Cost of solar panels in Maine

How much is it to go solar in 2023?

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Before factoring in any financial incentives, the average cost to install solar panels is $16,980 in Maine. The price drops to $11,886 after the full federal solar investment tax credit (ITC).

Going solar in Maine is cheaper than in other New England states. The out-of-pocket investment is lower than in other states, and the net metering and property tax exemption programs help you save even more money on going solar.

Key insights

  • The average payback period in Maine is 10 years if you pay for your system in full upfront.
  • Maine residents who go solar receive an average estimated net savings of $25,880 over 25 years.
  • The average cost per watt is $2.83 in Maine.

How much do solar panels cost in Maine?

Installing residential solar panels can cost between $10,000 and $30,000 or more, with individual costs varying. On average, residents of Maine pay $16,980 before tax credits for their system.

Your system size plays a significant factor in how much you pay overall. The typical size for solar systems in Maine is 5.7 kW. You can learn how big your system needs to be with a little math.

First, look at how much electricity you used in the last year in kilowatt-hours (kWh). You’ll find this information in your electric bill account dashboard online. Then divide your annual kWh by 1,200 to calculate the system size you need.

For example, the typical home in Maine uses 7,008 kWh a year. That would translate to a 6-kW system.


Average cost by system size in Maine

5 kW6 kW7 kW8 kW9 kW10 kW
After federal tax credit $9,905 $11,886 $13,867 $15,848 $17,829 $19,810
Before federal tax credit $14,150 $16,980 $19,810 $22,640 $25,470 $28,300
Source: EcoWatch

Are solar panels worth it in Maine?

Going solar is worth it for many homeowners in Maine. A typical system pays for itself within 10 years, and your estimated net savings average $25,880 over 25 years.

We’ve talked to solar customers all over the country. In Maine — and most other states —  it’s only worth it if you work with a good solar company. For instance, Adam in Troy told us about his experience with Tesla Energy.

“While the price seems to be a bit higher, at least in my experience, the overall quality is absolutely worth it,” he said. “I have no concerns about anything not working or breaking after a short period of time and the service was excellent!”

Maine receives an average of 3 to 3.5 peak sun hours a day.

Maine has some of the highest electricity costs in the country, and it’s not likely they'll go down anytime soon. Switching to solar now is a smart way to make your monthly utility bills more predictable.

The environmental benefits alone are enough to justify installing solar panels for some. Others go solar to gain energy independence and hedge their bets against inevitable power outages.

Unfortunately, not all locations in Maine are good candidates for photovoltaic (PV) systems. Ideally, panels should be installed facing south with plenty of unobstructed sunlight. So, if you live in an area with lots of tall trees, you might not produce enough energy to make it worth it.

» STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

Cost factors of going solar in Maine

The ultimate cost of your solar setup depends on several factors. These include how big your system is, how efficient your panels are, which company you go with, the cost of permits and whether you need to repair your roof. Here's what you should keep in mind.

Solar equipment costs

Four key pieces of equipment impact your budget when you're setting up a solar energy system. First, the solar panels themselves make up a big chunk of the cost. Their price can vary based on how efficient they are and their size and weight.

Other components can add up and increase your total cost. If you opt for solar batteries, you're looking at an extra $7,000 to $18,000. Adding a monitoring system will set you back another $80 to $400, though some companies include this in your overall cost.

Lastly, you need a solar inverter to convert the panel's energy into something your home can use. Solar inverters typically cost between $1,000 and $3,000.

» COMPARE: Most efficient solar panels

Condition of your roof

While getting an inspection for your roof may be an added expense, don’t skip it. Solar panels last around 25 to 30 years, and you want your roof to last just as long.

If it doesn’t, you’ll have to pay to remove the solar panels during your roof renovation and then pay to reinstall them. So, ensure your roof is in tip-top condition before adding panels.

» SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

How you pay

There are several ways to finance your solar panel system. What you choose depends on your finances and if you want to own the system.

Paying upfront for the entire system gives you full ownership and is typically one of the cheapest long-term options because you won’t pay any interest fees. However, many people don’t have enough savings to pay for a solar energy system out of pocket.

Solar loans let you borrow what you need for your system and pay it back over time. Of course, this can be more expensive because you’ll need to pay interest.

The third option is a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). While you won’t own the equipment with these options, you can get the benefits of solar without paying much (or possibly anything) upfront.

» SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

Other solar cost factors

Keep an eye out for some other expenses that could pop up. Maintenance is usually fairly simple for solar panels, but you might face extra costs for occasional repairs, component replacements or cleaning.

Then there's the matter of permits and installation. Most local governments require permits for solar installations, and that adds to your total bill. Most companies include solar installation and labor costs in the overall price of the solar system, but it's a good idea to check before you sign any deals.

» GUIDE: Solar panel installation

Solar incentives, tax credits and rebates in Maine

The average federal ITC value in Maine is $5,094 in 2023.

The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the best way to save money on going solar in the Pine Tree State. Install your system by the end of 2032, and you will receive a federal income tax credit equal to 30% of the system's total cost. The total cost includes everything for your system, such as equipment, labor and permits.

Maine also offers a tax incentive for homes that have solar. Homeowners can get a 100% exemption from their property taxes.

» EXPLORE: Maine solar incentives

Compare solar installation companies in Maine

Compare popular solar companies available in Maine below. Read our guide to the best solar companies for more information.


Choose what information you want to see across each brand. At least one option must be selected.

Find a Solar Energy partner near you.


    Can I get free solar panels in Maine?

    We aren’t aware of a legitimate free solar panel program in Maine. You can lease or enter a PPA with little to no upfront costs, though.

    » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

    How are solar costs trending in Maine?

    The cost to go solar in Maine has fallen 43% over the last 10 years, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

    How does net metering work in Maine?

    When your solar setup generates more power than you can use, that extra energy goes back to the electrical grid. You can actually make some money off this through net metering. In Maine, utility companies will give you a credit on your electric bill as a payment for supplying them with energy through the net metering program.

    » COMPARE: Best solar monitoring systems

    How many solar panels do I need for my house?

    The number of solar panels you need depends on how much electricity your household uses. In Maine, the average monthly energy consumption is 584 kWh. The average 2,000-square-foot home usually requires around 19 panels.

    What are the different kinds of solar inverters?

    Two primary kinds of solar inverters are used for residential solar setups: string inverters and microinverters. String inverters link up multiple panels and channel the electricity to a spot where it's turned into a current your home can use.

    Microinverters are miniature inverters attached to each individual panel. They're more efficient at preventing any loss of power capacity.

    » EXPLORE: What are grid-tied solar systems?

    Bottom line

    Maine is one of the most environmentally friendly states. It’s cheaper to go solar there than in many other states. Even if you’re not able to switch to 100% solar, Mainers can greatly benefit from adding panels to their homes.

    See how Maine’s solar panel costs, savings and payback periods compare with those in nearby states below. Your financial payoff timeline might be different, but the environmental benefits alone make solar worthwhile for some homeowners.

    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. EcoWatch, “Solar Panel Cost in Maine.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    2. EnergySage, “Maine solar panels: local pricing and installation data.” Accessed Nov. 13, 2023.
    3. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    4. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Maine Solar.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    5. DSIRE, “Maine Programs.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
    6. Efficiency Maine, “Solar Electric.” Accessed Nov. 8, 2023.
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