Maine Solar Panels
Pricing & Installation Data

Find out if solar panels are right for your home in Maine.

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Solar Panels in Maine

As the Pine Tree State, solar may not be an obvious decision for most homeowners. Pine trees aren’t really best friends with solar panels and Maine isn’t known for being the sunniest. However, with over 7,800 homeowners already harnessing the power of the sun through solar installations, Maine, like the rest of the country, is catching on to the renewable trend. 

The state's current policies and incentives, coupled with the potential for significant long-term savings, make it an increasingly attractive option. Whether you're drawn by the financial benefits, with net 20-year savings ranging from $18,429 to $24,933, or the average payback period of 12.30 years, solar energy in Maine is a bright idea worth considering.

Solar is not an easy decision. We’ll give you everything you need to know to make the decision for yourself. Stick around as we break down the costs, benefits, and everything in between.

Cost of Solar in Maine

The average price for a home solar panel system in Maine is $20,700 for a 6kW system or about $3.45 per watt. Systems will vary depending on the solar installation company the types of solar panels you choose and the size of your system. When shopping for solar panels you should consider getting multiple quotes from various installers.

Average Cost
6 kW System
Average Cost
10 kW System
Estimated
Tax Credit
(10 kW System)
Average
Cost/Watt
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
Maine$16,680$27,800$8,340$2.78
U.S.Average$18,771$31,285$9,385.50$3.13
Most Costly State(Michigan)$22,680$37,800$11,340$3.78
Least Costly State(Arizona)$14,640$24,400$7,320$2.44

Costs by Solar System Size in Maine

For most, the ideal solar system size is the sweet spot between price and capacity. The goal is to generate enough electricity to cover your home's demand while keeping overall costs low as possible.

I.E. Get the best bang for your buck.

System SizeSystem CostCost After Federal Tax Credit
5 kW$13,900$8,785
6 kW$16,680$10,542
7 kW$19,460$12,299
8 kW$22,240$14,056
10 kW$27,800$17,570

Pros and Cons of Solar in Maine

Unfortunately, nothing is perfect - including solar. To avoid buyer's remorse, you should think about all the pros and cons associated with installing solar equipment on your home. Then weigh them against each other to decide if it makes sense for you.

Everyone has their own opinion on how to interpret and weigh the pros and cons against each other. Our goal is to present the most common pros and cons and let you make your own choice.

Maine Solar Pros

  • Cost Savings: Reduce or eliminate electric bills
  • Energy Independence: Generate your own electricity to reduce reliance on the grid
  • Sustainability: Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Home Value: Increase home value (4.1% on average)
  • Net Metering: Maine has a net metering policy allowing residents to earn credits when they overproduce on power so they can utilize those credits when they don’t produce enough power. 
  • Community Solar: For those who can't install solar panels, Maine operates community solar farms.
  • Electricity Bill Offset: Depending on how much solar you able to install and how much your home demands, the state allows your to offset 86–117% of your electricity bill.

Maine Solar Cons

  • Compatibility: Not viable for all roofs or homes
  • Upfront Costs: The initial cost of the system, including Installation costs can be steep.
  • Variable Generation: The amount of electricity produce by the panels is of course determined by how much sun you get. Sunnier days get more power.
  • Financial Liability: If you sign into a solar lease contract, make sure you read the fine print. There have been cases of customers being responsible of more than they thought.
  • Sunlight: While this may not be news to you, it’s important to note that Maine does not receive as much sunlight as other states, affecting energy production.
  • Incentives Lacking: No statewide solar tax credit and other incentives compared to other more pro solar states.

EnergyBot's Take

What’s our take on solar in Maine? Take advantage of ALL the incentives while you can. 

The cost of solar in Maine is high compared to a lot of other states. Because Maine is not the sunniest state, solar demand and price reflect that. At the same time, solar is never a bad idea. There are only bad policies, contracts, agreements, and occasionally installers. 

