Most efficient solar panels

Condition of your roof

Considering that solar panels have a life of 25 to 30 years, your roof needs to be equally durable. If your roof falls short, you'll face extra costs to dismantle the panels, repair or replace the roof, and then reinstall the panels. To sidestep these added expenses and potential headaches, make sure your roof is in good shape before you transition to solar.

» SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

How you pay

If you can’t afford to pay cash, there are several other options to pay for your solar system. You can get a solar loan to finance solar panels. Other options include leasing solar equipment or entering a power purchase agreement (PPA). With a PPA, you’re basically borrowing the equipment and paying for the energy it produces. With a lease, it’s like renting the solar panels.

Local permits and fees

Unless you live outside of the city limits, you’ll more than likely need to get a permit for your solar system and pay local fees. These extra costs can add up to hundreds of dollars.

Solar incentives, tax credits and rebates 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. The credit drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

The average federal solar investment tax credit value in Louisiana is $9,638 in 2023.

Louisiana has a statewide 100% ad valorem property tax exemption, so you won’t pay additional property tax for the value added to your home by solar panels and other clean energy equipment. There’s also a partially subsidized loan program to make going solar more affordable.

» EXPLORE: Louisiana solar incentives

Compare solar installation 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

How are solar costs trending in Louisiana?

The cost to go solar in Louisiana has fallen 43% over the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Can I get free solar panels in Louisiana?

You can lease or enter a PPA with little to no 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 much can I save with solar panels?

It’s a common misconception that solar panels always completely eliminate your monthly power bill — this is not always the case. The good news is people who still have a bill after going solar are paying significantly less than they were before.

» EXPLORE: Where solar savings go the furthest

How does net metering work in Louisiana?

If your solar system generates more energy than you use, you can sell the surplus to your electric provider through a process known as net metering. This arrangement rewards you with credits on your electricity bill for the energy you contribute. To be eligible for net metering in Lousiana, your solar system's capacity must not exceed 25 kilowatts (kW).

» COMPARE: Best solar monitoring systems

Is it cheaper to install solar panels myself?

It’s potentially cheaper to DIY your solar system, but it can also be difficult and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing, especially for a large residential project.

» DIY solar panels: Pros and cons

Can I install solar panels on a historic building?

There may be restrictions on adding solar to historical buildings or landmarks. In New Orleans, the Historic District Landmarks Commission doesn’t prohibit the installation of solar panels on most historic buildings, though you may need approval from the City Council in some districts.

Will hail damage my solar panels?

Yes, hail can damage solar panels, but you shouldn’t let that deter you from installing them. Many brands of solar panels are made to withstand smaller hail that's normal in Louisiana. The cost of fixing any damage that does occur may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

Bottom line

Going solar in Louisiana costs more than in other states, but don’t let that deter you. The ITC and property tax exemption can make panels much cheaper. Plus, over 25 years, you could rack up around $13,646 in savings. Net metering can help to offset some of the cost, as well.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation

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. EcoWatch, “Solar Panel Cost in Louisiana.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  2. EcoWatch, “Is Solar Worth it in Louisiana?” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  3. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  4. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Louisiana Solar.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  5. DSIRE, “Louisiana Programs.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  6. EnergySage, “Louisiana Solar Panels.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
  7. Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, “Solar energy for historic buildings.” Accessed Nov. 5, 2023.
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