How Much Do Solar Panels Cost in Louisiana? (2024 Savings Guide)

In this guide on the cost of solar panels in Louisiana, you’ll learn:

  • What the average cost of going solar in The Pelican State is
  • How Louisianians can save money when going solar
  • Which local installation companies have the best prices
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Louisiana is a good place to go solar for most residents, with the average per-watt price of solar panels falling below the national average, and the typical net savings seen by solar customers in the area totaling over $17,250. While the payoff period and savings are quite enticing, one of the biggest hurdles to converting to clean energy in the area is the upfront cost.

In this guide, we’ll be discussing the average cost of solar panels in Louisiana, including a look at some important cost factors to consider and some ways you can save money on your solar panel conversion.

What Will Your Solar Panel System Cost in Louisiana?

The average cost of solar panels in Louisiana is around $3.39 per watt. The average system size required in the area is 12.5 kilowatts (kW), which puts the total conversion cost at $42,375 before any tax incentives or $29,663 after the federal investment tax credit (ITC), a huge perk available from the federal government.

It’s common to see some pretty sizable fluctuations in installation costs, though, primarily because of the size of the array needed. Most systems in Louisiana fall between $23,730 and $37,968 after the federal credit. The chart below provides some insight into what system size you’ll need based on your monthly energy consumption and house size and what your total is estimated to be.

Solar Power System Size Energy Use (per month) House Size (sq ft) Total Cost Cost After the Federal ITC  Energy Savings (over 25 years, after system is paid off)
10 kW 1,000 kWh 1,500 $33,900 $23,730 $9,960
11 kW 1,100 kWh 1,700 $37,290 $26,103 $10,956
12 kW 1,200 kWh 1,900 $40,680 $28,476 $11,952
13 kW 1,300 kWh 2,100 $44,070 $30,849 $12,948
14 kW 1,400 kWh 2,300 $47,460 $33,222 $13,944
15 kW 1,500 kWh 2,500 $50,850 $35,595 $14,940
16 kW 1,600 kWh 2,700 $54,240 $37,968 $15,936
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How Do Louisiana’s Solar Prices Compare to the National Average?

Photovoltaic (PV) equipment in Louisiana is a little more expensive on a per-watt basis than it is in most other states, coming in at around $3.39 as opposed to the national average of $3.33. That means that you get less for your money in terms of power output per dollar you spend on your panels in Louisiana.

Total system prices are well above average in Louisiana, sitting around $12,000 higher than the U.S. average before the federal credit and $9,000 higher after the credit. The primary reason for this is the large system size required in the area — 12.5 kW — to offset the well-above-average monthly energy demands.

Louisianans use more electricity per month than residents in any other state. The average system size in the country is 9 kW, so the additional 3.5 kWs most LA residents need to install to meet their energy needs costs an average of $11,865.

Overall, the cost per watt for solar equipment is below average in Louisiana, but total system prices are significantly higher due to larger systems being required.

What Are the Main Factors of Solar System Costs in Louisiana?

There are three main reasons why the system total in Louisiana sits where it does. These include the following, which explain, to some extent, why the total system price is so far above the U.S. average:

  • The above-average energy demands in Louisiana
  • The abundance of sunlight in Louisiana
  • The lack of a net metering policy in Louisiana

The High Energy Consumption in Louisiana

As mentioned above, Lousianans consume more energy per month than residents of any other state, largely because of the air conditioning demands through the hot, humid summers. The average energy bill in the state includes charges for 1,201 kilowatt-hours (kWh) monthly, whereas the typical home in the U.S. consumes just 881 kWh per month.

Higher energy demands mean larger systems are required to offset consumption, and larger systems naturally cost more. Even though the per-watt price for solar panels in Louisiana is below average, all-in conversion costs are well above average because of the massive systems required to meet demands.

We recommend having a professional solar company assess your home and size your system appropriately, which should lead to the most affordable system that can still meet your electricity needs.

The Above-Average Number of Sunny Days in Louisiana

close-up shot of solar panels

Louisianans enjoy around 216 sunny days per year, which is more than most states receive. The abundance of sunlight means that panels more often meet or exceed consumption, which helps to maximize your solar savings over time.

In areas with below-average sun availability, high-efficiency panel brands are usually required if you even want to come close to meeting consumption. High-efficiency panels like those from Maxeon are quite a bit more expensive than less capable options, which can drive up your installation costs. Thankfully, these aren’t typically required in LA thanks to the frequency of sunny weather, which means average system prices are a bit lower than in areas that demand high efficiency.

We do still recommend investing in high-performance panels, especially if you invest in a solar battery as well — more on that in a minute. High-efficiency panels will make the most of the abundant sunlight in the area and improve your chances of eliminating your energy bills if they’re coupled with batteries.

The Lack of a Net Metering Policy in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of the few states that does not have a new metering program. Net energy metering is a solar perk that lets you produce more power than you need with your panels and then call on that excess banked energy if your panels underproduce at any point, like at night or in cloudy weather.