Opting for solar energy in Maine comes with a host of perks that can make it a worthwhile choice for property owners. The potential to slash or even zero out your electricity bills is a huge draw, and generating your own power offers a level of energy self-sufficiency. This is a significant stride toward eco-friendly living and shrinking your carbon impact. 

On the flip side, there are some hurdles to consider. Not all homes or roofs are well-suited for solar panel installation, and the initial setup costs can be a financial burden. If you're thinking about a solar lease, be cautious and read the contract details to avoid unexpected costs.

If you are considering solar, also consider batteries to store the energy when the sun is out to use when the sun isn’t out. That will also make you less dependent on policy changes like net metering.

If you are on the fence you can use this tool to get an accurate cost breakdown for your home based on your historical energy usage.

Leasing vs Buying Solar Panels in Maine

There are several ways you can purchase and/or finance your solar panel installation in Maine. Your goals and financial situation will dictate which option is best for you.

Cash Purchase

The most straightforward option. You pay upfront for the entire cost of the rooftop solar system. No interest, and fewer headaches, but many people are hesitant about spending several tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Solar Loan

The most common method for buying solar systems. Like many other types of large purchases, you can finance your solar system through a bank or solar loan provider.

This sounds great, and many other solar loan salespeople will leverage the low payment to justify the costs. You will likely hear something like "You pay $250 a month on your electric bill, with a solar loan you will pay $200 and have free electricity."

Do your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. There are many horror stories of variable loan terms, ballooning interest rates, and harsh missed payment penalties.

Solar Lease

Leasing solar panels generally involves less money out of pocket upfront. But, it's important to note - you do not own your solar energy system. You essentially renting the solar system. A solar provider will install the equipment and charge you a fixed monthly fee.

Most solar lease contracts last for a couple of decades, during which time the provider will keep an eye on the system's hardware and performance. At the end of your lease, you can choose to:

  • Renew your lease agreement
  • Purchase the system
  • End your lease agreement

Solar leases can be complicated. Not all are bad, but in many cases the lease terms in not in favor of the buyer. Before you decide on a solar lease make sure to read your contract thoroughly. If you don't understand something, ask an expert.

Power Purchase Agreements

A power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a solar company will design and install a solar system on your home or business with little or no cost upfront. Instead of paying a monthly fee like a lease, the agreement includes a fixed price per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated.

For example, you agree to pay $0.12 per kWh of electricity generated for the next 20 years. The solar company will install and maintain your system and sell the power back to you that you use. They may also collect payment for any additional energy they put back into the grid.

Just like a lease, you do not own the panels. When the contract is up, they will either be removed or your contract may have other terms for you to buy or renew your power purchase agreement.

Power purchase agreements can be complicated. Before you sign make sure you review the contract and if possible have an expert in power purchase agreements review the details.

Maine Solar Incentives

Beyond the 30% Federal Solar Tax Credit, you might qualify for additional incentives that can substantially cut down the cost of your solar panel setup. These perks can vary from state to state and even within local communities. Your local utility or city may offer incentives that can add up to significant savings.

The table below outlines the current incentives available in Maine. However, this isn't an exhaustive list. Always consult your local utility provider for other potential savings opportunities.

