The Louisiana Legislature and Solar

In the 2014 legislative session there were seven proposed House and Senate bills with the potential to affect solar in Louisiana.  However, the legislative session has concluded, and only two of these bills actually came to fruition.  If you would like more details, please visit the Louisiana State Legislature’s site.  If you have any questions, please e-mail Kristen@lses.org.

SB 447 –> Act 862

Authored by J.P. Morrell

Signed by the Governor

Effective Date: 8/1/2014

Summary: Act 862 requires the State Licensing Board for Contractors to provide testing specifically for solar installers.  However, a contractor licensed in the state of La. as of August 1, 2014, holding the major classification of Building Construction, Electrical Work (statewide), or Mechanical Work (statewide), will be grandfathered in.

No later than January 1, 2015, the State Licensing Board shall adopt rules in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act regulating the installation of solar energy equipment or solar energy systems.  At a minimum, these rules will include the requirement of passage of a written examination by anyone who does not currently hold a NABCEP certification.  No licensed contractor shall install solar energy equipment or solar energy systems on or after February 1, 2015, unless he is in compliance with the proposed law and any rules adopted by the board.

Any work of $10,000 or more performed to connect wiring or hookups shall be performed only by a contractor/subcontractor holding the classification of Electrical Work.  Any work of $10,000 or more performed to connect piping or equipment shall be performed only by a contractor/subcontractor holding the classification of Mechanical Work.

The proposed law is applicable to entities engaging in the business of selling, leasing, installing, servicing, or monitoring solar energy equipment.

Digest

SB 63 –> Act 682

Authored by J.P. Morell

Signed by the Governor

Effective Date: 6/18/2014

Summary: Act 682 creates the crime of solar tax credit fraud making it unlawful to claim a tax credit if the person:

(1) Has failed to perform or complete the installation of the system or failed to maintain or repair the system under the terms of the contract

(2) Fails to maintain or repair the system under the terms of the contract subsequent to claiming the tax credit

The law provides the following penalties for the aforementioned violations:

(1) When the aggregate amount of the tax credit claimed is $1,000 or less, the person will be fined between $100 and $500 or imprisoned for not more than six months.

(2) When the aggregate amount of the tax credit claimed is greater than $1,000, the person will be fined between $100 and $500 and/or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for a length of time between 90 days and six months.  This will be for each $1,000 of the tax credit claimed, but imprisonment cannot exceed five years.

The attorney general may examine the conditions and affairs of any person who has received money from a contract for the sale, installation, maintenance, or repair of a solar electric system or solar thermal system and who has claimed a tax credit.

The proposed law is applicable to entities engaging in the business of selling, leasing, installing, servicing, or monitoring solar energy equipment.

Digest

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In the 2013 legislative session, the only bill concerning solar to make it through the hurdles of the legislative process was HB 705 (the “Ponti Bill), which became Act 428.

Summary of the Act’s History in the Legislature

Explanation of Amendments to the Act

“Solar Wars at the State Capital”