If you are tired of your large electricity bills, occasional power outages, or if you want to contribute to saving the planet by switching to renewable energy, installing solar panels on your property is the perfect choice for you. This process can also be a bit confusing, so continue reading to find out everything you need to know about solar panels in Louisiana.
This article will cover
- Solar System Installation Costs In Louisiana
- Incentives, Tax Credits & Rebates For Solar Panels In Louisiana
- What To Look For When Installing Solar Panels In Louisiana
- Top 7 Solar Companies In Louisiana
Solar System Installation Costs In Louisiana
The first question many potential customers ask is the price of installing solar panels. The answer largely depends on several factors.
The Material Of Solar Panels
There are two main options used in the production of photovoltaic panels nowadays – monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar panels. They are both made out of silicon, but they differ in how the crystals are distributed in the cells of the solar panels.
Monocrystalline solar panels imply that there is one crystal per cell, and in the polycrystalline panels, several crystals are molded and put into one cell. You can see the difference just by looking at them – blue panels are polycrystalline, and the black ones are monocrystalline.
Apart from the esthetics, you should know that monocrystalline panels are slightly more effective and expensive. If you decide to install them, you should be ready to pay a little more, but your payback period will be shorter too.
Size Of The Property
The next factor that affects the total price of installation of the solar panels is the size of your property. Naturally, the larger the area you want to cover with photovoltaic panels the more expensive it is. However, keep in mind that most manufacturers and companies offer a lower price per watt for larger systems – kind of like wholesale.
Residential Vs. Commercial
Finally, the price can be different whether you choose to install a residential or a commercial solar system. The two main differences between the two are size and efficiency. Commercial panels are slightly larger and they are a bit more efficient than the residential ones (by around 2-3%).
This makes them more expensive as well. It’s good to consider commercial solar panels if your property is very large because your profit will be higher, but if you plan to cover a smaller area, you will be just fine with the residential system.
In the table below you will see the average price that you can expect to pay considering the area individual sizes of solar systems cover.
|System size||Area it covers||System cost before ITC|
|1 kW||90 sq. ft.||3000$|
|2 kW||180 sq. ft.||6000$|
|3 kW||270 sq. ft.||9000$|
|4 kW||360 sq. ft.||12000$|
|5 kW||450 sq. ft.||15000$|
|6 kW||540 sq. ft.||18000$|
|7 kW||630 sq. ft.||21000$|
|8 kW||720 sq. ft.||24000$|
|9 kW||810 sq. ft.||27000$|
|10 kW||900 sq. ft.||30000$|
Keep in mind that this is the raw price, without any subtractions. Keep reading to find out if you qualify for any of the incentives, tax credits, or rebates the state of Louisiana may offer.
Incentives, Tax Credits & Rebates For Solar Panels In Louisiana
Louisiana had one of the best programs and financial options for solar energy until a few years ago. Most of them are not available anymore, but there are still several incentives that you can take advantage of.
Investment Tax Credit (ITC)
Investment Tax Credit is an incentive implemented by the USA government in 2006. It applies to every state, including Louisiana, and it can take 26% off of the total cost of your new solar system. The ITC can be used both for residential and commercial systems. Keep in mind that it drops to 22% in 2023, and the systems that begin installation after 2023 will not be eligible anymore.
The ITC is not a rebate – you don’t get the money right away. It is rather a reduction of the taxes you would normally pay the government in the amount of 26% of the total cost of your solar system. To be eligible, you need to be a property owner and the owner of the solar system – renters do not qualify for this perk.
Here is the table with the prices after the ITC is implemented.
|System size||Area it covers||System cost before ITC|
|1 kW||90 sq. ft.||2220$|
|2 kW||180 sq. ft.||4440$|
|3 kW||270 sq. ft.||6660$|
|4 kW||360 sq. ft.||8880$|
|5 kW||450 sq. ft.||11100$|
|6 kW||540 sq. ft.||13320$|
|7 kW||630 sq. ft.||15540$|
|8 kW||720 sq. ft.||17760$|
|9 kW||810 sq. ft.||19980$|
|10 kW||900 sq. ft.||22200$|
Net metering is a great way to not only save money but also potentially earn it when using solar panels as your main source of energy. Whenever your solar panels produce more energy than you use, the excess energy is sent to the grid, and you are paid for it.
