Money Matters: Solar tax incentives and leasing

Money Matters: Solar tax incentives and leasing

Harvesting the sun's energy has often came with a hefty price tag. But changes to Louisiana's tax credit for solar energy adopted this past summer have changed that. Dan Jovic examines in a Money Matters report.
Harvesting the sun's energy has often came with a hefty price tag.

But changes to Louisiana's tax credit for solar energy adopted this past summer have changed that.

"The tax incentives in Louisiana are really the driving force right now with solar," said Collin Bercier, owner of Louisiana Solar Solutions.

The State of Louisiana will rebate 50 percent of the first $25,000 you spend.

Add that to a 30 percent Federal tax credit and that means you'll be getting 80 percent of your money back, simply for installing solar.

"It's allowed a lot more people, that may not have the cash on hand at the time, to get solar," said Bercier.

But not everyone has $25,000 laying around for a solar install.

"What has happened over the past couple of years is the state has allowed companies, like myself, to take the tax credit on the customers system," said Bercier.

Which has lead to solar leasing. The remaining 20 percent cost is paid over 10 years, resulting in monthly payments as low as $20 a month for the panels.

If you happen to have the funds on hands to buy the panels, Bercier says they will pay for themselves is a relatively short period of time.

"At  today's rate of electricity, the average in Louisiana, you're looking at about a five-year payback," said Bercier. "Your going to have this system for 30 to 35 years, and it paid for itself in the fourth or fifth year. I mean that's a hell of a payback."
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