Top 5 Best Solar Companies in Maine (2023 Reviews)

In this guide to Maine’s best solar companies, you’ll learn

  • What are the best solar providers in ME?
  • How do solar panels affect your home value in ME?
  • What should Mainers look for in a solar provider?
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What Are Maine’s Top 5 Solar Energy Companies?

With solar becoming more and more popular and affordable in ME, residents are finding that they have plenty of options when it comes to solar installation companies. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are around 25 local installers that serve the state, plus regional and national installers.

We’ve taken a deep dive into all of the providers in ME and have reviewed the services offered, average solar panel costs and much more to save you time and energy. Below are the top five solar providers we identified in ME.

In the following sections, we’ll explain why we believe these are the best solar providers to choose in ME. You can access the drop-down menus for more information about each of these providers.

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ReVision Energy

Outstanding Social Impact

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Certified B Corp
  • Many years of experience

Cons

  • Relatively short workmanship warranty
  • No leases or PPAs
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Maine Solar Solutions

Outstanding Local Installer

Local Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Locally owned and operated

Cons

  • No leases or PPAs
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SunPower

Best National Provider

Nationwide Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Read full review now

Pros

  • Most efficient panels on the market
  • National coverage
  • Cradle to Cradle sustainability certification
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Customer service varies by local dealer
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Summit Energy

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Great warranty coverage
  • NABCEP-certified technicians
  • Many financing options

Cons

  • Relatively young company
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Invaleon Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Great warranty coverage
  • Many years of experience
  • Representatives are experts on local policies

Cons

  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • Limited information available on website

How to Save Money When Hiring a Solar Company in Maine

many solar panels installed on a big house

The average cost of a solar array in ME is around $16,980 before the federal tax break or $11,886 after the credit. This assumes the average local cost per watt of $2.83 — which is well above the U.S. average of $2.66 — and the typical solar electric system size requirement in the area of 6 kilowatts (kW).

Although ME property owners spend less on photovoltaic (PV) equipment overall than residents in other states, the cost is still quite high, and most solar customers will look for ways to save money. Below, we’ll list some of these and go into further detail in the following sections.

  • Take advantage of solar incentives and tax incentives
  • Choose high-efficiency equipment
  • Don’t undersize your system
  • Avoid solar batteries

Take Full Advantage of Solar Tax Credits and Other Perks

Maine is far from the best state for installing solar, primarily because the state only has a handful of benefit programs available to solar customers. However, that’s all the more reason to take advantage of the incentives that are available to you in ME.

We’ll include a quick breakdown of the incentive programs available in The Pine Tree State below.

Incentive Description
Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) This is a federal tax credit for 30% of your entire system value. That amount — an average of over $5,000 in ME — gets credited to your income tax liability for the year your system is commissioned. You can roll over the credit for five years to take full advantage.
Net Metering This is an outstanding policy that gives you credit for generating more electricity than you use with your panels. That excess energy gets “banked” with your utility company, and you can use it to offset future bills when production is outpaced by consumption. Ultimately, net energy metering (NEM) bumps up your long-term savings and helps speed up the panel payback period.
Renewable Energy Investment Exemption This is a property tax exemption that keeps the value added by your panels — around 4.1% of your home value — from bumping up your property taxes.4 Over the life of your system, this can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Choose High-Efficiency Equipment

One of the most common reasons ME residents convert to solar energy is the high cost of energy in New England. ME property owners pay an average of over 17 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is well above the national average.5 With energy rates still on the rise, solar is becoming more and more valuable.

However, ME residents face some issues that make PV panels less efficient. First off, the northern location means a lower sun intensity, which leads to less solar production. Second, the above-average snowfall can cover panels for long stretches, rendering them useless.

Finally, the tree coverage in ME is greater than in any other state, which means shading is a concern for most residents.6

Your best option for ensuring you save the most on your utility bills is to choose a solar panel brand with a high efficiency rating. An option like Maxeon panels from SunPower is great and will let you take advantage of the available sunlight and offset electricity charges more than most other brands.

