2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Lafayette, LA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Lafayette.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Lafayette?
Solar Energy System Exemption
Home Energy Loan Program (HELP)
New Orleans City - Energy Smart Program
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The phrase "solar incentives" includes a wide range of financial incentives implemented to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. Different kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, may be available to you. Some incentives may be offered by the state of Louisiana, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while others are federal. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Rebates: Solar rebates may be provided by your county or state, or by your local utility company. These rebates work as partial refunds that are applied after you pay for a solar system and before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Be sure to speak with your Lafayette utility company about signing a net metering contract. This allows you to get a credit towards your monthly utility bill for the value of excess energy generated by your solar panels. You could receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to exclude the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your home.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. This is a tax credit equal to a predetermined percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC originally covered 30% of the cost of solar system installation, although it has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of labor, equipment and accessories. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
To more fully understand how the ITC will apply to your situation, call your local Lafayette solar panel installer and ask for more information.
In August 2022, the ITC (now titled the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar installations undertaken between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. After 2032, the credit percentage will be reduced slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, talk to your local Lafayette solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; tax credits, rebates and more might also be offered at the state and local level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are offered for only a limited time. Your local incentives might come from your county or municipality, or from the Louisiana government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Lafayette
The nationwide use of solar energy has increased enormously in the past 15 years, in part due to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the Louisiana government. Getting in touch with your local Lafayette solar panel installer is the right first step towards getting the most money possible when you switch to solar energy.
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EcoWatch's Lafayette, LA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I receive any incentives when I add solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to better understand what solar incentives apply to you, many incentives can be claimed on a second home, provided that it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be other incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the details.
How can I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
It's a good idea to talk to your local Lafayette solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Usually, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those offered by the government of Louisiana, might have other requirements.
I want to change out my appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can get?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are several new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I apply for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can receive both rebates and tax credits towards the cost of solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are claiming, they may apply in a different order. Make sure that you talk to your solar installer or a local tax professional to ensure that you are claiming incentives correctly and getting the most money possible.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of wind and solar. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. Make sure that you discuss your proposed plan with your local Lafayette solar panel installer, so that you understand what you'll need and what types of incentives you will or won't qualify for.
Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.
Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.