Best Solar Companies in Maine

We compared 50 brands and chose the top solar energy companies

    • SunPower
      3.5(2,281)
    • ShopSolar
      4.7(149)

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      Best Solar Companies in Maine

      To choose our top picks for this guide, we compared popular solar companies on ratings and reviews, equipment options, warranties, availability and other factors. Read our full methodology for all the details. Our picks may be Authorized Partners that compensate us — this does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

      Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
      • Our recommendations are based on what reviewers say.
      • 4,480,424 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
      • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
      • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
      • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

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      The best solar companies reviewed

      SunPower

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      22.8%
      Payment options
      Cash, loan, lease
      Warranty
      25 years
      Year founded
      1985
      2x Award Winner
      Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service and Best for Installation

      SunPower is a top national company with high-efficiency solar panel technology. We like that its SunVault storage battery is excellent for maximizing energy savings during peak rate times.

      What really sets SunPower apart is its seamless solar panel installation process, during which local representatives take care of basically everything for you. They evaluate your home energy needs, design a custom system, help secure any necessary permits and work out financing options. SunPower’s monitoring app lets you track the system’s performance once the project is complete.

      SunPower benefits

      • 35+ years of experience
      • Comprehensive 25-year warranty
      • Battery storage options
      • Ongoing support

      SunPower is a reliable solar company with comprehensive services, but it’s not the cheapest option. Upfront costs tend to be a little higher than with other companies. After all, you get what you pay for.

      SunPower’s “Complete Confidence Warranty” covers your entire solar energy system for 25 years, including the panels, inverter, racking and monitoring. The company repairs or replaces equipment at no cost to you (including labor and shipping).

      Financing options

      • Loans: Qualified customers can find reasonable rates with no money down. All financing approvals and processing happen through the mySunPower online portal.
      • Leases: Customers pay a monthly fee to use solar panels that SunPower owns. SunPower reimburses you if your solar system doesn’t perform as guaranteed. If you sell your home, you can transfer the agreement to a new buyer.

      ShopSolar

      Buyer's Choice Award Winner
      Max. panel efficiency
      Varies
      Payment options
      Cash, loan
      Warranty
      Varies
      Year founded
      2018
      1x Award Winner
      Selected for having one of the highest satisfaction rates for Best Customer Service

      ShopSolar is an awesome place to buy solar equipment for do-it-yourself projects. It has a nice selection of equipment and fast deliveries. ShopSolar customers tell us that setting up an account takes about two minutes, and you get extra discounts for doing so.

      You can find new and used solar panels, solar storage batteries, inverters, charge controllers, cabling and hardware, mounts and racks — everything needed for an off-grid or hybrid setup. The online store stocks brands like Panasonic, REC, Renogy, Canadian Solar and EcoFlow, plus it sells custom solar kits. Orders typically arrive within 10 business days.

      ShopSolar also has great reviews from verified customers. “The reps from [ShopSolar] were very nice people, and it was very easy to deal with them,” Rodney in West Enfield said. “I ordered a kit and two hours later, I changed my mind and wanted to order a bigger one. I called them and they had already shipped the first one. I sent them back and then, they sent me the one that I eventually ordered. They were awesome about it.”

      Rodney said others should “at least talk to them because they are very knowledgeable about solar kits.” Other customers have told us that reps are extremely helpful, even if you don't buy anything from them.

      ShopSolar benefits

      • Free shipping
      • Price-match guarantee
      • 30-day return policy
      • Lifetime customer support

      Some customers experienced problems with their purchases, such as damaged or faulty equipment, but ShopSolar generally resolved these issues with refunds or replacements.

      The important thing to keep in mind is that ShopSolar doesn’t offer professional installation services, so it’s best to know a little about solar panels and electrical work. Otherwise, you might get frustrated with the process or install something incorrectly.

      » DIY SOLAR PANELS: Pros, cons and installation guide

      ShopSolar is an authorized distributor of all the brands it sells, so all solar equipment is covered by the individual manufacturers’ warranties. If you run into a warranty issue, ShopSolar’s reps can help you contact the equipment manufacturer.

