Save money by going solar in ($0 installations may be available) - Click Here to Apply

Solar Power Rocks logo

Solar Power Rocks

Clear info on home solar power rebates, tax credits, and other benefits

2016 Policy

C

Avg. Yearly Savings

$952

Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Maine

2016 Policy

C

Avg. Savings/yr

$952

Welcome to the 2017 Maine solar power information page

Note: The numbers above are just estimates for a 5kW solar system, and your home is unique. The best way to know exactly how much money solar power can save you is to connect with one of our partners nearby. A friendly solar expert we trust will give you a buzz and help you craft a personal plan to get the absolute most out of a solar power system for your home. It's 100% free (yes, that’s right, 100% free) and you aren't obligated to buy anything.

Known for a bit of everything from beaches to quaint seaside towns and windswept rocky coastlines to fantastic mountain hiking trails and thousands of lakes, Maine is an outdoor wonder. All that wonder is full of energy too. The wind, the tides, and most importantly, the sun are all at work keeping Maine fueled. The real question is how has the legislature done in promoting all the energy that’s just lying around for the taking? Keep on reading to find out.

Recently, the state's Public Utilities commission has come up with a new way for solar owners to get paid back for the power they provide to the grid. News flash: it's less than you'll get for that electricity if you get solar panels installed before it takes effect, so connect with a solar expert today to be sure you'll get the best payments for your solar energy.

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Maine solar incentives you see below.

Your guide to going solar in Maine

We've designed this page to be a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on a home in Maine. Since there's a lot of important information to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

The Solar Strategy section is all about the various financial options you have in Maine. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions about what you hope to get out of a solar purchase and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we give you a detailed picture of how each could work for you.

The Policy Information section contains all of our latest research on the rules set by the state legislature and public utilities commission that determines how easy it is to go solar in Maine. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to whether you get paid retail or wholesale rates for the extra energy your system produces, and can have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section lists all of the available financial benefits available to homeowners who go solar. This section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions. If you're looking for what Maine is doing to make solar more affordable for its citizens, you'll find it here.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Maine

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Maine can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

Compare the Return of Different Solar Investments in Maine

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan. Even with its great RPS, Maine isn't quite financially right for leasing yet, so we included two different sizes of solar loans—one for people with a lot of equity (or credit), and one for people with just a little.

As you can see, the purchase option leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, but it also requires a big up-front investment. If you take a solar loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC), instead, you'll reap all the benefits of owning a system, while offsetting loan payments with electricity bill savings. On top of that, you'll put $0 down and end up with a big, big tax break at the end of the year.

No matter which option you choose, solar makes sense in Maine, and you'll be seeing big savings long into the future.

Read on to find out more about each option.

 Buying Solar in Maine

Paying up front used to be the only way to get panels on your roof, and it's still the option that allows you the most control. But it isn't the best option from a percentage return on investment standpoint—that award goes to the solar loan option.

Still, an outright purchase returns the most money over time, because you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. You get the 30% Federal solar tax credit and electricity savings to bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down $18,750, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced more than $15,000 in income.

Net Present Value: $1,512

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Maine's $1,512 NPV on a 5-kW solar system means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar over 25 years than in, say, stocks. Good job! But check out what happens to NPV if you buy the same system with a loan that you can pay back over time.

Here’s how the numbers work for a Maine purchase of a 5-kW rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $18,750. Don’t worry if that sounds high–tax credits and energy savings will make it a lot cheaper after year 1.
  • Since the Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, no state rebates means a bigger tax credit. You'll get 30% of the intial cost back the year after you install panels. That's $5,625. Thanks, Uncle Sam! Note: you can take the credit over as many years as neccessary if you don't owe $6,000 in Federal taxes this year.
  • Next, you'll subtract your first-year energy savings. That will add up to about $952, bringing your cost after the first year to $12,173. Those savings will continue for the life of your system, and will only get bigger over time, considering that utility companies raise their rates 3.5% annually on average.
  • By the time your system pays itself back in year 13, you’ll be seeing over $1,100 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • When all is said and done, our 25-year estimate shows a total net profit of $15,307, with an internal rate of return of 7.3%. That's a better return than a 25-year investment in the stock market!
  • On top of those returns, your home's value just increased by just about $21,000, too (your expected annual electricity savings over 20 years)!
  • And speaking of doing good for the environment... your system will create some green for the earth by not using electricity from fossil-fuels. In fact, the energy you’re not using has the carbon equivalent of planting 99 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Maine. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Solar Loans in Maine

It's simple: taking a loan to pay for solar is a great idea. Someone else (your bank) puts down all the cash, while you get the big first-year tax credits—then your system produces electricity that helps offset the cost of loan payments. It's like investing in a business that's already successful.

