Maine solar panels: The complete guide in 2024

Data updated Jun 11, 2024

Written by: Emily Walker

Interested in going solar? You'll need to install a 10.41 kW solar panel system to cover the average electric bill in Maine, which will cost you about $24,908 after the federal tax credit.

Cost for an average system in Maine


Out of pocket cost, cash
$35,583
Federal tax credit (30%)
- $10,675
Price post tax credit
$24,908

20-year savings $25,022
Payback period 13 Years
Electricity offset 95%
Live data powered by

As long as your federal tax bill is high enough, you can take advantage of the federal investment tax credit (ITC).

Don't overpay for solar

Compare multiple offers and save up to 20%

Please enter a five-digit zip code.

Going solar in Maine

Maine is better known for dreary winters than for ample sunshine. But considering the state's high electricity prices, solar still makes sense for most Mainers.

While The Pine Tree State doesn't offer many state-level rebates and incentives for solar, it does have a rock-solid net metering policy. So solar still pays for itself pretty quickly.

Here's what you need to know about going solar in Maine.

Cost

How much do solar panels cost in Maine?

Solar panels will save you a lot of money over time, but the upfront costs aren't cheap. The average Maine homeowner needs a 10.41 kW solar panel system to cover their electricity needs, which comes out to $35,583 before incentives. Prices range from $30,246 to $40,920, but after the federal tax credit, that drops by 30%. 

While this is a lot of money, adding solar panels will help you avoid paying Maine's high electricity rates. That's why over 7,300 Maine homeowners have used EnergySage to receive and compare quotes for solar installations. You can expect to earn back your initial solar investment through electricity savings in about 13.2 years, while most systems last at least 25 years. You'll often see this number referenced as your solar payback period.

There are a few ways to finance your solar panel system so you don't have to provide all that money upfront. 

  • Cash purchase: You'll own the system and pay for it upfront. This provides the best long-term savings. 

  • Solar loan: Allows you to retain ownership of your system, while owing little to no money upfront. Solar loans aren't all created equal: If you have access to subsidized clean energy loans through local incentive programs, that's usually your best bet. A home equity loan or a personal loan are often your next best options – private solar loans typically come with higher interest rates or upfront fees.

  • Solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA): A third-party company owns your system and either leases you the solar panels (solar lease) or allows you to purchase the electricity they generate (PPA). These generally provide the lowest savings and generate the most negative press about solar. If you choose this financing option, read the fine print: You can get trapped in them for longer than you'd like.

Solar panels on a house

Incentives

What are the best solar rebates and incentives in Maine?

Incentives help bring solar's price tag down considerably in Maine. Here are the major ones to know about:

Incentive
Average savings in Maine
Description

Residential Clean Energy Tax Credit, formerly the federal investment tax credit (ITC)

$10,675

Lowers your solar panel system's cost by 30%

Maine solar property tax exemption

The typical property tax in Maine is 1.09%

Exempt from paying property taxes on the value added by solar panels.

Is net metering available in Maine?

In some states, you'll earn bill credits from your utility company when your solar panel system generates excess electricity and sends it to the grid. This incentive is known as net metering—basically a solar buyback program—and makes it so you will owe very little, or even nothing, on your electric bills with solar panels.

In Maine, the net metering rules apply to all electric utilities, including Versant, Central Maine Power, Eastern Maine Electric Coop, and smaller providers.

One detail to note: Maine’s net metering policy is referred to as “net energy billing.” This is a little confusing, because in the solar industry, “net billing” is typically used to describe policies with less favorable terms for consumers.

This isn't the case in Maine: It has an excellent solar buyback policy, among the best in the U.S.

Learn more about Maine's net metering policy, or check out program specifics below:

A house with rooftop solar panels connected to the grid

Equipment

Equipment quality

Each year, solar panels get more and more efficient—that is, they produce more power per square foot. As of 2024, the most popular solar panels can produce about 400 watts of electricity when they’re in full sunlight. If you want to make the most of your roof’s solar potential, get panels with at least that much power output.  

You should also make sure to select a solar inverter setup that makes sense for your roof’s layout. 

And if you want or need a solar battery, be sure to pick one that can integrate cleanly with that inverter. 

Premium equipment can come with a high price tag, but it will often save you more money in the long run. The best equipment tends to have the best warranty terms, often guaranteed to 25 years (sometimes even 40!), so you’re covered in case you need repairs or replacements. The highest-quality panels also degrade more slowly, so they’ll maintain more of their power output further into the future. 

See our list of the best solar panels

resources

Top solar resources for Maine

Real homes. Real savings.

Helping customers make informed decisions since 2009.

Discover whole-home electrification
Home solar
rooftop solar icon

Create your own clean energy with solar panels.

Community solar
community solar icon

Enjoy the benefits of solar without rooftop panels.

Heating & cooling
Heat pump icon

Explore heat pumps, the latest in clean heating & cooling technology.