Size Your System Appropriately

ME residents pay an average of $2.83 per watt for their solar equipment, which is above the national average of $2.66 and the eighth highest in the nation. It might be tempting to install a smaller system to keep up-front costs down, but we’d advise against that.

The goal of your solar energy system should be to offset utility bills, so you’ll want to make sure your system is sized properly to do that. The best way to determine what size your solar array should be is to have a reputable installer design a system for you.

The provider should consider tree coverage, your monthly energy needs, your home’s energy efficiency and more to balance up-front costs with long-term savings potential.

Avoid Solar Batteries

ME is a popular state for solar customers to couple their panels with solar batteries. The state is ranked 11th in the nation for the frequency of power outages, with some sources noting that most residents will experience around four blackouts every year.7

While installing solar batteries can help you maintain power through outages and provide peace of mind that you’ll always have electricity, they also add a lot of money to your system cost. Batteries can pay for themselves in states where net metering isn’t available, but Mainers won’t see a return on their batteries since net metering is offered at the full retail rate.

Unless you can’t afford to lose power during Maine’s sometimes intense weather, we recommend going with solar panels only and skipping the batteries.

Will Solar Increase Your Home Value in Maine?

Yes, installing solar panels will increase your home value in Maine by an average of 4.1%.8 With a typical property value of around $370,000, the average $12,000 system will add nearly $15,000 to your home value. This is an outstanding return on investment.

Additionally, property values in ME have increased by around 12% over the past year, and they’re expected to continue to go up in the future. Installing solar in The Pine Tree State is considered a solid financial investment, not only because it offsets your energy bills but also because it makes your home more valuable and desirable.

As is the case with most states, the larger cities in ME have seen a larger number of solar conversions than most other areas. Additionally, solar is more valuable in these areas because the property values tend to be higher. Below are the top cities where solar has had the most significant impact on home values and has been most popular.

  • Portland
  • South Portland
  • Biddeford
  • Augusta
  • Rockland
  • Lewiston

Should Maine Residents Hire a Professional Solar Installer or DIY?

If you’ve done any research on DIY solar panels, you’ve probably noticed that the average system cost if you install it yourself is significantly lower than the $12,000 average for a professional installation.

While it’s true that DIY installation is almost always cheaper, it’s not always worthwhile to attempt to install solar yourself. In Maine, specifically, there are a few reasons why you might want to opt to hire a professional. We’ll list these below and then explain them in greater detail in the following sections.

  • High risk of roof leaks
  • Panel efficiency is lower for DIY options
  • You won’t get the same warranty coverage
  • Permitting can be time consuming

DIY Panels Increase the Risk of Roof Leaks

One of the most common problems solar customers experience with PV panels is leaking from the roof penetrations. Homes in ME are at an elevated risk of leaking because of the above-average amount of rainfall.9 ME is also the second snowiest state in the nation, and snow sitting on your roof can promote leaking as well.10

Professional installers go to great lengths to prevent leaking, but despite their years of experience, it can still occur. DIY installation might be cheaper, but without the same experience, you’re at an even higher risk of roof leaks. You very well might spend more money fixing leaks or carrying out repairs if an improper installation leads to water damage.

DIY Panels Have a Lower Efficiency

As we mentioned above, a high panel efficiency rating is necessary in ME to take advantage of the sun and overcome deficits caused by the weather and tree coverage. The low sun intensity, below-average sunny days per year and abundant tree coverage can all contribute to lower levels of production, so high-efficiency panels are recommended.

Most DIY panels — including those from Renogy and Grape Solar — have lower efficiency ratings than professionally-installed panels like SunPower and Tesla. While the initial installation for a DIY solar project will almost always be lower, you may save less in energy with lower-efficiency DIY panels over time, making your initial savings moot.