      Payment options

      • Online payments: ShopSolar accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Shop Pay and Diners Club International.
      • Financing: ShopSolar partners with Affirm on financing. Customers can make payments every two weeks or once a month for up to 36 months. Annual percentage rates (APRs) range from 0% to 36%.

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        Maine solar panel buyers guide

        If you've been thinking about going solar in Maine but aren’t sure where to start, you’re not alone. ConsumerAffairs is here to help you compare your options and get the best deal. Our team has talked to thousands of solar customers across the country. Here’s what to expect and what to look out for.

        Key insights

        • A professional solar panel installation can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000 or more.
        • The federal solar tax credit is the most significant way to lower the cost of buying solar panels. You won’t be eligible if you lease the equipment.
        • The best solar energy companies have a few things in common: fantastic reviews, transparent pricing, reliable equipment and comprehensive warranties.

        How much does it cost to install solar panels in Maine?

        For a professional residential installation, the average solar panel costs in Maine are a little higher than the national average, which is around $18,000 for a 6-kilowatt system before any financial incentives. (That price drops to around $12,500 after using the full federal solar tax credit.)

        Solar panel installation costs in Maine have dropped 42% over the last 10 years.

        The size of your system plays a big role in how much it costs overall. The price also varies depending on which installer you hire and if you need a solar storage battery. Solar storage battery costs are sometimes almost as much as the panels. Storage batteries are a must if you want real energy independence and essential if you go off-grid.

        » COMPARE: How much do solar panels cost in 2024?

        How can I pay for solar panels?

        You could pay the full cost upfront, but many finance their system through a solar loan. It works like most other types of loans — there is an application process, and you pay the loan back over time with interest.

        Alternatively, you can lease solar panels. There are pros and cons to leasing. It’s sometimes cheaper in the short term, but you’ll be disqualified from some of the best financial incentives, including the federal solar investment tax credit.

        » SOLAR PANELS: Lease vs. buy

        What solar incentives are available in Maine?

        The federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) is the most significant way to make installing panels more affordable. The ITC is a federal income tax credit worth 30% of your system’s total cost, including equipment, labor and permits. The ITC is not a rebate or a refund, and any unused portion rolls over into the next tax year. Maine homeowners may also take advantage of solar tax breaks and net metering.

        » EXPLORE: Maine solar incentives, tax credits and rebates

        Net metering in Maine

        Net metering lets Maine homeowners get credits for extra electricity their solar panels generate. Utility companies give you credits for any electricity that gets fed into the local power grid. You can use these credits to lower your next month’s bills, but any unused credits expire after 12 months.

        The goal of net metering is to let you produce enough renewable electricity for your own home's needs, but not drastically more than what you use. It's in your best interest to produce the optimal amount of solar energy so that you can use all the credits within a year.

        Properly sizing your solar array, tracking production and optimizing usage allows you to maximize the value from net metering payments. Any excess power gets used by your neighbors rather than wasted, but Maine's tighter credit expiration makes overproduction less beneficial for homeowners.

        How do I choose a solar company in Maine?

        The best solar companies have a few things in common: high-efficiency equipment, transparent contract terms and long warranties (at least 10 to 25 years). Here’s what else to look for.

        • Long time in business: Look for companies with plenty of experience installing solar panels in Maine. It makes it easier to navigate regulations, permits and available financial incentives.
        • Good reputation: Research the company's track record and read reviews. Look out for red flags — complaints about misleading sales tactics, equipment failures, billing issues and lack of communication are common themes in negative solar company reviews.
        • Comprehensive service: Consider if you want a solar storage battery, electric vehicle (EV) charger or a monitoring system to ensure optimal output. It’s also smart to ask about critter guards in Maine.
        • Free consultations: Get multiple quotes from different solar companies to compare prices and services. Be cautious of companies that provide significantly lower quotes than others — this may indicate lower quality.
        • Licensed, insured and certified: Ensure the company is appropriately licensed and insured and has NABCEP-certified installers. This protects you and shows the employees take their business seriously.
        • Transparent terms: Carefully review proposals and financials, understand legal considerations, and ask about maintenance before signing an agreement with any solar company. If you don’t understand something about the payment terms, warranty or ongoing services, ask.

