Solar Panel Cost in Louisiana (2022 Local Savings Guide)
Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Louisiana:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.57
- Cost of Average System: $23,773*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $45,771
- Payback Period: 16 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $13,646
*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.
Cost of Solar Panels in Louisiana
The cost of solar panel systems in Louisiana is around $2.57 per watt, which is below the national average of $2.66. However, Louisianans use a lot more energy than residents in most states to combat the hot, muggy summers and cold winters. Most Louisiana homeowners need a system that is around 12.5 kW to offset their electricity costs.
This is a larger system size than the national average. As a result, all-in costs in Louisiana are higher overall despite a lower per-watt price and relatively low electricity rates, even in busy cities like New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
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Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Louisiana
When you’re pricing your solar energy system, the most prominent factor will be the size of the solar array. For each additional kilowatt your home requires, you can expect to add about $2,570 to your total price. The table below provides some estimated costs before and after the solar tax credit for standard-size solar systems in Louisiana.
|Size of Solar Panel System||Louisiana Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Ready to see how much your ideal solar system will cost but not sure where to turn? Check out our review of the best solar companies in Louisiana to find the most reputable installers.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Louisiana?
If you’re looking to install solar panels on your home in Louisiana, you can expect to pay anywhere from $19,018 to $30,429 on average after the federal tax credit.
There’s over an $11,000 range in typical pricing because your system cost depends on a few factors that can bring your price up or down by thousands. We’ll discuss these cost factors below.
The brand of solar panel you choose is among the most significant cost factors to consider. There are many brands to choose from, and some brands can be twice as expensive as others.
It’s important to choose a brand that suits your budget and can also satisfy your energy needs, as they range in their level of efficiency as well.
Louisiana residents experience around 214 sunny days per year, which is above the national average. With the abundant sunlight in the area, most major solar brands, regardless of efficiency, will be suitable.
This means that most homeowners can opt for more affordable, less efficient brands without sacrificing much in the way of power production. Overall, this equates to a slightly lower overall price for panels statewide.
The type of equipment you install can also bring your price up by thousands or more. Unfortunately, Louisianians often need to add solar batteries to their systems to stay protected against prolonged and often dangerous power outages caused by the severe weather of the region.
A fragile infrastructure combined with hurricanes, tornadoes, cyclones and intense thunderstorms can all cause hazardous blackouts, so many homeowners end up paying more for systems that can provide energy, and safety, through an outage.
Solar Financing in Louisiana
How you’ll pay for your solar panels is another key consideration that can decide where in the normal range your system price falls.
- Paying with cash means you’ll spend the least amount possible on your system over time, although this option is prohibitively expensive upfront for many people.
- Choosing a solar loan is far more accessible, but it means your total system cost will increase because of the interest you’ll pay.
Louisiana does offer several affordable solar loan options available to homeowners. One such program is the Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which provides low-APR loans for solar equipment to minimize interest payments.
Low-income households in Louisiana can also take advantage of the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP), which provides up to $12,000 in funding with low interest rates and little or no money down for qualifying homeowners.
Additionally, the New Orleans Solar for All initiative offers accessible loan and lease options to those who cannot secure financing.
Louisiana Solar Installation Company
The company you hire to install your panels can have an impact on your pricing as well, sometimes in ways you might not expect.
Much like you’d see in any other industry, every solar installer can customize their pricing with equipment upcharges, discounts and variances in labor charges. Every company’s pricing will be different, even when installing the same equipment.
What you might not expect is that the quality of equipment in a company’s product portfolio can also affect your system price.
For example, Solar Alternatives, a regional provider and one of the top solar companies in Lousiana, installs equipment from many manufacturers, including Tesla, Silfab, SMA, Enphase and Mission Solar Energy. These products run from very affordable to very expensive, but since it offers a wide variety of options, the average price of its services will be on the more affordable end relative to its larger competitors.
SunPower, a national solar company serving Louisiana, only installs Maxeon panels. Its panels are considered some of the best in the industry, but they’re also the most expensive.
Without offering budget-friendly options like Silfab and Mission, the average price of SunPower systems is much higher than a company like Solar Alternatives.
Additional Considerations and Costs in Louisiana
Some additional things you might want to consider prior to installing solar panels are explained briefly below
- Permits: The State of Louisiana requires building (and sometimes electrical) permits for all solar panel systems. You should confirm with your installer if it will be pulling the permits and closing them out or if that responsibility will fall on you as the homeowner. In most municipalities, your installer will handle the permit.
- Interconnection: All solar installations in Louisiana must be cleared with the local utility before they can be powered on. In most cases, this will be with Entergy. Think about this as getting a permit from your electrical company. You’ll also need to pass an inspection. Entergy, the largest electricity provider in the state, charges a one-time fee of $100 for interconnecting.
- Warranties: Solar panel systems usually come with warranties — both from your installer and manufacturer. You should understand yours fully and choose the best one that fits your budget. Solar panels are costly, and a warranty can help provide peace of mind and guaranteed performance — especially in a state with severe weather like Louisiana.
- HOAs: Louisiana passed solar rights laws in 2010, so no homeowners’ association (HOA) or other entity can prohibit you from installing panels. Most homeowners, regardless of HOA status, should have no issues.
- Environmental zoning: The zoning laws in Louisiana are generally supportive of solar installations. However, you might run into some issues if you’re looking to install ground-mounted panels, as flood risk will come into play.