This usually happens during the summer, when you have more solar panels than you need for your electricity consumption, and when you are not home for some time.
Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources offers a five-year loan for a solar system that costs up to 12000$. They pay for half of it at 2% interest, which is lower than what you can get on the market. The other half is paid by another lending institution of your choice at their interest rate.
Property Tax Exemption
Installing solar panels on your property increases its overall value. Normally, you would have to pay taxes, but the state of Louisiana offers property tax exemption, meaning that you don’t have to pay taxes for your increased home value. If you decide to sell your house, it can be up to 10000$ more than those without a solar system.
Finally, don’t forget about all of the money you will save over the years your solar panels produce electricity for you. The average monthly electric bill in Louisiana is around 112$. With the typical lifespan of a solar system of 25 years, you can save more than 30000$!
What To Look For When Installing Solar Panels In Louisiana
One of the most important things that can predict the efficiency of a solar system is the climate. Luckily, Louisiana is very hot, with mild and short winters, giving it plenty of sunny days to power your solar panels properly.
This state averages 216 sunny days per year with an average temperature of 68.15 degrees Fahrenheit. It has around five peak hours per day, meaning that there are five hours every day when your solar panels get enough sunlight to produce 1000 watts of energy per square meter. Anything over four hours is a good amount for the efficiency of a solar system.
When it comes to the position your solar panels should be put at, it depends on the exact city where you live in. However, here are the approximate numbers. If your solar panels are fixed throughout the whole year, they should be at around 27 degrees.
If you want to change the position of your solar panels two times a year they should be at around six degrees during summer and at around 45 degrees during winters.
When the position of solar panels is changed four times a year, they should be at approximately 27 degrees in spring, 50 degrees in summer, 3 degrees during autumn, and again 27 degrees during winter. However, you shouldn’t worry too much about the angle and the direction at the beginning as your contractor will do that.
Top 7 Solar Companies In Louisiana
Choosing the right company to install your solar panels is a crucial part of the process. Here are the top 7 solar companies in Louisiana.
1. Sunpro Solar
Sunpro Solar is the largest residential solar installer in Louisiana. They offer both residential and commercial solar systems. You can get a free solar estimate on their website. Sunpro Solar’s headquarters are located in Mandeville.
Location: 22171 M.C.H, Mandeville, LA 70471
This company has been operating since 2007. They promise quality products and fair and honest treatment. They are NABCEP certified and have been recognized a national dealer of the year 2019. Apart from solar panels, they also offer battery storage services.
Location: 2605 Ridgelake Dr, Metairie, LA 70002
Solar Alternatives consists of professionals with decades of experience in the field. They provide both commercial and residential solar panels. They are located in New Orleans and you can get a quote by contacting them.
Location: 333 Texas St Suite 1300, Shreveport, LA 71101
4. JEH Solar
JEH Solar is a company with thirty years of experience. They are located in Lafayette. You can choose them for both commercial and residential services. If you want to see the approximate price that you will pay, visit their website.
Location: 407 Mecca St, Lafayette, LA 70508
5. Bayou Solar
Bayou Solar is an LA State Licensed Contractor with a specialty in Solar Energy Equipment. They exclusively use American-made or ARRA-certified products for maximum quality. You can get a quick quote on their website.
Location: 1517 Edwards Ave, Elmwood, LA 70123
Achievers of Louisiana is a home improvement company based in West Monroe. Apart from many other services they offer, they can get your solar panels installed. You can contact them if you want a visit to your property with an estimate of the cost.
Location: 304 Downing Pines Rd, West Monroe, LA 71292
PosiGen has a mission to help low-income families and families of color afford solar energy. They want to make a positive impact on the families they serve and on the environment. They offer leasing and purchasing of solar panels, with maintenance and monitoring included.
Location: 819 Central Ave Suite 210, New Orleans, LA 70121
Louisiana is a state with great solar potential. It is sunny most of the year, you can save a lot of money, and there are many companies that can help you in the process of switching to renewable energy. If you are still hesitating, you can always contact one of them and get more personal and detailed information on why solar energy is the best option for your property.