As you can see from the chart above, you'll start out with a big windfall, because even though you're not putting any money down, you get the Federal 30% tax credit for the whole installed cost of your system. Then, over the 15-year repayment term of your loan, you'll be spending a little more than you're saving in electricity costs, essentially investing a total of about $600 per year as you pay the loan off.

But from there, it's up-up-up! After your loan is paid off, you'll be saving $1,200 (and growing) per year in electricity costs from your fully-owned solar panels. You'll end up more than $9,000 to the good after 25 years, which is great for an investment where you put nothing down!

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can get a solar loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $18,750, with a fixed rate of 4% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.
  • You love the idea of making money with a long-term investment, while also producing benefits for the environment.

Net Present Value: $3,037

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and Maine's $3,037 NPV on a solar loan means you'd be that much better off investing your money in solar over 25 years than in, say, stocks. That's a huge number, and it shows how getting a loan for solar is so much better than the alternatives. You can rest easy with an Maine solar loan knowing you're doing right for your pocketbook at the same time as you're doing right by the planet!

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Maine solar purchase with a loan:

  • Installing a typical 5-kW solar system should start at about $18,750. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $952, but your loan payments will total $1,664, for a difference of $712, or about $59 per month.
  • That's not so bad when you consider your tax savings for the year will be $5,625! You'll come out almost $5,000 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • When your loan’s paid off after year 15, you’ll see about $1,200 per year in savings until the end of your system’s life.
  • And at the end of our 25-year estimate, you'll have saved $9,093 in electricity costs. That's a HUGE amount of money, all for an investment that you didn't need to put a penny down for.
  • Finally, the environmental benefits cannot be overstated. Operating your system will take as much carbon out of the air as planting 99 trees every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Maine. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

 Small Rooftop Systems in Maine

Let's say you don't have a ton of extra cash laying around, but you do have a bit of equity in your home. Can you get solar panels? YES! Is it a good idea in Maine? Yes!

Here's the thing: electricity in Maine is priced above the national average. The way solar saves you money is by producing energy that you would have paid for, and in Maine, that means more than it does in other parts of the country. Even without state incentives, the Federal tax credit for 30% of your costs is enough to make even a small solar system make sense.

Here are the factors we'll look at for this example:

  • A 2-kW rooftop system that will cost around $9,000 installed.
  • A HELOC for that amount with a 10-year payback at 4% interest.

Just like with a big system, you don’t have to put any money down, but you still get the big federal tax credit for buying solar. You'll get the 30% of your solar costs back as a tax credit and the energy bill savings will start right away. Your loan payments will be about $91 per month while your energy bill savings will be about $32—a difference of $59. Basically, for the cost of monthly internet service, you do your part to save the planet from carbon pollution, and make a little money later in your life, too.

Net Present Value: $851

Net Present Value (NPV) measures how good of an investment something is, compared to the best alternative. We use a 6% return to evaluate all solar investments, and while Maine's $851 NPV on a small solar system loan isn't a HUGE amount, it means you'd see returns of about that much better than if you put your money in the market and got a 6% return.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Maine solar purchase with a small rooftop solar system:

  • Installing a typical 2-kW solar system should cost about $9,000 up front. Your loan should be for this amount.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $381, while your loan payments will cost $1,093.
  • At the end of the year, the Federal government will give you a tax credit of 30% of the cost of your system. That's $2,700 that you won't owe this year. You can take that credit over as many years as necessary if you don't owe that much in federal taxes this year.
  • As you can see in the chart above, you'll end up spending enough money to put you in the hole over time, but after year 10, you'll see savings of over $500 (and growing) each year until the end of your panels' 25-year warranty.
  • For our 25-year estimate, you'll end up with some pretty decent profits! We're talking $5,241 after 25 years, all without putting any money down. That should help your old, wiser self appreciate your young, forward-thinking self.
  • Your system will remove as much carbon from the air as planting 40 trees per year, which is a pretty great thing, we'd say.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Maine. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Maine Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Maine:

RPS

40% by 2017

Grade: A

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

Maine has one of the strongest Standards in the nation, paving the way in aggressive renewable policy with a requirement that 40% of total retail electric sales come from renewable resources by 2017, including a 10% requirement “new” resources installed after 2005 that eliminates some of the less efficient and environmentally unfriendly power generation methods. Utilities must currently generate 5% of electricity from these new resources. That requirement will raise 1% per year until the target is reached.The program could be even better if it had specific targets for Maine’s solar panels.

Maine’s RPS is critical to strong renewable energy policy. Utility companies aren't really all that gung-ho about you producing your own power. After all, it costs them money when you use less of their electricity. They also don’t naturally want to give you big payments for energy you're feeding back into the grid. The main reason the utilities are aiding your transition to lower electric bills and offering you incentives to put solar on your roof is because the state forces them to. If the utilities don't hit their RPS numbers, they have to pay large fees back to the state.

What's an RPS? Your state legislature paves the way for strong solar energy incentives to flourish by setting standards for renewable energy generation within their territories. Those standards are called the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). If utility companies do not meet these standards, they must pay alternative compliance fees directly to the state. Many utilities then determine the best ways to source their energy from renewable sources that are less expensive than this fee.

An RPS is a mandate that says "Hey utilities! Y'all now have to make a certain percentage of your electricity from renewable sources. If not, you'll have to pay us huge fines." The consequences are good, because utilities usually try to meet these RPS standards by creating solar power incentives for you, the homeowner. Read more about Renewable Portfolio Standards.

RPS solar carve out

None

Grade: F

If the RPS contained specific carve-outs for clean and efficient solar technologies, or mandates for the environmentally necessary increases in distributed generation, you’d see even stronger incentives for residential solar power. Sadly, there is no specific solar requirement included in Maine’s RPS.

What's a solar set aside? A solar set aside guarantees a specific portion of the overall renewable energy mix generated comes from the sun. For those states with progressive standards, high alternative compliance payments, and clear solar carve outs, the faster those areas become ripe for solar.

Some states have higher alternative compliance fees than others, and some states have more progressive alternative energy standards and deadlines than others do.

For instance, New Jersey has an overall RPS of 22.5% by the year 2021. That requires local utilities to source 22.5% of their energy mix from renewable sources by the year 2021. Pretty good. However, New Jersey also has a specific solar set aside of 4.1% by 2028. That’s the type of firm commitment which really gets the industry rolling forward. No wonder why New Jersey is one of the hottest solar markets right now!

Maine Electricity Prices

$0.16/kwh

Grade: A

Maine homeowners pay an average of 16 cents/kWh for electricity. That’s noticeably above the national average of 13 cents/kWh, but it’s also noticeably below the New England regional average of 18 cents.

We know you hate those electric bills, but here at Solar Power Rocks, we actually think electricity prices are too low, at least for current production methods. Most of our electricity still comes from burning millions of tons of fossil fuels. The cost of those fossil fuels in dollars and cents may be low (for now), but the environmental costs are astronomically high. Switching to solar power now saves you money (and helps save the planet); when scarcity and regulations drive up the monetary costs of fossil-fuel based energy, the early switch to solar power is going to be saving you piles and piles of money. Just remember to thank us.

Why are electricity prices so important? Because that is what solar power is directly competing against. The cost to produce power with solar is relatively constant (of course how much sun hits your area has an effect), so if you are paying $0.40 per watt for power, then you make FOUR TIMES AS MUCH as the guy or girl paying $0.10 per watt electricity.

The caveat here is that if the $0.10 per watt person has a HUGE rebate, they may be better off than the $0.40 per watt person. Because of that, states without any renewable standards tend to be heavily reliant on cheap coal for electricity, and also have very low electricity prices. When electricity prices are artificially low, that hinders the ability of solar energy to achieve meaningful payback in the state.

Maine Net Metering

B

Grade: B

Net Metering requires your utility to monitor how much energy your solar power system produces and how much energy you actually consume, and make sure you get credit for the surplus.

