Louisiana is one of the largest energy consumers in America. As of 2020, Louisiana ranked first in total energy consumption per person at 903 million British thermal units (Btu).
The consumption is primarily driven by the state’s role as one of the nation’s largest chemicals, oils, and natural gas producers; these processes consume high quantities of energy. However, Louisiana’s residents also contribute significantly to energy use.
Louisiana ranks second in terms of residential electricity consumption nationwide. That is because Louisiana has a subtropical climate that is hot and humid most of the year. As a result, most homes require air conditioning to improve living conditions and electric heating, thus increasing electricity consumption.
Louisiana residents can utilize their area’s climate to supplement the energy they receive from utility companies by installing solar panels. The state gets more than 200 days of sunlight annually, meaning one can generate sufficient power through solar most of the year.
However, the main challenge for many Louisiana residents is identifying reliable solar installation companies. We took up the challenge and reviewed the most notable solar companies in the state. Below is an informative review of the best solar companies in Louisiana.
1. Solar Alternatives, Inc.
Solar Alternatives, Inc. tops our list of the best solar companies in Louisiana. It offers solar energy solutions in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas Gulf states. Founded in 2008, the company meets community energy needs by taking advantage of the Gulf region’s unique subtropical climate.
Solar Alternatives offers various services, from feasibility studies to installing and maintaining solar equipment. It also has a 24-hour emergency dispatch team for timely responses to accidents and breakdowns. Lastly, Solar Alternatives offers a 25-year warranty for their equipment and labor.
2. ADT Solar
ADT Solar is one of America’s largest solar installation companies, with offices in over 30 states. Founded in 2008, the company has cultivated a reputation for excellent customer service.
The company has also cemented its reputation by working with reliable partners like Tesla and Enphase Energy. ADT Solar offers 25-year warranties on workmanship, solar panels, and microinverters and a 25-year power production guarantee of 95% of the annual estimated production capacity.
3. Joule Energy
Though lacking the brand recognition accorded to other companies on this list, Joule Energy is one of the best solar companies in Louisiana. Founded in 2009 by Robert Schmidt, the company has installed over 300 megawatts (MW) of solar energy in America, primarily in the Gulf region.
The company ranks among the top 50 solar contractors nationwide and boasts the highest number of employees with NABCEP certifications among solar companies in the Southeast.
4. South Coast Solar
South Coast Solar was founded in 2007 and is the primary dealer of SunPower products in Louisiana, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. It combines its knowledge of local climates and the experience of SunPower, a nationwide solar company with over 35 years of operation in the solar industry.
The company has an excellent customer service record in design, installation, repair, and maintenance. In addition, the company offers access to SunPower’s highly-rated solar panels that use Maxeon cell technology and have a 40-year lifespan.
Lastly, consumers can expect a 25-year warranty on equipment and labor. Such a warranty comes in handy in states like Louisiana that experience frequent rain.
Founded in 2011, PosiGen is a solar company that focuses primarily on providing affordable solar solutions to low- and average-income households. The company has installed over 22,000 solar panels since its establishment, justifying its position among the best solar companies in Louisiana.
It also has an extensive solar lease program that enables underprivileged communities to benefit from cheap solar energy and save money for other household expenses.
Factors to Consider Before Selecting the Best Solar Companies in Louisiana
Finding the right installation partner is essential when making a significant investment, such as installing a solar energy system. The following aspects will help you evaluate a solar panel company to ensure it competently satisfies your needs.
Licensure and Certifications
The first factor to consider is a company’s licenses and certifications. You must ensure the solar company you choose is licensed in Louisiana and meets new operating guidelines.
Failure to do so can put your investment at risk, as the company would be open to lawsuits, fines, and penalties that can prevent them from delivering on their contractual obligations. Moreover, certifications help show a company’s commitment to quality services.
For example, a solar panel company should have a North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification, which screens and registers workers in the renewable energy sector. A NABCEP certification indicates a solar company hires highly skilled workers who provide reliable service.
The solar panel company you hire should have sufficient insurance coverage. An insurance cover will shield you against out-of-pocket expenses in case of an accident.
For example, you want to avoid footing the bill for damage caused to your property during installation. Moreover, you do not want to be liable for work-related accidents and injuries when the technicians are on your premises.
Experience and Customer Service
The solar company you pick should at least have several years of service in the solar installation sector. That ensures you choose a company that has overcome the teething problems of being new to the solar energy industry.
Likewise, a solar panel company should have consistently high customer service ratings. Check the company’s website to see if it has a testimonials section, peruse its social media handles, and speak to previous customers to ascertain its professionalism and reliability. Overall, you want a company that values its customers.
