The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office now has a guide for Mississippi home and business owners about how they can navigate installing solar panels.
The guide, titled the Consumer’s Guide to Solar Power in Mississippi, launched Wednesday at the same time as Attorney General Jim Hood announced the guide at a news conference in his office.
“It’s good for the environment, for people and for the economy,” Hood said.
Hood said the guide piggybacks on the Mississippi Public Service Commission’s 2015 ruling allowing net metering in the state. Net metering allows home and business owners who use solar panels or other renewable energy generators to sell the excess power they produce back to power companies to offset their power bill.
The guide stresses consumer protection. Hood highlighted that it mentions, for example, the difference between buying your own home solar power system, which gives consumers incentives such as federal tax credits, and leasing it, which gives solar companies the tax credits, he said.
Hood said he recognizes the economic potential that solar power can bring to the state even if there are no related state tax credits available for solar power yet. A 2013 House bill that would have allowed refundable credit for the costs of purchasing and installing a solar electric energy system died in committee.
Mississippi residential and commercial solar installations climbed about 43 percent from 2014 to 2015. Mississippians installed 51 kilowatts in 2014 and 90 kilowatts in 2015, which could power for about 15-20 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national nonprofit trade group.