When we're not getting washed away with historic rainfall we here in the state of Louisiana enjoy a lot of sunshine. For many citizens that sunshine represents free energy and much lower utility bills.

An acquaintance of mine recently had to replace his roof which meant his solar system was offline for about a month. His power bill was almost triple what it was when the solar system was operating as part of his electrical grid.

With savings like that you can see why so many Louisiana citizens were highly disappointed when state lawmakers voted to put a cap on tax credits that were available for the installation and use of solar systems in the state. So many were outraged at this fiscal move that they have filed a suit against the state for what they believe is an unfair and unlawful action.

The consumers were promised a tax credit. There was a tax credit available when the consumers bought the solar panels, and then six months to a year later the state changed the rules on them.

Larry Centola is a New Orleans based attorney and he made those comments reported in a story by the Louisiana Radio Network.

The program which was once available to all Louisiana homeowners is now available in a limited scope and only on a first come first serve basis. For many residents, hardware and materials had already been purchased before the tax credit cap went into effect. These residents are now left holding the bag for the cost for equipment. That equipment cost was supposed to be offset or supplemented  through the tax credit program.

We’re seeking class action status first on behalf of all 2,000 people to proceed as one case, and then we want to get the tax credit that those people are entitled to.

In response to the state's budget crisis legislators capped the solar tax credit program at $25 million annually. In his suit, Centola is seeking more than $10 million in damages on behalf of those who are participating in the lawsuit.

You can’t pull the rug from under these consumers who were promised a tax credit, took actions pursuant to the availability of a tax credit, and then the state changed rules on them.

The class action suit is expected to go before a judge later this year.

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