Solar Panel Cost in Maine (2023 Local Savings Guide)
Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Maine:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.83
- Cost of Average System: $11,886*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $37,766
- Payback Period: 10 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $25,880
*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.
Cost of Solar Panels in Maine
Solar panel systems in Maine are priced per watt, with an average cost of $2.83. This is above the national average of $2.66. However, the total average price for solar panel installation is lower in Maine than in most of the U.S. because the 5.7 kW system that is standard in Maine is much smaller than the required system elsewhere in the nation.
Electricity rates in Maine are relatively high, but energy use is significantly lower, leaving many residents wondering if going solar in Maine is worth it. Most homeowners find that converting to clean energy is a sound investment, especially if your electric bill is above average.
Maine Solar Solutions
Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Maine
The biggest factor that will influence the price of your solar energy system is size. Every home has different energy needs, and the solar electricity system is sized accordingly. While the standard system size in Maine is 5.7 kW, adding or reducing the size by just one kilowatt will change your price by around $2,830. The table below provides standard system sizes in Maine with average costs for each before and after the federal tax credit.
|Size of Solar Panel System||Maine Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Ready to see your system size and how much switching to renewable energy can save you? Check out our review of the best solar companies in Maine to find an installer that can provide an accurate estimate.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Maine?
Your choice of solar equipment, financing option and installer will all determine the cost of your solar power system. Net metering, rebate programs and other incentives can also save you money, so make sure to take advantage of the solar incentives in Maine.
Although Maine gets enough sunlight to make solar feasible for most homeowners, Northeastern states don’t receive as much sunlight as states closer to the equator.
As such, most homeowners will require high-efficiency monocrystalline solar panels, rather than cheaper polycrystalline panels, to generate the power necessary to offset their energy use. Talk to your local installer about which solar panels will be best for you.
Although snow and rain can help clean your solar panels, making them more efficient, excessive snow buildup can block the sun and even cause damage to your system.
Snow is definitely a consideration for homeowners looking to install solar panels in Maine, so make sure you look for panels that have good snow load ratings and a comprehensive warranty that covers weather-related damage. We recommend REC solar panels.
Solar Financing Options in Maine
In addition to solar incentives like statewide net metering, property tax exemptions and the federal solar tax credit, Maine residents are also eligible for local rebates and financing programs.
In 2011, Efficiency Maine established the Maine Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which makes renewable energy more accessible to property owners by offering low-interest, long-term loans for home upgrades like solar panel installation. Currently, the PACE program covers 176 municipalities in Maine.
You can check with your local government to learn about local rebates and financing options, which can lower the total of your solar PV system by 10%-20%.
Maine Solar Installation Company
Although Maine does not have a huge residential solar industry, there are still great installation companies in the state. ReVision Energy and Maine Solar Solutions are both locally owned and operated companies known for their excellent customer service, reputation and feasible prices.
Larger companies like SunPower operate nationwide, reaching parts of Maine. SunPower offers some of the industry’s most powerful products, an all-inclusive warranty and panels that are Cradle to Cradle certified sustainable.
However, if you want the best of the best, you’ll have a price tag that reflects it. If you’re looking for a company to meet you where your budget needs are, try reaching out to a few local installers. You can visit our page to learn about some of Maine’s most reputable solar companies.
Additional Considerations and Costs
Check out these additional considerations and costs that you should know about before going solar:
- Permits: Solar panel installations on the residential level typically do not require a permit in Maine. However, you should still check with your local municipality before installing. Solar installations that occupy 20 or more acres or could impact natural resources, therefore requiring a permit from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
- Interconnection agreements: Unless you plan to be 100% disconnected from the grid, you’ll need the approval of your electricity provider in what’s called an interconnection agreement. These agreements often come with a fee. For example, Central Maine Power charges a $100 interconnection fee for basic solar installations.
- Warranties: All solar panel companies are required by law to offer a minimum warranty for their equipment. However, most solar panel companies offer a 25-year warranty, far longer than the legal requirement. The best product warranties typically come from more expensive manufacturers, so think about that as you consider costs.
- HOAs: Maine is covered under a solar entitlement law, which restricts homeowners associations (HOA) from preventing residents from installing solar panels on their homes.
- Environmental zoning: Environmental zoning is generally only required for industrial-sized solar projects in Maine.
Maine Solar Incentives
All Maine residents can take advantage of several solar rebates and incentives, which together can lower your total cost by thousands of dollars and save you much more money on energy bills over time. Below are the incentives available to homeowners in the Pine Tree State.