Maine currently requires all utilities to offer net metering to individual customers. Net excess generation in any month is credited to your bill for the following month. But that's probably all going to change soon. The Maine Public Utilities Commission has been tasked with comnig up with new rules for solar reimbursements, after the legislature failed to act when net metering limits were recently reached. They've come up with a draft proposal that eases the state into new rules, but it hasn't been adopted yet. No matter what happens, current solar owners will get to keep net metering for at least 15 years, so connect with a local solar expert to see if it's the right time for you to go solar now.

What is net metering? Net metering is the billing arrangement where you can sell excess electricity back to your utility for equal the amount you are charged to consume it. The more customer friendly net metering policies, the higher the grade.

The grade here specifically reflects individual solar system capacity, caps on program capacity limits, restrictions on “rollover” of kWh from one month to the next (yep just like cell phone minutes), metering issues (like charges for new meters), Renewable Energy Credit (REC) ownership, eligible customers and technology (the more renewables the better), being able to aggregate meters across the property for net metering, and safe harbor provisions to protect customers from solar tariff changes.

Maine Interconnection Rules

A

Maine also has a very strong interconnection law, covering all utilities and project sizes under a tiered system. Your residential system is likely to be in tier 1 (10 kW or less), which means you get simplified procedures and an application fee of only 50 bucks. Your system is also exempt from any insurance coverage requirements.

Interconnection rules are a little technical, but they basically allow you to “plug in” to the electric grid with solar panels on your roof. The more complex, out of date, or nonsensical the state rules are for plugging into the grid, the lower the grade.

Specifically, the grade reflects what technologies are eligible, individual system capacity, removing interconnection process complexity for smaller systems, interconnection timelines and charges, engineering charges, prohibiting the requirement of unnecessary external disconnects, certification, spot interconnection vs. wide area interconnection, technical screens, friendliness of legalese, insurance requirements, dispute resolution, and rule coverage.

Solar Incentives in Maine

Maine Solar Power Rebates

None

Grade: F

Maine used to have a small rebate program for homeowners who installed solar panels on their homes. Unfortunately, that rebate program has gone the way of the great auk. There is no current solar rebate program available to Maine residents.

How do solar rebates work? Similar to getting a rebate card from your local big box store for a dishwasher purchase, state legislatures also provide rebates for solar panel purchases to spur on investment and create new jobs. If you purchase the solar panel system yourself, you qualify for this free cash, which many times is a lump payment back to you. Some solar installers like to take this amount directly off the total installed price, and they'll handle the paperwork for you to make things a lot less complex.

The availability of state and utility rebates were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The better the rebates, the higher the grade.

Maine Solar Power Tax Credits

None

Grade: F

Maine lacks any tax credits for solar power. We think the legislature can do more by offering you a personal tax credit to help offset the cost of switching to solar power. Don’t worry that much, though. There is still the big, beautiful 30% federal tax credit to help ease your transition to solar.

About state solar tax credits: State tax credits are not technically free money. However, they are 'credits' and not 'deductions' which means that if you have the tax appetite to take advantage of them, then they can be a 1-to-1 dollar amount off your taxes instead of a fraction of the cost of the system. So that means they can be an important factor to consider. In certain circumstances, state tax credits can provide a very powerful incentive for people to go solar.

(Keep in mind, we are not tax professionals and give no tax advice so please consult a professional before acting on anything we say related to taxes)

The availability of personal tax credits for solar energy were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the tax credit amount, the higher the grade.

Solar Power Performance Payments

None

Grade: F

Maine currently offers no performance payments of any kind. You're missing the boat, Maine!

Explanation of performance payments: Performance payments represent a big chunk of the financial rationale for going solar, and in many instances they make your decision a wise one. For certain states, if you’ve got solar panels on your roof, not only will you be cutting your electric bill down to size, but you'll be getting paid additional cash from your utility company. Pretty awesome, huh? Not only are you generating electricity for yourself, freezing your own popsicles with sun, and feeling like you’re doing something smart for your children or any of the other 4 reasons people go solar, but you are getting PAID!

Utility companies are paying people with solar panels on their roofs because their states say they have to, otherwise they will pay a fee. Therefore, the payment amount to homeowners is typically a little bit less than the amount they would be billed for by the state. For states with these alternative compliance fees, Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) exchanges have popped up. In the above chart, we outlined an estimate of yearly payments a homeowner might expect from the utility company for the SREC credits from their solar energy system.