Name State Category Type
Voluntary Renewable Resources Grants ME Financial Incentive Grant Program
Efficiency Maine Trust - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resource Fund ME Regulatory Policy Public Benefits Fund
Net Energy Billing ME Regulatory Policy Net Metering
Solar Contractor Licensing and Training ME Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing
Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure ME Regulatory Policy Generation Disclosure
Renewable Portfolio Standard ME Regulatory Policy Renewables Portfolio Standard
Efficiency Maine Small Business Loan Program ME Financial Incentive Loan Program
Efficiency Maine Commercial and Industrial Prescriptive Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Efficiency Maine Residential Lighting Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Efficiency Maine Renewable Energy Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Unitil - Residential Energy Efficiency Programs ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code ME Regulatory Policy Building Energy Code
Efficiency Maine Trust ME Regulatory Policy Public Benefits Fund
Home Energy Loan Program (HELP) ME Financial Incentive Loan Program
Efficiency Maine Natural Gas Business Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Sales and Use Tax Refund for Qualified Community Wind Generators ME Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
Maine Solar Easement Rights and Laws ME Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Access Policy
Community-Based Renewable Energy Production Incentive (Pilot Program) ME Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
New Generation Energy - Community Solar Lending Program ME Financial Incentive Loan Program
New Generation Energy - Community Food Service Efficiency Lending Program ME Financial Incentive Loan Program
Model Wind Energy Facility Ordinance ME Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Efficiency Maine - Home Appliance Rebate Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Maine Green Power Program ME Regulatory Policy Mandatory Utility Green Power Option
Efficiency Maine - Home Energy Savings Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Interconnection Standards ME Regulatory Policy Interconnection
Solar Hot Water Contractor Licensing ME Regulatory Policy Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing
Local Option - Property Assessed Clean Energy ME Financial Incentive PACE Financing
Energy Efficiency Targets ME Regulatory Policy Energy Efficiency Resource Standard
Maine PACE Loans ME Financial Incentive PACE Financing
Seacoast Energy Initiative - Energy Efficiency Loan Program ME Financial Incentive Loan Program
Efficiency Maine Multifamily Efficiency Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Efficiency Maine Appliance Rebate Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Bangor Hydro Electric Company - Residential and Small Commercial Heat Pump Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Maine Public Service Company - Residential and Small Commercial Heat Pump Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Efficiency Maine Residential Home Energy Savings Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Efficiency Maine - Home Energy Loans ME Financial Incentive Loan Program
Solar and Wind Energy Property Tax Exemption ME Financial Incentive Property Tax Incentive
Electric Vehicle Rebate Program ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Maine Community Solar ME Regulatory Policy Community Solar Rules
Efficiency Maine Electric Vehicle Rebate Program (Duplicate Entry) ME Financial Incentive Rebate Program
Energy Storage Sales and Use Tax Reimbursement ME Financial Incentive Sales Tax Incentive
Energy Storage Goal ME Regulatory Policy Energy Storage Target
Maine Appliance and Equipment Energy Efficiency Standards ME Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
C-PACE: Efficiency Maine ME Financial Incentive PACE Financing
Grid Resilience Grant Program ME Financial Incentive Grant Program
Small Battery Management Program ME Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Offshore Wind Energy Target ME Regulatory Policy Offshore Wind Energy Target
Tax-Exempt Financing for Green Buildings, Renewable Energy & Brownfield Redevelopment US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Conservation Security Program (CSP) Production Incentive US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Federal Excise Tax Exemption for Gasohol US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS) US Financial Incentive Corporate Depreciation
Energy Star Financing and Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA Rural Housing Service Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Exemption
Renewable Energy Production Incentive (REPI) US Financial Incentive Performance-Based Incentive
Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Small Business Administration Loan Programs US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Energy-Efficient Mortgages US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs - Funding Opportunities US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government US Regulatory Policy Green Power Purchasing
Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Deduction
Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Energy-Efficient Appliance Manufacturing Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Industry Recruitment/Support
Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Veterans Housing Guaranteed and Insured Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Federal Appliance Standards US Regulatory Policy Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards
Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Agencies US Regulatory Policy Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) US Financial Incentive Loan Program
U.S. Department of Treasury - Renewable Energy Grants US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
USDA - Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Title I Property Improvement Loans US Financial Incentive Loan Program
USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) US Financial Incentive Grant Program
Fannie Mae Green Financing – Loan Program US Financial Incentive Loan Program
Qualified Commercial Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Corporate) US Financial Incentive Corporate Tax Credit
Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (Personal) US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit
Previously-Owned Clean Vehicle Tax Credit US Financial Incentive Personal Tax Credit

Maine Solar Companies

There are hundreds of solar companies in Maine. From solar installers to solar loan providers, and manufacturers. Each is a piece of the puzzle to help you get outfitted with solar panels.

To make things simple, EnergyBot works directly with 3 of the largest solar companies to give you a comprehensive view of the market.

