Using the power of the sun to power your home and the incentive of tax breaks from the state of Louisiana to harness that power have come to a screeching halt. While the sun is still shining unmercifully on our state, the ability to pay out promised tax credits to home owners who installed solar systems is now officially off the grid.

The State Department of Revenue announced yesterday that homeowners who had hoped to recoup some of the cost of installing solar systems in their homes should not be expecting anything from the state from this point forward. This will leave some 2,000 Louisiana families, who in good faith took advantage of this state program, will be left to foot the entire bill for their solar system.

When the law was changed, the terms of it did not account for people who had already installed that year, up until the first half of the year. All the funding that had been set up in the program for following years was quickly gobbled up.

That explanation was provided by Solar Alternatives Jeff Cantin in comments he made to the Louisiana Radio Network. Cantin went on to explain that while the state's tax credits may be gone there are still tax breaks available from the federal government.

No matter how much you put into solar, a 30% credit is still out there so anyone who wants to do solar can still do it. They can get someone to put an estimate for them, put it on their roof and take a 30% federal tax credit, it’s been a very reliable program.

This move by the state has had far reaching impacts not only on families but the solar energy industry as well.

We’ve lost probably 80% of our employees and our business in the last year, as a result, not just of the change in the credit but the retroactive change. I think it just spooked a lot of people.

The change in the tax credit program is a direct result of the state's ongoing budget crisis.