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Louisiana Runs Out Of Solar Tax Credits

Demand has exceeded supply when it comes to solar tax credits in Louisiana, and homeowners are will no longer be financially incentivized by the state for installing solar energy.

According to the Louisiana Department of Revenue, homeowners in the state have applied for more solar energy credits than there is money to pay for them. In a news release, the Department stated that “Consumers purchasing residential solar energy systems from this point forward should not expect to receive tax credits from the state.”

The statement explains that in 2015, the State Legislature placed a cap of $10 million on solar tax credits for Fiscal years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017, and a cap of $5 million for 2017-2018.

According to the Department of Revenue, the tax credit claims are reviewed on a first-come, first served basis. At the present time, the Department is reviewing prior claims. It adds that the amount of approved credits and claims under review exceeds available funds by $14 million. The Department said that anyone who has applied for credits under the FY 2016 cap who did not receive those credits will be notified if they are eligible for deferred funding under the caps for Fiscal Years 2016-17 or 2017-18. Anyone who is denied the credit because funding is not available will also be notified.

The state’s program covers 50 percent of the first $25,000 spent by a consumer on solar panels. Those credits can be combined with a tax credit from the federal government, which covers an additional 30 percent. The state has paid out over $147 million since July of 2009, and last year, legislators decided to reduce the program as a cost-cutting measure for the state’s budget.

Speaking to the Times-Picayune, Jeff Cantin of the Gulf States Renewable Energy Association said that the program could have helped more people if the legislature had just placed a cap on the program. Cantin asserts that by making the program retroactive, people who purchased a solar system prior to June 2015, before the rules were changed, were also caught in the crunch.

Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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