Being the northernmost state in the continental United States means Maine has a lot of remote residences, businesses, schools and even whole towns that use solar as their primary source of energy. With 50 different programs, rebates, grants, tax credits and other initiatives encouraging residents to use solar power, awareness and adoption of solar energy is spreading quickly throughout the state. Learn more about using solar panels in Maine, including tax credits, incentives and where to find an installer.

Maine’s Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

How Expensive is Electricity in Maine?

Maine had the lowest retail electricity prices in New England in 2014, which could be bad for a state trying to increase solar power usage, since consumers are less motivated by cost alone. As of October 2015, Maine’s largest source of electricity is natural gas, and the industrial sector both produces and consumes more gas than any other sector. However, residential solar in Maine is cheaper than both industrial and commercial electricity.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Maine
Library of Resources

Solar Panel Policies & Incentives in Maine

Despite great policies, Maine ranks in the lower 50 percent of states regarding solar friendliness. The state’s tax exemptions and credits, performance payments and state rebates are among the lowest in the nation. Even so, there are dozens of solar rebates, incentives, tax credits and exemptions, policies and other programs offered at the utility, county, state and federal levels that encourage Mainers to convert to solar. Below is a list of some of the policies and incentives available to home- and business-owners looking to have solar installed.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

Community-Based Renewable Energy Production Incentive (Pilot Program)

This incentive-based program offers to pay for the creation of renewable energy generators, either paying for the cost of the project or buying electricity generated at the price of $0.10/kWh – whichever is cheaper.

Maine PACE Financing

Maine residents can get loans of up to $15,000 to finance energy improvements, such as energy efficiency technology and renewable energy systems.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

POLICIES

Solar Easements and Rights

Homeowner associations must not prohibit a person from installing or using a solar energy device if the property is owned by that person.

Efficiency Maine Trust – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Resource Fund

Customers of the Maine Public Utilities Commission can contribute to a fund that supports renewable energy projects through monthly contributions added to their energy bill.

Net Energy Billing (Net Metering)

All of Maine’s electric utilities must offer net metering for renewable energy source facilities that generate up to 660 kW of electricity. It also requires that excess electricity generated be bought at a retail rate.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Legislation passed in 1997 created rules that require electric utility companies to generate at least 30 percent of their total sales using various eligible renewable energy sources.

Green Power Purchasing

In 2003, the state governor created an energy goal of purchasing at least 50 percent of its electricity from reasonably priced renewable energy sources (which it accomplished in 2007). As of 2009, all state-owned buildings must use energy supplied by renewable resources.

Energy-Efficient Building Standards for State Facilities

As long as it’s cost-effective for the building, all newly constructed and renovated state buildings must comply with various green building standards, like energy efficiency standards that exceed those of commercial and industrial buildings by 20 percent.

Maine Green Power Program

The Maine Green Power Program gives residents and businesses an affordable way to use green energy. Mainers can purchase kWh, and Maine Green Power will match that amount with renewable energy certificates (RECs).

Interconnection Standards

Interconnection standards delineate certain requirements for energy systems that are connected to the grid. Small certified generating facilities of 10kW or less, like solar energy systems, require a $50 fee for interconnection but to not require insurance.

None for residential specifically

None for residential specifically

TAX CREDITS

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

EXEMPTIONS

None

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

Maine Solar Panel Companies, Contractors & Installers

Moosehead Solar

Moosehead Solar specializes in remote locations such as mountaintops, islands and backwoods shorelines. They’ve provided over 200 off-grid installations to homeowners, campsites, and businesses.

Where it operatesServes all of Maine

Year of opening1998

ReVision Energy

ReVision Energy provides engineering, design, installation and equipment service for solar and other renewable energy.

Where it operatesServes Portland and Liberty, Maine, as well as New Hampshire and Massachusetts

Year of opening2003

Maine Coastal Solar

Maine Coastal Solar installs grid-connected and off-grid solar panels to homes and businesses in Maine and offers other earth-friendly energy solutions, such as whole-house generators and other supplemental power.

Where it operatesServes Downeast Maine (Southwest Harbor and surrounding areas)

Year of opening1975

Maine Solar

Maine Solar specializes in off-grid power production and offers one-year onsite service and lifetime phone technical support to its customers.

Where it operatesServes Starks and surrounding areas

Year of opening1967

Sundog Solar

Sundog Solar works to provide a full spectrum of solar powered residential and commercial equipment.

Where it operatesServes Searsport and surrounding areas

Year of opening2009

Insource Renewables

Insource Renewables is focused on increasing the energy security of its region, even if they as a company don’t benefit from extra business. They work to spread awareness and expertise, and offer solar power solutions to homeowners and businesses.

Where it operatesPittsfield and surrounding areas

Maine Generator & Solar Power, Inc.

Maine Generator & Solar Power, Inc. provides people all over Maine with solar product sales, service and installation.

Where it operatesServes all of Maine

Year of opening1997

Maine Solar & Wind LLC

Maine Solar & Wind LLC was started by owner Dale Roy to strictly focus on solar installations for residential, commercial and agricultural properties around northern Maine.

Where it operatesServes northern Maine

Year of opening2008

Goggin Energy

Goggin Energy provides solar panel installations and other energy efficiency products to homes, businesses and towns in southern Maine.

Where it operatesServes southern Maine

Year of opening1999

Solaris

Solaris is focused on helping customers find the most cost-effective ways to reduce their energy expenses and environmental impact by analyzing individual energy usage and taking a “whole-house view.”

Where it operatesServes Portland and surrounding cities

Year of opening2008

Talmage Solar Engineering, Inc.

Talmage Solar Engineering, Inc. provides commercial and residential solar solutions to Maine. With over 35 years of industry experience, they work to balance nature, humanity and technology to bring their customers a quality product, from design to installation and beyond.

Where it operatesServes all of Maine

Year of opening1975

Clean Energy Solutions

Clean Energy Solutions provides quality solar installations to residents and commercial businesses in Maine and New Hampshire.

Where it operatesServes Maine and New Hampshire

Maine Solar Resources

Efficiency Maine

Learn about the statewide incentives and initiatives for environmentally friendly energy solutions.

Maine Public Service Commission

The website for the governing body that regulates electricity rates and services of Maine public utilities.

Maine State Energy Office

Find information on Maine’s state government energy programs, policies, projects, strategies, and statistics.

Maine State Legislature

Keep up with legislations and legislative issues both current and pending affecting solar energy, and contact Maine legislators.

DSIRE Incentives Database – Maine

Search for specific incentives, programs, and policies regarding solar energy in Maine and throughout the United States.

U.S. Energy Information Administration – Maine State Profile

View official energy statistics from the U.S. government.