Since most Louisiana residents don’t have access to net energy metering, many choose to install solar batteries alongside their panels, as these give you access to effective net metering. Rather than excess energy being “stored” with your utility company, it’s stored on-site in your batteries, and you can call on it for free if consumption ever outpaces production.

We highly recommend solar batteries in Louisiana based on the high consumption and the lack of a statewide net energy metering policy. While they usually pay for themselves and often lead to net savings, they do drive up your installation costs by around $10,000 per battery.
Watch Below: Will Solar Panels Save / Make You Money?

Additional Costs of Going Solar in Louisiana

The biggest portion of your home solar installation costs in Louisiana is going to be your core equipment, like panels and batteries. However, there are some other minor costs you might need to consider to get an accurate estimate for your solar array. These include the following:

  • Building permits: Every municipality in Louisiana requires that you get solar panel permits before anything can be installed on your home. Building permits help your local building department ensure everything is installed and connected safely. Permits usually cost between $25 and $450 in Louisiana, depending on where you live.
  • Interconnection application fees: Your utility provider will require an interconnection application before your system can be connected to the grid, which most customers want. Grid connection gives you access to electricity even when the sun isn’t shining and your panels aren’t producing. Application fees often range from $50 to $150, but they can be higher depending on your utility company’s fee schedule.
  • Product markup and administration fees: Every solar panel installation company has the option to mark up the equipment they install to turn a profit, and that markup can bring your installation costs up by hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Additionally, some companies in the state charge for the administrative work they do, like filing for permits, scheduling inspections and filing for Louisiana solar incentives and solar rebates. These fees can add up to a few hundred dollars in some cases, while other companies don’t charge separately for these services.
  • Additional solar equipment: In addition to panels and major add-on products, your system will require wiring, conduit to protect the wiring and inverters, in most cases. You should also consider installing squirrely guards as well. These additional pieces of equipment can cost a few hundred dollars, but again, some companies include these pieces of equipment in their per-watt costs.

What Maintenance Costs Can Solar Owners Expect in Louisiana?

Thankfully, most homeowners in Louisiana don’t need to worry about maintenance costs for their solar systems. Any repairs or damages to the panels should be covered by your solar warranties, provided you choose a reputable solar installer in Louisiana.

Some solar system owners opt to pay for panel cleaning services once or twice a year, which usually costs around $125 per service. Cleaning removes dirt and other debris from your panels, which can help boost energy production a bit. In an area like Louisiana, where rainfall is frequent, your panels should naturally stay clean, which means you don’t need to worry about paying for cleaning services.

While the cost of converting to solar in Louisiana is relatively high, the ongoing costs are minimal, if not non-existent.

Which Solar Financing Options Will Help You Save the Most in Louisiana?

There are four main ways to pay for your solar panel system in Louisiana, including a cash purchase, a solar loan, a solar lease or a power purchase agreement (PPA). The option you choose will play a significant role in your initial costs, your long-term system total, the monthly payments — if any — you’ll be responsible for and your energy savings over time.

A cash purchase is going to be the most beneficial option because it leads to immediate panel ownership and doesn’t involve paying any interest rate. You’ll be responsible for paying the entire cost at once, which is less realistic in Louisiana than in most other states due to the above-average system prices.

However, if you can make it work, you’ll see the fastest panel payback period and the highest net savings over time, an average of $17,256. Plus, paying in cash will increase your property value and give you access to the federal credit, an average potential savings of over $12,713 in your area.

A loan is also a stellar option, as it provides many of the benefits of paying in cash but with a much more reasonable upfront payment, often of $0. You still get to take the federal credit, and your home value will be improved as a result.

Your savings will be around $5,000 lower than if you paid in cash because of the interest, though, and the interest payments will also extend your panel payback period from 16 years to around 20 years.

In a lease agreement, you rent the panels for a monthly fee and get to use the energy they generate to offset your electric bills. While leases usually save some money, the total savings is far lower — an average of around $5,000 — because you’ll never own your panels.

PPAs are a unique agreement through which panels are installed at no cost to you, and you agree to pay a below-retail rate for electricity for the contract term. Power purchase agreements are a low-cost option, but we’d sooner recommend a lease because PPAs may not save you any money if retail electricity rates drop or fluctuate.

Leases and power purchase agreements also don’t let you take the federal tax credit, which means you’ll miss out on the $12,700+ value it can provide. Plus, they can complicate the sale of your home rather than make your property more appealing to buyers.

If you’re not sure which option is right for you, we recommend you use our solar calculator to see how much your system will cost and then choose the option from the table below that fits into your budget and provides the most long-term benefit to you.

If you’re still undecided, you can get quotes from SunPower or Tesla, both of which serve Louisiana and can help you explore all four payment options.

Financing Method Total 25 Year Savings (estimated) Initial Costs (estimated, after the federal tax credit) Monthly Payments (estimated) Payback Period (estimated)
Cash $17,256 $29,663 $0 16 years
Loan $12,000 $0 $100 – $250 20 years
Lease $5,000 $0 $125 N/A
PPA $4,000 $0 $125 N/A

What Are Other Ways You Can Save When Going Solar in Louisiana?

