LOUISIANA SOLAR COMPANIES TRANSITIONING TO SURVIVE AMID LEGISLATIVE CHANGES
Say goodbye to solar leasing in Louisiana.
Jan 7, 2014 – New Orleans, LA In June of 2013 the Louisiana state legislature made the decision to virtually pull the plug on alternative energy tax credits for solar leasing companies. Despite high adoption rates of solar leases amongst low and middle income families, the legislature decided instead to pass a law that will essentially make leasing solar systems an unsustainable business in Louisiana.
Corey Yates founder of Sunlight Contractors, LLC a Louisiana solar and contracting company said, “My installations for leasing companies have disappeared. My crew and I used to install three or four per week. Now I have to rely on my own sales to upper income households to keep the workflow going.”
The legislative changes lower the amount of money available for solar leases while keeping the incentives for people who can afford to purchase a solar system at current levels.
The net effect of the law change has seen the closing of many solar leasing companies and some, like Corey Yates, who have transitioned their business to solar sales only.
“There seems to be a lot of confusion out there as well. I have talked to solar companies that are still selling or leasing solar equipment that was banned from receiving tax credits under the new law. Customers could be stuck footing the bill for a solar system they were led to believe would be eligible for tax credits from the state.”
A point of confusion for solar companies and customers alike is the wording of the new law, Act no. 428 – House Bill no. 705. The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR), who has the responsibility of implementing the law, has issued a series of notices explaining how they interpret the intent of the law when it comes to applying it to companies and citizens.
“After reading the new law in its entirety, we contacted Senator Baucus who wrote the law and the LDR for clarification. Both Senator Baucus and the LDR explained that, while not entirely clear, the intent of the law went far beyond its actual wording.” said Yates.
Based on his own research and experience, Mr. Yates has put together a reference guide for potential solar buyers on how to make sure they receive their solar tax credits and work with a reputable solar company. The reference guide can be found on his company website, www.sunlightcontractors.com.
Corey Yates founder of Sunlight Contractors, LLC has over 300 solar installations in Louisiana and is a licensed contractor for: Residential and commercial building construction, mechanical contractor, electrical contractor, licensed master plumber, solar energy specialty contractor and business law. Also, Yates is a certified BPI Building Performance Analyst, RESNET (HERS) Home energy Rater and an Energy Star for Homes licensed professional. He can be reached through his website: www.sunlightcontractors.com.