The solar companies we partner with:

  • Project Solar - A nationwide provider of solar panel systems that has a non-sales-oriented approach to building your system. They build your system from their central office and send a local company to complete the solar panel installation.
  • EnergySage - The largest online solar installation network. They work with thousands of installers to help you find the perfect solar system for your home. With thousands of successful solar installations, they can give you a range of bids and pricing options.
  • Tesla - Brains behind some of the most cutting-edge technology in the automotive industry, Tesla also offers sleek and powerful solar systems and battery systems.

We believe comparing these three names in the solar industry will give you the info you need to decide if solar panels are right for you.

Before You Install Solar Panels

Just because solar is a popular discussion right now, doesn’t mean it makes sense for everyone. It is still a large and expensive decision. Installing solar has great financial and environmental benefits but it won’t feel beneficial if you run into issues. Along with studying a 20-year cost comparison for your home, read some more tips to keep in mind when mulling over your decision on your installer, system design, and financial plan.

  • What are the long-term savings and payback period for installing a solar panel system?
  • How will installing solar panels impact my home's value?
  • What is the system’s Return on Investment (ROI)?
  • Are there any specific design or aesthetic considerations for solar panel installation?
  • How do I weigh the environmental benefits against the costs of installation?
  • What are the specific terms and conditions for the installer?

Maine’s Solar Debrief

Maine's Public Advocate, Bill Harwood, recently held a news conference to discuss the impact of the state's 2019 solar law (LD 1711) on utility bills. 

While the law has successfully spurred the growth of solar farms. There are 23,000 community solar project subscribers and 1,000 projects either built or in the planning stages. However, Harwood believes the law is flawed. He points out that the law obligates Maine's two main utilities, Central Maine Power and Versant, to pay 20 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar energy, even though it costs less than 10 cents to generate. 

He warns this discrepancy could cost Maine ratepayers approximately $220 million annually for the next two decades.

The issue has drawn a range of responses. The Industrial Energy Consumer Group agrees that the legislature can and should fix the problem. On the other hand, environmental groups like the Natural Resources Council of Maine argue that the law has enabled important community solar programs. 

The Governor's Energy Office also weighed in, noting that utility bills are already high due to factors like global energy prices and over-reliance on natural gas. 

Harwood's bottom line is that while solar energy is essential, the current subsidy model is neither affordable nor sustainable for Maine residents.

Why Trust EnergyBot

We have helped thousands of customers find electricity plans for their home or business. And we are pretty darn good at it, with over 1,000 5-Star reviews we know how to help you stay powered up.

Now using the same one-of-kind technology and platform we are helping consumers in Maine decide if solar is right for them. You will notice that sometimes our numbers make solar look less attractive. That's not by accident. We believe you should have full transparency during the solar purchasing process.

We aren't here to sell you something. We are here to help you make the best energy decision for your home or business.

Maine Solar FAQs

The cost of solar panel installation in Maine can vary significantly based on a number of factors, including the size and type of the system, the complexity of the installation, your solar installer, and the specific location. However, the average cost of solar panels in the U.S. was about $3.13 per watt, before any incentives or tax credits.

A typical residential solar system is usually around 8 kilowatts (8,000 watts), but varies based on energy use and the size of the house. The US average cost for a 6 kW system is $18,771 and the US average cost for a 10 kW system is $31,285, before incentives. The average price for a home solar panel system in Maine is $20,700 for a 6kW system or about or about $3.45 per watt.

The number of solar panels you would need depends on a variety of factors such as:

  1. Your home's energy consumption: The first step is to calculate your household's energy use. You can do this by looking at your electricity bills to see how much electricity you use in a year, usually measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The average U.S. home uses around 10,400 kWh per year, but this can vary widely based on the size of your home, the efficiency of your appliances, and your personal habits.
  2. The amount of sunlight your location receives: This can vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a place that has many sunny days like Arizona, you might require fewer solar panels compared to someone living in a place with less sunlight like Seattle.
  3. The efficiency of the solar panels: Not all solar panels are created equal. Some panels can convert sunlight into electricity more efficiently than others. On average, residential solar panels have an efficiency rating between 15-20%. The higher the efficiency, the fewer panels you would likely need to meet your energy needs.
  4. The size of the solar panels: Solar panels also come in different sizes. A common size for residential use is roughly 65 inches by 39 inches. Each panel typically produces around 250 to 400 watts of power, but this can vary.