Choosing the right payment option for you can save you over $29,000 upfront or close to $17,300 over time, depending on which option works best for you. There are some other things you can do to improve the value of your solar array and maximize your initial and long-term savings in Louisiana. These include the following:

  • Consider installing solar batteries
  • Choose a mid-tier solar panel brand
  • Take advantage of Louisiana’s solar incentives

Consider Installing Solar Batteries

As mentioned above, Louisiana doesn’t have a statewide net energy metering policy, which means you’ll have to pay retail prices for electricity whenever your panels aren’t producing sufficient power, like at night. With the energy demands being so high in the state, even just nighttime consumption can be quite expensive if you’re paying retail prices for each kWh you consume.

Alternatively, you can get access to effective net metering by installing solar batteries with your panels. Batteries give you on-site storage that you can call on for free at night or whenever your production drops.

Batteries will bump up your installation costs by $10,000 each, on average, but in a high-consumption area without net energy metering like Louisiana, they’re very often worth the investment and can help maximize your energy savings over time.

Choose a Mid-Tier Panel Brand

solar panels on a house roof

Louisiana also sees more sunny days per year than most other states, which means most homeowners can get away with a mid-tier panel brand, especially if they also have batteries to make the most of their solar energy.

While installing a high-efficiency panel brand like Maxeon will usually mean greater savings over time, you should be able to offset the majority of your electric bills with a lower efficiency. Since less capable panels cost less per watt, you can save money by choosing a more affordable brand, like QCells.

The difference on a per-watt basis between Maxeon and QCells, for example, is around $0.45, which equates to a difference in price of around $5,625 in total for the standard 12.5 kW solar energy system needed in Louisiana.

Take All of the Solar Incentives Available to You

Finally, we strongly recommend taking all of the solar incentives you can, as these can bring down your solar conversion costs substantially.

All taxpayers converting to solar can take the federal tax credit, which credits your income taxes owed with 30% of your system prices, or an average of $12,713 in Louisiana. There are state incentives available as well, including a property tax exemption, the Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and local incentives available from individual cities and energy companies.

In total, the incentives in LA can effectively save you an average of over $10,000, making them a great way to save on your system. We recommend you read through our guide to solar incentives in Louisiana for more information.

What Are the Typical Costs of Louisiana’s Solar Installers?

The solar panel installation company you choose can play a role in your total system pricing for a variety of reasons, including product markup, labor costs and more. We’ll include some relative pricing information for some of the best solar companies in Louisiana so you can see how the installer you choose might affect your pricing.

Solar Company  Superlative EcoWatch Rating (Out of 5.0) BBB Rating Average Price ($–$$$$$)
SunPower Best National Provider 5 A+ $$$$
ADT Solar Best Warranty Coverage 4 A+ $$$
Solar Alternatives Best Regional Provider 4 A+ $$$$
South Coast Solar Best for Local Experience 4 B- $$$$
Phoenix Exteriors Best for Energy Efficiency Upgrades 4 A- $$$

How Are Solar Costs and Regulations Trending In Louisiana?

According to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the price of PV equipment in Louisiana has come down around 54% in the past decade. Just to put that into perspective, that means the typical cost of a solar system in the area, which totals $29,663 after the federal credit today, would have totaled over $60,000 ten years ago.

Since the drop in pricing is likely due to higher demand leading to a more streamlined manufacturing process, the likelihood is that the downward trend will continue in the near future. We expect prices to continue to drop.

As far as regulations and solar incentives are concerned, we don’t foresee the same kinds of changes. As of this writing, Louisiana does not have a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goal. RPS goals require that a state get a certain percentage of its electricity from clean energy sources, and without one, incentives usually remain stagnant.

Unfortunately, we believe that will be the case for incentives and solar rebates in LA. We don’t expect there to be a net energy metering policy implemented or any other perks unless the state adopts an RPS goal.

With prices lower than they’ve ever been and no signs of new perks being initiated, there has never been a better time to go solar in Louisiana than right now. You can take advantage of this beneficial situation now by using the tool below to get free solar quotes from reliable installers in your area.

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The cost information presented in this article is derived from a comprehensive analysis, incorporating data from multiple industry sources. The average cost per watt per state was calculated based on figures from Consumer Affairs, Energy Sage, and Berkeley Lab’s Electricity Markets & Policy Department. Additionally, monthly energy consumption and the average monthly cost of electricity were sourced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, ensuring a well-rounded and accurate representation of the information presented.

FAQs: Louisiana Solar Panel Costs

Given the rising popularity of renewable energy in Louisiana, we get questions from residents all the time about the costs and the expected savings associated with installing solar panels. We’ll answer some of the more common questions we get asked below.

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Karsten is an editor and energy specialist focused on environmental, social and cultural development. His work has been shared by sources including NPR, the World Economic Forum, Marketwatch and the SEIA, and he is certified in ESG with the CFA Institute. Before joining EcoWatch, Karsten worked in the solar energy sector, studying energy policy, climate tech and environmental education. A lover of music and the outdoors, Karsten might be found rock climbing, canoeing or writing songs when away from the workplace.
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Melissa is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainability studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a nonprofit that’s featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.

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