Louisiana is second in the country for energy consumption per capita, largely because of the state’s industrial sector. The majority of this energy comes from natural gas which, for residential consumers, is much more expensive than the national average. With the high need for energy, residents may look toward less expensive and cleaner sources for power in the future, such as solar. Learn more about solar panels in Louisiana, including rebates available, policies and where to find more information.

Louisiana’s Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

How Expensive is Electricity in Louisiana?

Both commercial and residential electricity prices in Louisiana are well below the national average at $.084/kWh and $.09/kWh, respectively. This means that Louisiana residents may not feel as inclined to find alternative energy sources. However, with most of the state’s energy supplied by natural gas, which costs $3.51/thousand cu feet more than the national average for residential consumers, Louisianans may look into solar energy as a long-term, environmentally friendly alternative.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Louisiana
Solar Resource Library

Policies & Incentives for Using Solar Panels in Louisiana

Though it’s not a particularly solar-friendly state, the county, state and federal governments are attempting to make going solar more lucrative for Louisiana residents. A net metering policy allows those with solar power to earn back in cash the energy they didn’t use from their panels. In addition, federal tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency give residents tax breaks for installing and utilizing environmentally friendly energy sources for their homes. The list below includes the solar energy incentives and policies for Louisiana.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

Sustainable Energy Financing Districts (PACE)

A program that provides PACE loans for paying towards the installation of energy improvements and clean energy generators, with a limit of up to 10 percent of the property’s retail value.

Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)

Offers residential homeowners a five-year loan to be used to improve the energy efficiency of their home. The maximum loan amount is $5,000.

None for commercial specifically

POLICIES

Net Metering

Utility companies are required to provide net metering services for residential generators of up to 25 kW capacity and commercial and agricultural generators of up to 300 kW. Utilities are also able to buy at least 0.5% of the retail peak load electricity produced.

Interconnection Guidelines

Rules that adopted net metering requirements and interconnection guidelines. Customers who want their personal generators connected with their utility must sign an interconnection agreement and pay for all interconnection costs.

Solar Rights

State law prevents the unreasonable restriction of property owners from installing solar energy systems, except on historical landmarks, districts and historical preservation areas.

Solar and Wind Contractor Licensing

For consumer protection, any contractor that wishes to legally install solar panels must comply with the Louisiana State Board of Licensing. Solar PV and Solar Heating installer certifications are available and can be obtained through testing.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

TAX CREDITS

None

Personal Tax Credit for Solar Energy Systems on Residential Property

Tax credits are available for the installation of solar panels after January 1, 2008 and before January 1, 2018. Tax credit amounts vary per system costs and date of installation.

None for commercial specifically

EXEMPTIONS

None

Solar Energy System Exception

Any equipment that is attached to a residential home or swimming pool, such as solar panels, are exempt from ad valorem taxation, as long as the equipment is considered personal property.

None for commercial specifically

Louisiana Companies, Contractors & Installers

Acadiana Solar

Acadiana Solar provides solar energy installation services to Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles and the surrounding areas.

Where it operatesLafayette, LA

Bannister Solar & Energy Solutions

Bannister is a family owned and operated business that performs home energy audits and offers solar systems and solar shield screens.

Where it operatesMonroe, LA

Year of opening2004

Freedom Power, LLC

Freedom Power is a full-service electrical contracting firm run by one of the state’s only North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners certified solar installers. Freedom Power specializes in PV system installations and solar energy equipment.

Where it operatesShreveport, LA

Year of opening2004

Gulf South Solar

A full-service provider of renewable energy products, Gulf Solar distributes, designs and installs solar power systems.

Where it operatesBaton Rouge, LA

Year of opening2003

Joule Energy

Joule Energy creates custom solar solutions for customers, covering everything from analysis to design, installation and assistance with rebate paperwork.

Where it operatesNew Orleans, LA

Year of opening2009

Kastner Electric

A full-service electrical contractor, Kastner can design and install solar electricity systems for residential properties.

Where it operatesSlidell, LA

Year of opening1960

Louisiana Solar Solutions

Louisiana Solar Solutions is a locally owned company that can assist customers with financing and other incentives.

Where it operatesLafayette, LA

Year of opening2007

PosiGen

With three locations in the state and several others across the country, PosiGen aims to work with low- to moderate-income families to help them reduce their energy costs.

Where it operatesNew Orleans, LA

Year of opening2011

Solar Alternatives

Solar Alternatives designs and installs grid-tied and off-grid photovoltaics, commercial-scale solar process heat and auxiliary residential equipment in addition to other green energy solutions.

Where it operatesNew Orleans, LA

Year of opening2008

South Coast Solar

South Coast Solar provides clean energy services to its customers statewide. The company has installed more than 1,500 solar panels with its services backed by a 10-year labor warranty and power production guaranty. Additional services include solar thermal, backup generators and LED lighting solutions.

Where it operatesNew Orleans, LA

Year of opening2007

SUNPRO

SUNPRO serves the south Gulf area and has over 20 years of experience in the home building industry.

Where it operatesMandeville, LA

Wilhite Solar Solutions

Wilhite Solar Solutions is the solar-focused offshoot of Wilhite Electric, one of Louisiana’s largest electrical contractors. The specialize in adding solar panels to residential and commercial buildings.

Where it operatesShreveport, LA

Year of opening1975

Resources

A number of local, state and federal organizations are available to assist Louisiana residents as they research the transition to solar. We’ve included some of them here for you.

Gulf States Renewable Energy Industries Association

Representing solar and renewable energy firms in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, the GSREIA supports these businesses through policy, regulation and public relations.

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources

This government office works to promote sustainable use of the state’s natural resources. It provides a regulatory system that allows organizations to grow and develop in an effort to maintain economic stability in the state.

Louisiana Solar Energy Society

This nonpartisan organization promotes and educates people about solar energy. It holds monthly meetings for solar enthusiasts and professionals and also holds conferences and workshops regularly.

National Association of State Energy Officials

This national non-profit association was formed in 1986 to facilitate educating state officials about state energy needs and advocates for state energy offices to federal agencies.