To give you a rough estimate, let's say you live in a location that receives about 5 hours of peak sunlight per day, your solar panels have an efficiency of 20%, and each panel has a power rating of 300 watts. If your home uses about 10,400 kWh per year, you would divide this by 365 to get your daily energy use (about 28.5 kWh). You would then divide this by the hours of peak sunlight (5 hours), to get your required power output per hour (about 5.7 kW). If each solar panel produces 300 watts (or 0.3 kW), you would divide 5.7 kW by 0.3 to get the number of solar panels you need, which would be about 19 panels.

  • Lower Electricity Bills:
    Once your solar panels are installed, you can generate your own electricity and reduce your reliance on the grid, which can lower your monthly bills.
  • Environmental Benefits:
    Solar energy is clean and renewable, so using it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful pollutants.
  • Increased Home Value:
    Installing solar panels can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Long-Term Savings:
    While the upfront cost of installing solar energy systems can be high, they can pay for themselves over time through lower energy bills and other savings.
  • Location:
    Homes in areas with lots of sunlight are generally better candidates for solar panels. If your home is shaded or doesn't receive much sunlight, it may not be the best choice.
  • Roof Orientation:
    Ideally, your roof should be facing south to get the most sunlight throughout the day.
  • Roof Condition:
    Your roof should be in good condition and able to support the weight of the solar panels. If your roof needs repairs or replacement, it's best to take care of that before your solar installation.

The installation process for solar panels can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the system and the complexity of the installation.

Your installer should be able to give you an estimated timeline based on your specific project.

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance. However, it's a good idea to have them inspected every few years to ensure they are working properly and to clean off any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the panels. Most solar panel installers offer maintenance services for an additional fee.

Solar panels generally require very little maintenance. However, it's a good idea to have them inspected every few years to ensure they are working properly. Besides operation, it is recommended they are cleaned off about once a year to be free from any debris or dirt that may have accumulated on the panels. Most solar panel installers offer maintenance services for an additional fee.

Most solar panels come with a 25 to 30-year performance warranty, which guarantees a certain level of electricity production. This is also their expected life span but can continue to generate power beyond 30 years. Make sure to read the fine print to understand what's covered and what's not. Some warranties might only cover specific parts of the solar system, like the inverter or the panels themselves.

The inverter, which converts the direct current (DC) from the panels into alternating current (AC) for your home, typically has a shorter lifespan than the panels. You might need to replace it once during the lifetime of your solar system. Factor this into your long-term cost calculations.

Some homeowner's insurance policies will cover solar panels, but it's best to double-check. You may need to add a separate rider or even choose a different insurance provider to ensure your investment is protected.

For a system with no moving parts, it may seem like putting panels are your roof is a breeze. While DIY projects may be a frequent endeavor for the home handyman, DIY solar panel installation isn’t something we would recommend for most. 

The biggest challenges at play are the intricate electrical work. Not only can mistakes damage the expensive system, there are also serious safety concerns for those who aren’t electricians. 

We recommend at least getting a quote before you try taking on this project. You might be surprised to find that labor costs are a relatively small portion of the overall expense.

When it comes to solar panels, you'll mainly encounter two types: Monocrystalline and Polycrystalline. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but either can meet your home's energy needs effectively. In general, Mono-panels are more expensive and more efficient. Poly-panels are slightly less efficient but more affordable. Due to the efficiency difference, you may need a few more poly-panels than mono-panels. There are a handful of other factors as well: roof weight capacity, roof area, roof angle and orientation, and of course your financial limitations.

Instead of making a blind choice, consult with a solar installer who can assess various factors like your budget, location, and energy requirements. They can provide a tailored recommendation, ensuring you get the most efficient panels for your specific situation.