Cost and Financing
Solar panels are expensive, with prices in the thousands of dollars. Therefore, you should evaluate the price catalog of each solar panel company to identify those with inflated markups on equipment and services and those with reasonable pricing.
Furthermore, find a company that offers several financing options like loans, power purchasing agreements, and leases to lower the cost of your upfront payments.
Most solar panel companies offer additional services other than solar panel installation. For example, if you have an electric or hybrid vehicle, you may want an EV charger installed along with the solar panels.
On the other hand, if you are getting an off-grid installation, you might want to include battery storage. Therefore, ensure the company you pick can meet such needs.
What Should You Consider Before Buying Solar Panels in Louisiana?
Once you evaluate the capabilities of a solar panel company, you should assess the viability of having solar panels. The investment should make financial sense. Here are several aspects to consider before buying solar panels.
Type of Solar Panel
There are three basic solar panel types: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film solar panels. You can differentiate these solar panels based on their manufacturing processes, performance, efficiency, and cost.
The manufacturing process for monocrystalline solar panels is the most complicated and energy-intensive of the three; hence, they are also the most expensive. However, they make up for the price with the highest performance and efficiency ratings.
On the other hand, polycrystalline solar panels are easier to make; thus, they are cheaper and have a lower efficiency rating. The third option is thin-film solar panels, which are lighter and cheaper than the other two.
They are also more affordable to install and flexible, making them ideal for roofs with intricate shapes. Lastly, thin-film solar panels have efficiency ratings similar to polycrystalline solar panels.
Therefore, before buying solar panels, evaluate your needs and budget, then choose the type that best aligns with your requirements.
The solar panels you buy should have comprehensive warranty coverage. The warranties should cover repair and replacement costs for damages incurred during installation and a significant part of the panel’s lifespan. The warranty should also cover repair costs for private property damaged during installation.
Another coverage factor to consider are performance guarantees. Several factors, including manufacturing defects and building materials, can influence performance and efficiency ratings. Therefore, the warranty should cover replacement costs for any panels found to be faulty.
As noted earlier, different solar panel types have varying performance ratings. Therefore, you should pick solar panels whose performance ratings match your energy needs.
Some solar panels have a performance rating equipped to serve areas that receive limited sunlight annually, while others are better equipped for sunnier locations.
As such, do not make the mistake of buying a solar panel whose performance will not meet your needs or whose performance will be negatively influenced by your area’s climate.
Incentives and Renewable Energy Policy
Louisiana’s policy on solar energy is a significant factor to consider before buying solar panels. For example, confirm if Louisiana residents qualify for federal and state support when they install solar panels.
The help could be in the form of incentives that lower your expenditure on equipment and taxation policies that offer exemptions on certain purchases.
Therefore, you should visit federal and state websites to learn about such policies and take advantage of them to avoid unnecessary expenditure on the switch to solar energy.
Benefits of Solar Energy in Louisiana
Solar energy has been around for several decades, but many have avoided it because of the cost implications. However, time has allowed the solar energy industry to improve efficiencies and lower costs.
As such, it has become an ideal time to buy solar panels. Some of the benefits associated with the switch to solar energy include:
Louisiana has an energy grid reliant on non-renewables such as oil and natural gas, thus making it susceptible to price fluctuations. Moreover, Louisiana residents consume more electricity than all but one state, meaning electricity bills are often high.
Therefore, it is advisable to install solar panels as they can help supplement energy from the grid and lower your monthly utility bills.
Reduced Carbon Emissions
Electricity generated from coal, oil, and natural gas also produces significant amounts of greenhouse gases. The gases contribute to increased cases of respiratory diseases and erratic climate and weather patterns that have severe economic impacts.
On the other hand, solar energy does not produce any carbon emissions as it harnesses the power of the naturally occurring sun. Therefore, installing solar panels will help you reduce your carbon footprint.
Low Maintenance Costs
Maintaining a solar panel installation is relatively affordable. Remember: solar panels have a better lifespan than ever and include warranties that last up to 25 years, meaning you will hardly need to spend your money on repairs.
Moreover, other accessories like inverters have up to 10-year warranties, giving you enough time to save for a possible replacement.
Why Solar in Louisiana?
With over 210 days of sunshine yearly, Louisiana’s climate is ideal for solar energy. It guarantees a sufficient amount of solar energy production throughout the year.
As a result, consumers get to supplement their energy consumption from the state grid and substantially lower their monthly electricity bills.
In addition, consumers can use the Federal government’s Residential Clean Energy Credit to lower their installation costs by up to 30%. On the other hand, they see their properties increase in value, which bodes well for homeowners looking for a return on their real estate investments.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com.