Maine solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

Financial resources for going solar in 2023

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The average residential solar panel system in Maine costs $11,886 after the full federal solar investment tax credit. This is cheaper than in many other states — the national average is $16,715.

Maine has no statewide residential rebates or loan programs for solar panels, but it gives residents a property tax exemption for the value added by solar panels that can save homeowners money. The Pine Tree State also has a net metering program to help offset your monthly bills.

Key insights

  • You can take advantage of solar tax breaks and net metering to save money on your solar energy system in Maine.
  • The average federal solar investment tax credit value is $$5,094 in Maine.
  • Maine residents who install solar panels save an average of $25,880 over 25 years.

Solar incentives in Maine

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the biggest way to reduce the cost of going solar in Maine. Install a residential solar panel system by the end of 2032, and you can get a credit for 30% of the system's total cost — including equipment, labor and permits — on your federal taxes.

The federal solar investment tax credit drops to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034.

For example, the average solar system in Maine costs around $16,980. With the ITC, you would get a tax credit of $$5,094 on a system of this price when you file your taxes. To get the credit, you’ll need to complete a Form 5695. The credit is nonrefundable, so any unused credit will be carried into the next tax year.

Statewide residential solar incentives in Maine

Maine only has one solar incentive that is specific to the state. The Renewable Energy Investment Exemption gives residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and multifamily residential sites a property tax exemption for the value solar equipment adds to the property. The exemption is offered through Maine Revenue Services.

What to know about net metering in Maine

If you don't store the excess energy your solar system creates in a solar battery, then it gets sent to the power grid. Through net metering, you can get paid for the energy you make.

In Maine, power companies add a credit to your electric bill to compensate you for providing them with power you send back to the grid. You can use the credits to pay for your power bill, but the credits expire after 12 months if you don’t use them.

» GREENEST STATES: Maine ranks No. 4

Solar resources in Maine

Below are some additional resources that can guide you through transitioning to solar in Maine.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation

Find solar companies in Maine

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    Can I get solar panels for free in Maine?

    There are no programs for free solar panels at this time. You can lease or enter a PPA with little to no upfront costs.

    » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

    How much can I save with solar panels in Maine?

    In Maine, the average savings is $25,880 over 25 years. So, even if you don’t generate 100% of your energy needs, you can still save a lot of money compared with traditional utility bills.

    Are there any commercial solar incentives in Maine?

    You can get a 100% property tax exemption for the value solar adds to your home.

    » MORE: Commercial solar panels

    Are there any disadvantages to going solar in Maine?

    Maine gets around three peak sun hours per day, which may not be enough to fully power your home if you want to use solar for 100% of your energy needs.

    » MORE: Solar energy pros and cons

    Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panels?

    In Maine, a homeowners association is not legally allowed to prevent you from putting solar panels on your home.

    How can I pay for solar panels?

    There are several options to pay for solar. Paying upfront is one of the cheapest since you won’t need to pay loan interest. If you don’t have the money to pay out of pocket, solar loans are available to help finance solar panels. You could also lease solar equipment or get a power purchase agreement (PPA).

    » SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

    Bottom line: How much are solar panels in Maine?

    Going solar in Maine is almost $5,000 cheaper than the national average. You can lower the cost of going solar even more by taking advantage of the property tax exemption offered by the state.

    The ConsumerAffairs Research Team conducted an in-depth analysis to determine how much it costs to go solar in Maine and the average solar costs in other states.

    Solar costs: Maine vs. nearby states

    Upfront cost*ITC value (30%)Typical system sizeAverage cost per wattPayback period**Estimated net savings
    Maine $16,980 $5,094 5.7 kW $2.83 10 years $25,880
    New Hampshire $18,916 $5,675 6.5 kW $2.91 9 years $28,409
    Vermont $17,220 $5,166 6 kW $2.87 9 years $26,468
    Rhode Island $17,040 $5,112 6 kW $2.84 8 years $34,519
    *Before ITC federal tax credit; **When you pay in full upfront

    Article sources

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

    1. DSIRE, “Maine Programs.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    2. EcoWatch, “Solar Panel Cost in Maine.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    3. United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Summary of Inflation Reduction Act provisions related to renewable energy.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    4. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Maine Solar.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    5. Maine Legislature, “Title 33: Property, Chapter 28-A: Solar Rights.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    6. State of Maine Governor's Energy Office, “Solar.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    7. Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, “Property Tax Exemptions.” Accessed Nov. 15, 2023.
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