The U.S. Department of Energy has a “Solar America Cities” program, whereby it works in partnership with U.S. cities to accelerate the adoption of solar energy technologies for a cleaner, more secure energy future. There are 25 major U.S. cities on the list, and New Orleans is one of them.
If you’re in or around the city, it’s hard not to notice that we’ve got a vibrant market for solar energy technologies. Here are just a few companies offering solar products and installations (and doing well at it):
Why so much hype about solar energy products? Well, for two reasons really.
First, solar energy is cheaper than the energy you get from Entergy because you’re getting it from the sun. Second, government tax rebates and credits make it super affordable and practical to invest in solar technology for your home or business.
The State Tax Credit
What’s great about the state tax credit is that Louisiana will actually write you a check if the credit results in an overpayment of your state income taxes.
Right now, the credit applies to residential and apartment projects, and provides a credit of 50% the cost of the system & its installation. The available credit is maxed out at $12,500.00, but you can install multiple systems on the same building and claim an additional credit.
How To Apply for State Tax Credit
Applying is a synch. You’ll need to fill out Louisiana Department of Revenue form R-1082, and file it.
You also need to provide the Department of Revenue with the following “proof of purchase:”
- type of system applying for the tax credit;
- output capacity of the system:
- Solar Electric System: total nameplate listed kW of all installed panels;
- Solar Thermal Systems: listed SRCC annual BTU or equivalent kWh output;
- Wind Electric Systems: total rated kW of all alternators and generators;
- Wind Mechanical Systems: shaft horsepower as rated by manufacturer, licensed contractor or licensed professional engineer.
- physical address where the system is installed in the state
- total cost of the system as applied towards the tax credit separated by:
- equipment costs;
- installation costs;
- make, model and serial number of generators, alternators, turbines, photovoltaic panels, inverters, and solar thermal collectors applied for in the tax credit.
- name and Louisiana contractor’s license number of installer.
- copy of the modeled array output report using the PV Watts Solar System Performance Calculator developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and available at the website www.nrel.gov/rredc/pvwatts. The analysis must be performed using the default PV Watts de-rate factor.
- copy of a solar site shading analysis conducted on the installation system using a recognized industry site assessment tool such as a Solar Pathfinder or Solmetric demonstrating the suitability f the site for installation of a solar energy system.
It Matters Who Installs Your System
Not just anybody can install your renewable energy system. The Notice of Intent Letter from the Louisiana Department of Revenue regarding these credits provides the following requirement about contractor qualifications:
All installations must be performed by a contractor duly licensed by and in good standing with the Louisiana Contractors Licensing Board with a classification of Solar Energy Equipment and a certificate of training in the design and installation of solar energy systems from an industry recognized training entity, or a Louisiana technical college, or the owner of the residence