Louisiana Solar Incentives
Paying upfront or financing a photovoltaic system in Louisiana might seem overwhelming from a cost perspective, but there are a number of incentives available to Louisiana residents that make switching to clean energy more accessible. We’ll discuss the solar rebates and incentives available in Louisiana below.
Federal Solar Tax Credit For Louisiana Homeowners
The most significant tax credit you’ll receive for Louisiana solar panels is offered by the federal government in the form of the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). This rebate is for a massive 26% of your entire costs for switching to a renewable energy source, which, in Louisiana, averages out to $8,353.
The federal tax credit will drop to 22% in 2023, at which point the average rebate in LA will be $7,068. The credit is set to expire in 2024 unless Congress renews the bill.
Net Metering Policies in Louisiana
Net metering is a policy that compensates you for any excess energy your solar array produces. Through interconnection, your home will receive power from the grid if your panels ever fail to produce enough energy to meet your home’s needs — like at night or on a cloudy day. If your panels produce more than your home is using — like on a sunny day — then your home is powered off-grid, the excess gets routed to the electric provider and your meter runs backward.
Unfortunately, net metering in Louisiana is not required by state law, so not every utility company offers it to consumers. Those that do often have a lower rate of compensation than the price you pay for energy coming in. Every utility company has a different policy and buyback rate, so it’s best to check yours before committing to a net metering program.
For example, Energy Louisiana, a company that serves an enormous part of the state, changed its net metering policy in 2020 due to new regulations. The change saw a lowered buyback rate from retail prices to wholesale prices or what it calls an “avoided cost rate.” Ultimately, policies like this lower the overall value of solar power in Louisiana, but converting to solar is still considered a good investment for most homeowners.
Local Solar Rebates in Louisiana
While the net metering program in Louisiana isn’t the best, there are some appealing state incentives to reduce your total costs.
First, and most importantly, is the solar property tax exemption. Installing rooftop solar on your home, provided you buy the system outright or finance it, will increase your property value. Usually, increases in property value also bump up your tax assessed value and property taxes. The property tax exemption promises that your taxes won’t go up from the value added to your home when you go solar. For many customers, this can mean thousands of dollars in savings.
Second, the Department of Natural Resources in Louisiana has established the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP). This program provides access to low-APR financing options for home improvements that increase energy efficiency, including solar conversions, up to $12,000. The program further lowers the barrier to entry and makes solar more accessible to homeowners throughout Louisiana.
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Louisiana
When you’re looking to install solar on your home, choosing from the countless brands available can be intimidating. The table below provides some quick information on the top solar panel brands, and the relative pricing info should help you rule out some companies that are unlikely to fit into your budget.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt|
Want to know what size solar system suits your home and what it would cost to install? Select one of our top providers below and we’ll connect you with a local solar installer that can provide a free quote.
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FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Louisiana
We get questions about the process and prices of going solar from Louisiana homeowners every day. Below are the questions we see most often and our responses to each. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This question is more complicated than it might seem because the cost of your solar panel system will depend on many factors. For an accurate estimate, you’ll need to consider your roof size and the direction it faces, your home size and energy efficiency, your monthly energy usage in kilowatt-hours, shading on your property, the equipment brand, and installer you choose, and much more. The only way to get an accurate estimate is to have a local installer assess your home.
With that being said, most homeowners in Louisiana require a 12.5-kilowatt system to offset their electric bills 100%. At an average of $2.57 per watt throughout the state, that’s a typical cost of $32,125 before the federal tax incentive or $23,773 after the rebate is deducted from the total.
Yes, absolutely! Increased home value is one of the most appealing benefits of going solar for many homeowners. According to research done by Zillow, most homes increase by about 4.1% from installing a solar panel system. Given the average home value of $203,222 in Louisiana, that amounts to an average bump in the value of $8,332.
It’s important to note that this increase in value is only expected if you buy or finance your solar equipment. Entering into a lease or a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) will not increase your property value.
We always encourage buying or financing your solar energy system rather than leasing. Solar leases provide a no-money-down option that sometimes is more accessible to homeowners, and while they seem like a more affordable option, they usually aren’t worth it in the long run.
Solar leases don’t bump up your home value like buying or financing would, so you’ll be passing up an average of $8,332 by choosing a lease option. Similarly, you won’t get access to the federal tax credit with a lease, which is an additional $8,353 you’ll be missing out on by leasing. Leases also save you the least amount of money on your electric bills over time.
Leasing is especially discouraged in Louisiana because the state offers the Home Energy Loan Program, which provides access to low-APR solar loans for most homeowners.
No, solar panels are not free in Louisiana. There are some companies that advertise “free panels,” but they’re never actually free. This is a marketing strategy to get you to enter into a lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), both of which are discouraged.
While you can’t get genuinely free panels in Louisiana, many customers find that their solar panel systems pay for themselves and even provide additional savings once the paid off. If you consider the total average cost of $32,125, subtract the federal tax credit of $8,353, the average property value increase of $8,322, and the lifetime energy savings you’ll enjoy, your panels effectively become free, as they pay for themselves.
Yes, it is possible for solar panel systems to eliminate your electric bills in Louisiana, but it’s a bit more challenging here than in other states because of the below-average net metering policies. You’ll need a sizable system — usually 12.5 kW or more — and a big enough roof to house the panels. Many homeowners find that adding solar batteries also helps, as you can take better advantage of overproduction by storing it rather than selling it to the power company for wholesale rates.