Federal Solar Tax Credit For Maine Homeowners
The biggest solar rebate afforded to Maine residents is the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC). This rebate totals a massive 30% of your installation costs, which, in Maine, averages out to a savings of $4,839.
The federal tax credit will decrease to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 before expiring in 2035.
Net Metering Policies in Maine
Net metering is a policy that allows you to overproduce with your renewable energy system and get compensated for any excess energy. Your system is connected to the grid via an inverter. When your electricity generation is less than what your home is using, the grid supplies the difference to keep your home powered. When you’re overproducing — like on a sunny day — the additional energy gets routed to the grid, and you earn energy credits.
Maine has a solar-friendly governor who mandated net metering throughout the state, so residents can take full advantage of net metering. The state has a robust Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal of creating 80% of the entire state’s energy via renewable resources by 2030, and this incentive helps reach that goal.
You’ll earn credits for all overproduction, and those credits can be applied to future energy bills. This helps offset electric costs even when your panels are covered by snow or during cloudy days.
Local Solar Rebates in Maine
In addition to the great net metering policy and the federal tax credit, Maine homeowners can take advantage of several local incentives offered by the state.
First, Maine takes part in the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which are affordable and accessible loans for switching to clean energy. When combined with Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program, PACE loans can make going solar much more affordable. These loans often come with low APRs, meaning you’ll pay less in interest over time than you would with traditional financing.
Maine is also a proponent of community solar, which allows homeowners who cannot accommodate rooftop solar systems to participate in solar solutions. Community solar lets you tap into off-site community solar farms to power your home, lowering your electric bills and potentially bringing you almost entirely off-grid without having to install solar panels on your roof.
Maine also provides a property tax exemption for photovoltaic (PV) systems. Provided you buy or finance your solar panels, your property value will increase significantly. Typically, home improvements that raise your home’s value also bump up your property taxes. This exemption prevents that from happening, so your property taxes won’t increase with solar panels even though your property value will.
It’s best to check the DSIRE database for additional local incentives or new rebates. Currently, Maine doesn’t offer sales tax exemptions on solar equipment, but this exemption could be added in the future and save you hundreds of dollars.
The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Maine
Based on our review of the best solar panels, the EcoWatch team identified the most popular and most efficient solar equipment available. We’re including each brand below, along with relative pricing so that you can see how they stack up against the others.
|Panel model||Avg cost per watt|
Ready to see how much you can save by going solar? Follow the links below to connect with a top installer in Maine. These companies will help you get a quick, no-obligation solar quote for your upfront cost and long-term savings.
Read More About Going Solar
FAQs: Solar Panel Cost Maine
The EcoWatch team gets questions from Maine residents all the time about the process and benefits of going solar. Below are some of the questions we see most often from homeowners in the Pine Tree State. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at email@example.com.
This might seem like a simple question, but the answer is quite complicated. In Maine, solar panel systems are priced based on the number of watts you need, with each watt costing approximately $2.83 locally. Every home requires a different size system based on the roof size, monthly energy consumption, home size and efficiency, the equipment selected, and many other factors.
Generally speaking, though, the average cost for Maine residents to convert to solar power is $16,131, or $11,937 after the federal tax credit is received.
Yes! Property value increase is one of the most appealing benefits to most Maine homeowners, and solar systems unilaterally boost home value, provided you buy the system outright or use a solar loan. Leasing solar panels and entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) will not increase home value.
For those who do buy or finance their solar systems, the Berkeley Lab estimates that you can get a 100% return on the investment. In Maine, that’s an average of $32,262! Based on estimates from Zillow, you can expect an increase in home value of around 4.1%. Since the average property value in Maine is approximately $329,955, that averages out to an increase of $13,528. In either case, the added value is substantial.
In almost every case, it’s better to buy or finance solar panels than enter into a lease agreement. Leases provide a no-money-down option that makes solar panels more accessible to some homeowners, but you don’t get the same benefits from a solar lease.
The biggest drawbacks to leasing are the lack of property value increase — an average loss of $13,528 in Maine — and no federal tax credit, an average loss of $4,194 in Maine. All other solar rebates and incentives are also unavailable with solar leasing, and Maine’s accessible and low-APR financing options make solar loans a much better choice.
The cost of solar panels will always be a crucial factor to consider, but the efficiency of the panels is often more critical for Maine homeowners. Maine has excellent net metering policies in place that help you eliminate the need for the grid as an energy source, reduce your electric bills and enjoy maximum savings.
Especially given the relatively high price of solar in the Pine Tree State, opting for high-efficiency panels will help pay off you solar energy system more quickly and make it more cost-effective overall.
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