HB 705 by state Rep. Erich Ponti would reduce over the next three years the subsidization the state provides to the solar industry and to individuals with means or to those assisted by the industry. It also eliminates entirely the wind power subsidy, which has deprived the state of little money. The problem comes from solar: it has cost the state over four years nearly $39 million.
Unfortunately, the bill mends but does not end the giveaway. It has showered cash onto solar energy installers, where the exorbitant 50 percent credit with the federal 30 percent version allows Louisiana property owners to install systems for as little as $5,000 – a cost often waived by installers in order to get a $20,000 handout from American and Louisiana taxpayers as they still could make money off the deal. It also has allowed the number of power users, as the number of these owners has increased as a result of the gifting, to get preferential power rates at the expense of other ratepayers, their lower rate meaning others must pay more to make up the difference. The bill allows the installation subsidy to continue, but at a lower level of reimbursement.