Most solar panel systems have a lifespan of up to 35 years. The majority of homeowners in Maine will pay off their solar panel systems in under 10 years. As a general rule, that’s about 25 years, or tens of thousands of dollars, of savings on energy costs. Even better news is that the price of entry has never been lower. The cost of a solar electricity system has declined by over 50% since 2010.

We’ve been in the business for a long time and can help you think through the variables when determining the financial impact of going solar.

Here are a few things that will impact the cost of a solar panel system and the savings you can expect over time:

  • How much energy your home or business uses each month
    It’s always helpful to look at your past utility bills to get a sense of how much electricity you use. You’ll want to bring those along to our initial site visit.
  • How many panels you’ll need
    During a site visit, we’ll perform an inspection of the site to determine the best solar system for your property. This information combined with your property’s energy needs will give us a clear idea of the number of panels (whether roof- or ground-mounted) required to do the job.
  • The rising cost of fossil fuels
    AllEarth Renewables, the company that produces our solar trackers, estimates that their trackers will result in as much as 3x lower energy costs over 25 years, based on an average annual utility rate increase of 3%. Of course, the higher the cost of oil and gas, the greater the potential savings of going solar.

Home energy loans

If you’re a homeowner in Maine, you can get help financing your solar energy system purchase through Efficiency Maine’s home energy loan program. They offer low interest rate loans of $15,000 or less for up to 15 years.

Net metering

Your solar system will utilize a meter to determine the exact amount of energy that is being generated. If you’re connected with the utility grid, then any excess electricity that your home or business doesn’t need at the time gets channeled into the grid.
Thanks to Maine’s net metering policy, you’ll get credit for all the extra electricity your system produces when the sun shines bright. During the darker months of the year, when your system is generating less electricity, you can use those credits to supplement your power needs.

Federal tax solar credit

For residential systems, the Residential Clean Energy Credit offers an investment tax credit that could cut the cost of your solar energy system by 30 percent. Conditions apply, so be sure to do your research to determine your eligibility.