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Solar Incentives and Rebates in maine

Peak Sun Hours (PSH): 4.0 - 4.3
Cost of Grid Power: $0.16/kWh
Number Of Installations: 2,224

Data from DSIRE. For more info visit: https://www.dsireusa.org/

Name Implementing Sector Program Type Administrator DSIRE ID
Solar Easements State Solar/Wind Access Policy 12
Distributed Generation Buy-All, Sell-All Program State Net Metering 280
Solar Contractor Licensing and Training State Solar/Wind Contractor Licensing 321
Solar Energy Equipment Warranties State Equipment Certification 443
Green Power Purchasing State Green Power Purchasing 899
Renewable Fuel Excise Tax Exemption State Corporate Tax Exemption Maine Revenue Services 961
Energy-Efficient Building Standards for State Facilities State Energy Standards for Public Buildings 1799
Solar Rights State Solar/Wind Access Policy 3455
Maine Green Power Program State Mandatory Utility Green Power Option 3871
Interconnection Standards State Interconnection 3917
Energy Efficiency Targets State Energy Efficiency Resource Standard 4728
Efficiency Maine Multifamily Efficiency Program State Rebate Program Efficiency Maine 5287
Efficiency Maine Residential Home Energy Savings Program State Rebate Program Efficiency Maine Trust 5442
Efficiency Maine - Efficiency Maine Program Allies State Other Efficiency Maine 16279
Unitil - Energy Saving Tips Utility Training and Information Unitil 16294
Central Maine Power Company - Outdoor Lighting Utility Other Central Maine Power Company 17247
Central Maine Power Company - Interval Usage Web Utility Energy Analysis 17248
Efficiency Maine - Professional Training Program State Training and Information Efficiency Maine 17736
Unitil - Small Business Energy Efficiency Services (MA and NH) Utility Energy Analysis Unitil 19004
U.S. Department of Energy - Industrial Assessment Center (IAC): University of Massachusetts Federal Energy Analysis U.S. Department of Energy 21568
ISO New England - Demand Resources Other Energy Analysis ISO New England 21569
BOC - Building Operator Certification – Northeast Other Training and Information Bonneville Power Administration 21573
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships - EM&V Forum Non-Profit Training and Information Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships 22021
Efficiency Maine - Home Energy Loans State Loan Program Efficiency Maine Trust 22046


What’s the Cost of Solar in Maine?

Cost of Grid Power

Maine electricity prices average $0.16/kWh, halfway between the New England average of $0.18/kWh and the national average of $0.14/kWh.

In 2019, almost ⅓ of Maine’s net generation came from hydroelectric dams, roughly ¼ from wind turbines, ¼ from biomass generators, and ⅙ from natural gas. Less than 2% of Maine’s power was produced using petroleum, coal, and solar combined. To meet consumption demands, Maine has to import more than ¼ of its power from Canada. Despite its emphasis on renewables, Maine relies heavily on petroleum for heating and transportation, making it one of the most petroleum-dependent states in the country.

Maine is a hotbed of innovation in industrial-scale renewable energy. Amont others, it is home to the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) and Maine Aqua Ventus. It is also home to bluShift Aerospace, the first rocket company to use a bio-derived fuel.

Maine is in the 25th percentile of US states for per capita residential electricity sales volume. Over a tenth of all Maine households use wood for heating, and only 1 in 14 households use electricity for primary heating. Low general power use, low consumption of fossil fuels (even if the per-capita consumption is high), and high rates of forest cover give Maine some of the lowest carbon emissions of any state.

Cost of a Solar Install

Cost of a typical 5kW PV install in Maine from 2012-2013

A graph of falling prices for a typical 5kW PV install in Maine from 2012-2013.
Figures include design costs. Data from Berkeley Lab, courtesy of Efficiency Maine.

The average cost of a 5kW solar system starts around $19,000. (This is equivalent to saving almost 100 trees a year!) Before any incentives, in the first year you’d save about $950, compared to if you had been paying the normal rates for the energy you used. These savings can continue for well over 25 years, improving with inflation.




Just How Much Can I Save With Solar in Maine?

This depends on may factors such as your system size, power output, and financing. Here are the main ways you can finance your home solar power system, and the kinds of returns you may expect to see:

Out-of-Pocket

From our example above, the homeowner purchased a 5kW system to offset their energy bill. Overhead cost was $18,750, with a significant proportion returned in the first year through incentives, rebates, and savings, yielding a Net Present Value of $1,500 over 25 years.

Most solar power systems have a warranty lifetime of 25 years. Solar panel power output falls on average 0.8% per year, so with a little TLC and load management you can extend the life of your system well beyond the warranty’s expiration date, continuing to save indefinitely. Even with occasional maintenance or part replacement, that is a massive savings.

Solar Loan

Whether or not you can afford the up-front cost of the install, you may want to consider a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). With equity in your home, or good credit, you may qualify for a 15-year solar HELOC with fixed rate of 4% or lower.

Starting with that same 5kW system costing $18,750 but with no up-front cost, accounting for incentives, credits, rebates, and annual energy savings of just under $1,000, you could see a revenue surplus of about $5,000 at the end of the first year. Save that money though. Your loan payments will likely exceed your power savings by about $60/month for the 15-year term.

Once the loan is paid off, you can expect to save about $1,200 a year. Over 25 years you could expect to make about $9,000.

Power Purchase Agreement

Maine does not allow Power Purchase Agreements.




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