Warranty Coverage on DIY Panels is Inferior

Solar in ME will usually cost you between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on whether you install panels yourself or hire a professional to do it. Either way, the cost is high, and you’ll want solar warranties to protect your investment.

A significant issue with installing your own panels is that DIY options usually come with minimal warranty coverage. Most have equipment and efficiency warranties that last between five and ten years, and none come with workmanship warranties.

When you choose a professional installer, you’ll more often get equipment and efficiency warranties that last around 25 years. Plus, you’re more likely to get workmanship warranties that cover issues with the installation. This is especially important in ME, where excessive snowfall and rain can quickly expose mistakes made during the installation process.

Permitting Can Be Time-Consuming

Finally, all municipalities in ME require permits to be filed for rooftop solar installations. The process requires that a certified electrician sign off on your system before the panels are considered legal. You’ll also need your electrician to connect you to the grid, unless you’re installing an off-grid solar panel system.

This is an expense that many DIYers fail to consider, and it can sometimes push your cost close to the average for a professional installation (after rebates and tax breaks). As such, you may not save as much as you think you will by completing a DIY installation.

What Should Mainers Look For in a Solar Installer?

There are a few things you should look for when choosing a solar installer in ME. To ensure you have the best experience possible and enjoy the most long-term savings, you’ll want to consider these factors:

  • Panel brands offered
  • Efficiency warranties provided
  • Overall cost
  • Years of local experience the company has

We’ll explain why each of these is important in ME below.

The Brands of Panels Offered

Every installer carries a set selection of panel brands, and the brands differ in several ways. One of the most crucial differences between panel brands is the efficiency rating. ME residents need to prioritize efficiency because several factors can cause production to dip, including:

  • Shading from the high percentage of tree coverage
  • Heavy snow coverage blocking sunlight during the winter months
  • Above-average number of cloudy days in the state
  • Low intensity of sunlight, particularly in the winter months

Ideally, you should choose an installer that carries high-efficiency panel brands like Maxeon to maximize your long-term energy savings.

The Efficiency Warranty Included With Your Panels

For similar reasons, you should look for a solar installer that offers a lengthy efficiency warranty. This type of warranty guarantees minimal degradation of your panel efficiency, which means greater levels of production over time. This is especially important, as electricity rates are high in ME and are only expected to rise in the future.

The Cost of the System

Solar systems in ME average around $16,000 before rebates and tax credits, which is prohibitively expensive for some. Even if you can afford to pay this price in cash, choosing a relatively affordable company is usually wise to help keep costs down.

It’s important to consider the quality of the equipment, warranties and labor when comparing prices, though. It might very well be worth it to pay a bit more for your system if you’re getting top-of-the-line panels, good customer service and lengthy, robust warranties.

The Years of Experience Installing Solar in ME

It’s usually better to choose a company with a longer history and more experience. This is especially important in ME because the recent surge in solar popularity has led to numerous fly-by-night solar panel companies popping up to take advantage of the demand.

Opting for an experienced company will usually mean better service and lower risk of your warranties being voided. It’s also a good idea to consider localized experience. Companies that have worked in ME for years should understand your specific needs — like high-efficiency panels, good warranty coverage and more.

Methodology: How We Ranked Solar Companies In Maine

solar panels on a white metal roof

Maine is home to around 25 solar installation companies, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). With so many options available to you, it’s important that you choose a company that provides quality service, high-quality products and an overall positive experience for you.

Below, we’ll explain how we assess solar providers in ME and why we believe these are the most important criteria for Maine homeowners. Here’s a snapshot of our scoring:

  • Solar Equipment Brands (20%)
  • Add-On Equipment Offered (20%)
  • Solar Warranty Coverage (15%)
  • Solar Financing Options (15%)
  • Qualifications and Certifications (10%)
  • Commitment to Environmental Friendliness (10%)
  • Availability (10%)

Solar Brands Offered

Mainers see around 192 sunny days per year, on average, which is below the national average. The state also sees well-above average amounts of snowfall, and snow coverage can diminish production as well.