Expected SREC payments were calculated by using the latest trade values in the SRECtrade database. The availability of feed-in tariffs were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The higher the expected monthly payments, the higher the grade.

If you don’t know what an SREC is, or how they work, check out this great SREC video

Property Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

Maine also doesn’t offer a property tax exemption on all the extra value your home will have with panels installed. We think that’s a shame in a state with a great RPS. It might be time to let the lawmakers in the state House know that Maine needs this exemption to spur additional solar development.

About solar property tax exemptions: Property tax exemption status is a pretty big factor when putting together your investment considerations. Many argue that solar power adds approximately 20 times your annual electricity bill savings (if you are owning the system and not leasing. Leasing still has a positive impact on the ability to sell your home though, in our opinion).

For many average-sized solar power systems on a house, that can mean $20,000 to your home value. (Edit April, 2014: Some companies, like Solar Mosaic, are starting to offer traditional style equity-based home loans for such a thing). An additional $20,000 in property tax basis in many states amounts to a big chunk of change owed back to the state. However, many states have complete exemptions from added taxes when you install solar on your home!

The availability of a property tax exemption for solar energy was also sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. The stronger the tax exemption, the higher the grade.

Sales Tax Exemption

None

Grade: F

The best states for solar exempt the purchase and installation of panels from any state sales tax. Unfortunately, that’s not the case in Maine, where you’ll pay a premium of 5.5% on your system.

What's the deal with solar power sales tax exemptions? When states give you a sales tax break on solar, we notice. You should too. State sales tax exemption status for the purchase of solar energy systems were sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Energy Efficiency. Sales tax exemptions, if present, were all 100%. A handful of states are completely exempt from sales tax regardless, and therefore received ‘A’ grades by default (OR, DE, MT, AK, and NH).

Switch to solar and save $36.44/mo on avg ($0 installations available) - Click Here

The consensus on Maine solar power rebates and incentives

Solar policy is a bit stop and go here. The RPS is one of the strongest we’ve seen – a whopping 40% by the not-very-distant 2017. Strong net metering and interconnection laws make sure that you can get onto the grid and take advantage of higher than average electricity costs for higher than average savings. On the other hand, Maine lacks rebates, tax exemptions, and performance payments that have helped promote solar power elsewhere. That kind of mixed policy suggests a mixed grade, and so does that 11-year payback timeframe – not terrible, but certainly not great. Maine ranks in at a “C” for now, but there is room for fast improvement under the umbrella of that strong RPS. We’ll check back in soon and see how solar policy progresses here.

Again, if you are confused about how these numbers work and would like some personalized assistance or a quote of your own, simply connect with our network of solar experts. They’ll help sort out all the pricing, get you access to special deals, and they’re super friendly to boot!

11 thoughts on “Maine Solar Power for your house – rebates, tax credits, savings

  1. Nancy says:

    Have Maine’s solar policies changed since your analysis? Thanks.

  2. jen says:

    Hi –

    I have the opportunity to purchase a home that currently is not powered by our local power company.
    It does not currently have electricity, so I would like to know the cost of installing both a stand alone 2kW solar power system with battery bank for 35-40 kW/day usage.
    I would also like to know the cost of a grid tied 2 kW solar power system, with the potential to add a batter bank.

    Also, being able to add a 1-2kW wind turbine. If you do wind installations.

    Thanks!

  3. Terry says:

    Haven’t you folks heard of solar LEASING?
    No upfront investment, no need to become a financial expert to justify your investment.
    No waiting for rebates.
    No headaches with the city and the utility; let us handle the engineering, procurement, and construction.
    With our flat monthly rent and our “Performance Guarantee” you can generate your own, renewable electricity and pay for the rent with your savings. Since your Agreement will show the amount of energy your system can generate, it is simple to calculate your savings.
    Hassle-free operating and maintenance; it’s handled by the experts.
    Actual hedge against future utility price increases: you can “lock in” your rates for the electricity generated from the solar system at your home for a period of up to 10 years, far longer than the guaranteed rates offered by other electricity providers.

  4. Anthony Ball says:

    Besides 54k being really high, especially without batteries for net metering, if you do the math specified, 1,300 * .143 * 12 months is $2,230, making the payoff more like 20 years assuming rising prices.

