Cost of Solar Panels in Maine: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)
Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Maine:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.83
- Cost of Average System: $12,565*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $37,766
- Payback Period: 10 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $20,786
*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.
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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.
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?
As mentioned above, the size of your solar power system is the most significant factor for determining price. However, there are other cost factors that can change your total by thousands of dollars. We’ll discuss each of these below.
The brand and arrangement of equipment you choose for your solar project can have a drastic effect on the price you pay.
There are many brands of solar equipment available, and, just like with anything else, each manufacturer’s products vary in durability, quality and cost. Unfortunately, there aren’t many solar companies located near Maine, so the costs of solar are higher than in places in the Sun Belt. Choosing certain vendors who are located very far from Maine could lead to slightly higher prices. Still, the solar-friendly policy in the Northeast can help keep costs down.
High-efficiency solar panels — like the Maxeon panels from SunPower — will typically cost more than most other options up front. However, these panels are considered some of the best in the industry and have a high efficiency, so they’re likely to produce more energy and save you more on electric bills over time. You might also need high-efficiency panels if you have limited roof space.
Choosing other expensive equipment — like Tesla Powerwalls — will also drive up your price, but you might find greater savings in the long run. Alternatively, if you’re looking for the cheapest solar equipment, your present cost will be lower, but your overall savings will also likely be less impressive.
Additionally, the array of equipment you want to be included in your solar panel system can affect your price. Most home solar systems include photovoltaic panels and inverters, but some homeowners in Maine opt for solar batteries to provide power through outages or electric vehicle (EV) chargers to power EVs with clean energy. All add-on equipment will bump up your total.
Although the cost to go solar in Maine is below the national average, the typical cost of $16,131 is still prohibitively expensive for many people. Thankfully, almost every solar installer in Maine offers solar financing. Solar financing provides the opportunity to pay less — or even nothing, in some cases — up front and pay off the loan over several years.
Solar loans are fantastic options for many homeowners, but it’s wise to consider the total interest you’ll pay over the length of the loan and add it to your total. This will give you an all-in cost and help you decide if going solar is right for you.
Many Maine homeowners will be able to secure low-APR solar loans, but high-APR options might be the only choice for some. In either case, paying a higher down payment will mean less interest paid over time and an overall lower price.
Solar Installation Company
The last significant cost factor to consider is the solar installer you choose. The solar companies in Maine all vary in pricing for their labor, equipment and warranties provided. Some companies vary in price almost entirely because of the solar equipment offered. For example, a company that only installs expensive, high-quality products like SunPower panels or Tesla Powerwalls will naturally cost more than companies that provide cheaper, lower-quality options.
The size of the company matters as well. Larger national companies usually have lower prices because they buy equipment in bulk, but they also tend to have less appealing customer service and customization options for your solar project. Smaller local companies sometimes have better pricing because they offer deals or sales to undercut the big players, and they usually have better customer service and can install a fully customized system.
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 26% of your installation costs, which, in Maine, averages out to a savings of $4,194.
In 2023, the federal tax credit rate will dip to 22%. As of right now, it’s scheduled to be eliminated in 2024, although Congress might decide to renew the bill and continue offering the credit at a lower rate. Homeowners who install solar in 2022 will save the most with the ITC.
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.
Best Solar Panel Brands and Installed Solar System Costs in 2022
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 above 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.
People Also Ask
FAQ: 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.
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.
This is another question that doesn’t have a universal answer. Most homes in Maine require a 5.7 kW system to offset energy costs and meet the average household’s needs. However, your system will need to be customized based on your average monthly energy consumption, the size of your house and roof, the energy efficiency of your home, how much sunlight your roof gets, and other factors.
The best option is to contact a reputable solar company in Maine to customize a solar panel system for your home to meet your needs and expectations of savings.