        » TIPS: Getting the best solar quotes

        Are solar panels worth it in Maine?

        For many Maine homeowners, installing solar panels is financially worth it. With Maine having some of the highest electricity rates in the U.S., solar can help stabilize monthly utility costs long-term.

        We spoke to Adam in Troy about his experience going solar with Tesla panels. "While the price seems a bit higher … the overall quality is absolutely worth it. I have no concerns about anything not working or breaking after a short period of time and the service was excellent!"

        Beyond potential savings, some Mainers also go solar for environmental or energy independence reasons. However, solar production highly depends on unshaded roof space facing south. If your home has a lot of tall trees or bad roof positioning, solar panels may not quite pencil out.

        » STILL NOT SURE? Solar energy pros and cons

        FAQ

        Can I get free solar panels in Maine?

        We have yet to discover legitimate programs for free solar panels in Maine. However, you can lease a solar energy system with little to no upfront costs. Just look out for scams that promise free solar panels — they can cost you quite a bit of money.

        » FREE SOLAR PANELS: Are they really free?

        What’s the difference between a solar broker and a solar installer?

        A solar broker is a middleman or intermediary who helps connect homeowners with solar installation companies. A solar installer specializes in installing solar panels and related components. Ultimately, deciding between a solar broker and a solar installer depends on how much you want to be involved in the process.

        A broker can be helpful if you value convenience. If you want more control and potentially lower costs, it’s best to work directly with a solar installer.

        Should I replace my roof before installing solar panels?

        As a rule of thumb, if your roof is more than 10 years old, consider fixing it before going solar. Installing solar panels on an old roof might mean you have to remove the panels, replace your roof and then reinstall the panels again. This will cost around $5,000 for a 19-panel setup.

        » SHOULD YOU: Replace your roof before going solar?

        Is my HOA allowed to restrict solar panel installations?

        No, a homeowners association (HOA) is not legally allowed to prevent you from putting solar panels on your home in Maine.

        Read Maine solar company reviews

        Methodology: How we picked the best solar companies in Maine

        The ConsumerAffairs Research Team objectively evaluates solar providers to highlight those best equipped to meet most homeowners' needs. To choose our top picks for this guide, we started with 31 popular providers. First, we narrowed it down to the ones available in Maine. We then weighted several key features to get our final rankings:

        Reviews, ratings and testimonials: 40%
        We analyzed verified customer reviews and ratings to gauge real-world satisfaction.

        Overall reputation: 20%
        We considered each company's history, mission and value. Companies with generally positive feedback on our site scored highest in this aspect.

        Warranties: 20%
        A long warranty is important. We compared both product and labor warranties available from our top picks. All of our top picks have warranties of at least 25 years.

        Equipment selection: 10%
        We evaluated each company’s selection of solar panels, storage batteries and inverters. Those with proprietary technology or a wide equipment selection from trusted brands ranked highest.

        Monitoring and maintenance: 10%
        We gave preference to companies that offer real-time monitoring, regular maintenance services and solid after-sales support.

        To recap, our top picks for the best solar companies in Maine are:

        • Our pick for professional installation: SunPower
        • Our pick for DIY projects: ShopSolar

        Guide 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 Solar Programs.” Accessed Jan. 17, 2024.
        2. EnergySage, “The cost of solar panels in Maine.” Accessed Jan. 17, 2024.
        3. Solar Energy Industries Association, “Maine Solar.” Accessed Jan. 17, 2024.
        4. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, “Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaics.” Accessed Jan. 17, 2024.

        Not sure how to choose?

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