Maine solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels
Benefit from a PV system
4.39 hours of peak sunlight
Maine is a reasonably sunny state – a PV system can substantially cut your electricity bills
3 years payback period
Sell the excess electricity to the utility grid and reduce over 75% of your electricity bill
Save money with Net Metering
The electricity you can’t consume can be put to good use and bring you money
Reduce the cost of your system by 26%
Get a quarter of the PV system cost off your taxes with the Federal Solar Tax Credit
Finance your solar system at 4.99%
Take a loan of up to $15,000 with PACE program – don’t put off generating solar energy
Maine #46 in the US
- $48 319/year Average savings from going solar in Maine
- 6 744 kWh/year Average electricity consumption of a FL household
- 6 837 kWh/year AC energy output of a 5 kW solar system installed in Maine
- 18 ¢ /kWh The cost of electricity today in Maine
- 38 ¢ /kWh The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
- $0.92/WAverage gross price of a solar power system as of May 2021
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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Maine you need to know
Return 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit
The Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows homeowners to claim 26% of the cost of their solar power system installed until 2022 as an income tax deduction. For example, if your solar system costs $20,000, you are eligible for $5,200 (26% of the total gross cost) in tax credit. Solar system cost comprises not only the money spent on solar panels, but also freight shipping costs, professional installer fees, tools bought or rented, and so on. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.
Sell excess electricity with Net Metering Program
Solar laws in Maine allow customers of investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives to join Net Metering programs for solar systems up to 5 MW. This gives residential solar owners an opportunity to put the excess electricity into the utility grid instead of storing it in batteries.
Unused electricity will be stored as credits with your utility. They will roll over monthly for a year and zero out future bills. At the end of the annual cycle any unused credits will be granted to your utility with no compensation. The value of a credit is determined by your location and power utility.
Finance your solar system with PACE loan program
You can help finance your solar system through the Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan offered for Main homeowners of any income. With no money down, you repay with an annual assessment on your property taxes. Your loan can be up to $15,000 which you have 15 years to repay with an interest rate of 4.99%. Only homes located in towns authorized with PACE are eligible for the loan.
Raise your property value but not your taxes
Maine residents invested in a solar energy system will not have to pay any additional property taxes on the added value they bring to their homes due to the property tax exemption for renewable energy systems. Maine Revised Statutes ensure any new PV system installed will not be part of your property tax. However, any such home improvement will definitely make it about 4% more valuable on the property market, says the 2019 Zillow report.
Protect your solar panels from shade with Solar Easements
A solar easement contract is a written agreement between you and another party, for example, your neighbor. This type of contract helps to ensure that your PV system will always have adequate sun exposure, protecting you from potential obstacles. It is voluntary, but can not be canceled unless a specific clause is included in the document. Once signed, it is tied to the land, not the owner. Any such agreement must be created in written form and must meet the general requirements for legal contracts.
Install your solar panels in Maine with no worries
It is legal to install solar panels on your house in Maine. However, there is no statewide legislation that makes it unlawful to restrict the installation of solar PV systems, so it’s best to contact your homeowner’s association (HOAs). HOAs in Maine define a neighborhood’s aesthetic rules. You may have to submit your project for approval before changing the exterior of your house. The board may ask you to hide the system from view, reduce the number of panels or just reject your proposal.
Solar panels help Maine survive hurricanes
Tropical storm activity is typical from August through late October, located right on the east coast, Maine residents should always be prepared for a hurricane. Solar panels are manufactured to withstand most hurricanes, and in any case, solar panels will help you survive a blackout. In 2007, Hurricane Noel left 9,000 people without power across Maine. As stated by the Environmental Protection Agency our climate is changing and natural disasters are becoming more frequent, but by powering your home with solar energy you will no longer have to worry about blackouts.