  5. Anissa Roberts says:

    As a Maine homeowner I am very disappointed that Maine does not have better incentives. It seems to me that as usual the legislature has neglected to factor in that about 90% of Mainers live at or below the poverty level but that does not mean we don’t own homes. Being one of those I would love to be able to go solar, but the cost is just too overwhelming.

  6. kj says:

    horrible incentives for such a tree hugger state. Maine needs to put its money where its mouth is….

  7. Guy Marsden says:

    I take issue with your assumption that a Household uses 1300KWH a month! That’s more than 2X our consumption. There’s no point in installing solar if you haven’t already reduced your consumption to the bare minimum by addressing energy efficiency.

    I live about 30 miles north of Portland, Maine. I’m installing my own 3.6kW system at a cost of about $21,000. Our monthly electric consumption is about 550KwH, so this will cover a significant portion of our energy needs on an annual basis.

    1. Guy, you’re absolutely right. We use a lot more electric air conditioning out here, so it’s probably not a good comparison for Maine, which I’m sure relies more on gas heating.

      Reducing energy consumption as much as possible is key, especially with Maine’s state rebate only being $2000. But everyone has the Federal government’s 30% tax credit to take advantage of until 2016, so that’s a significant chunk there in addition to the $2000 from the State o’ Maine. Thanks for your comment.

  8. Cal says:

    Wow someone uses 700kw per month, gasp. I have consistently used less then 150 in fact often do not break 100kW per month. Obviously I heat with other then electric but the biggest thing people need to do is search out why they are useing so much. I would be ashamed to use what so many use. Also do a little math there is no way solar works from a capitaliztion standpoint. There is too much math for the involved for this space so; Lets assume $54,000 cost, 12.5 cents per kW (maine is high) no loan you have the cash. Since paying cash we will ofset inflation because you are not earning money. At 1000 kW per month that is 36 years of prepaid electric service. Average system life is still only 15 years. So solar even after credits will cost you 240% more then current supplies. While I would love to see solar work and it might in the future no business should ever get a subsidy. Business needs to succeed or fail on its own merits. Wind and tidal have a great potential even though wind is still costing 130% premium.

  9. Mike White says:

    The Maine Renewable Energy Sources Act, a feed-in tariff bill has been submitted this session 3/24/09.

  10. henry fossett says:

    Ive just started researching this alternate power source, but either i’m reading things wrong, or maybe theres just confusing terms here: First, my house used about 700kwh last month, so what good is it for me to max out the credit allowance and get a system that peaks 100kw? also, I was just researching a system that will give me about 1000kw a month, but needs 312sqft of roof, why does this 100kw system need 700sqft? thats a pretty big roof (and likely one side, too)

    While this tax credit is a nice gesture, its just that, a gesture. How is it that the power company gets to keep my overage free of charge? I’m sure they will be charging the next person down the line recieving it the going rate. With only 100kw max (for the credit), I wont likely be seeing any overage anyway, like I stated earlier, my house runs about 700kwh… Whats a 100kw equal? a fridge and a nightlight? I truly hope it is a misunderstanding of terminology here, as it seems like this credit is not designed to get Mainers off the grid, but mainly to satisfy a special interest group that dabbles in solar power. (I realize the author(s) of this page merely report what is, I am simply trying to express what a lot of other people I have spoken to about this have opined)

    I also would like to point to the wide range in estimating the payoff timeframe. 2-13 years? why such a large gap? I’m sure there are a lot of reasons for this; A list of pros and cons to solar power in Maine would be nice, with a more detailed reason for the huge estimate swings; some insights on living with solar power in a State with such seasonal and daylight availability as we have here. How about some input from some of our neighbors who have taken the plunge, so to speak.

    I am still investigating this as an feasible alternate energy source, but until the average person gets some serious cost relief from the massive initial installation layout and some long term incentive (like getting a check from CMP for all overages), It is simply out of reach for most of us in the short term, and the long term payoff for running and maintaining a system is too little, too late.

    Thank you for your time, Henry Fossett

Have anything to add?

Your email address will not be published.


How much is your roof worth with solar panels?

Slash your taxes, eliminate your power bill and get access to exclusive local deals.

A man giving a thumbs-up to solar panelsCalculate my savings!

(click outside box to exit popup)