The lower amount of sunlight in the area demands higher-efficiency panels to generate sufficient energy to offset energy bills. We prioritize companies that offer high-quality brands like Maxeon, Panasonic, LG, Tesla, Q Cells, REC and more.

Solar Equipment Provided

In addition to the brands of panels, we rank companies higher if they offer the types of equipment that ME residents benefit from most. Since the state is at a high risk of power outages — and dangerous ones at that, given the long, cold winters — many solar customers opt to couple their panels with solar batteries for energy storage.

Companies that offer batteries get ranked a bit higher in our ratings because they will naturally appeal more to Maine residents.

Warranty Coverage

Next, we prioritize the warranty coverage provided with solar energy systems. Maine isn’t prone to much in the way of extreme weather that can put panels at risk, although thunderstorms and the after-effects of tropical cyclones occur annually. However, above-average rainfall and snowfall can put panels and roofs at elevated risk of damage.

Especially given the fact that solar energy systems average around $16,980 before incentives, warranty coverage is crucial for protecting what is likely to be a sizable investment in clean energy. We rank companies higher when they provide robust physical protection and efficiency warranties, which we believe are most important to Mainers.

Experience in Maine

The solar industry is only now starting to take off in Maine, despite the state being considered relatively eco-friendly. With a budding solar industry, Maine homeowners are bound to see companies popping up that have minimal experience. These installers are more likely to make mistakes, cause delays with permitting and go out of business and void your warranties.

For these reasons, we prioritize companies that have at least five years of experience in the solar industry as a whole. More importantly, we rank those that have years of experience working specifically with Maine’s demands and solar laws higher.

Solar Financing Options

The cost of solar equipment in Maine — around $2.83 per watt — is higher than the national average — around $2.66 per watt. Although all-in system costs are lower because of smaller system size requirements, the average total for a solar energy system of around $16,980 is still prohibitively expensive for many Maine residents.

For that reason, we prioritize companies that provide solid financing options for solar PV systems. Top companies like SunPower not only offer solar loans but also provide low interest rates and require little or no money down to keep clean energy as accessible as possible.

Availability

Next, we consider the service area of each company in Maine. The Pine Tree State is relatively rural, so many companies in the area only service major cities and surrounding towns. Since these installers will naturally appeal less to customers overall, we rank companies higher if they have a wider service area and greater availability.

Environmental Impact

Finally, since we’re a website focused on eco-friendliness, we consider the environmental impact that each company has. Installers that keep solar affordable and accessible with loan programs and low down payment are naturally helping to push the solar industry forward.

We also look for affiliations with pro-solar organizations and associations. We specifically look for NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) certification, B-Corp certification and more local affiliations like the Maine Renewable Energy Association (MREA). These also help establish a company’s longevity in the industry.

Read More About Going Solar in Maine

FAQ: Best Solar Companies in Maine

We get a lot of questions about the prospect of going solar in ME. Below, we’ll answer some of the questions we see most often from homeowners in your area.

Blog author image
Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.
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Expert reviewer
Tori is an editor, writer, rock climber and travel enthusiast. A native New Yorker, she graduated from the College of Saint Rose with a degree in communications and journalism. Before joining EcoWatch, Tori helped to oversee communication strategies for the City of Philadelphia. Her experience also includes communications work in the nonprofit and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering political, environmental and social issues in New York's Hudson Valley. In her spare time, Tori can be found in the mountains climbing boulders, traveling to new cities or at one of Philadelphia's many music venues.

Comparing authorized solar partners

EcoWatch rating
Average cost
Pros
Cons
BBB Rating
Year founded
Service Area
Brands of Solar Equipment Offered
Warranty Coverage
  • 4.5
    • Comprehensive service offerings
    • Certified B Corp
    • Many years of experience
    • Relatively short workmanship warranty
    • No leases or PPAs
    A+
    Outstanding Social Impact

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