Legislative Session

Jun 3, 2013 7:36 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Changes To State's Solar Power Industry?

The Solar Energy Tax credit has proved to be a hot topic in Baton Rouge this session. Up for debate, who can get the credit... And how much?

Many from the solar power industry are worried that proposed legislation would make it hard for middle and low income families to afford solar energy.

That's because many families choose to lease solar equipment instead of buying it because it's so expensive. The leasing company takes the state tax credit in exchange.

Those from the solar power industry say the newest change to the amendment gives those companies who lease the equipment a 38 percent tax credit instead of the 50 percent that they get right now.

Leasing companies say many would be out of work if this bill passes.

"The people that you saw in the green shirts those 70 people they all work for me. Their incomes, their family's income they depend on this type of program. We have over 200 people that work for our sub-contractors and help us in our leasing program...installation. I mean this creates great jobs in louisiana," Thomas Neyhart, VP of PosiGen Solar Solutions said.

Lawmakers who support the legislation say that the bill does not eliminate the leasing option. However, changes needed to be made to prevent people from abusing the program.

Those from the solar power industry say the bill still allows the higher 50 percent credit to those who buy the solar system out-right.



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