Maine Solar Rebates and Incentives

Maine Rebates and Incentives Summary

MaineThanks to a longstanding lumber industry and investment in hydroelectric power, Maine has a strong commitment to sustainable energy. According to EIA data, the state produces roughly a quarter of power used in the state from renewable resources, 20 percent from hydroelectric and 40 percent of its electricity from natural gas generation. Maine has harsh winters, and roughly three-quarters of Maine’s homes use fuel oil to heat their homes, the highest share in the nation. The state restructured its utility industry in 2000, and residential customers who wish to purchase electricity on the competitive market are limited to electricity garnered from renewable resources.

Given its northern location, the amount of sunlight that hits Maine is less than the sunlight that hits states like Arizona and New Mexico, but the state still gets enough sunlight to justify photovoltaic (PV) systems. In fact, the state gets an average of 4.0 to 4.5 kilowatts per hour (kWh) of sunlight per square meter—about the same amount that Pennsylvania gets. Although the state ranks thirty-first in solar capacity, it has seen the amount of capacity installed increase significantly and the cost of solar installation drop substantially over the last few years.

Maine commissioned a landmark study, released in 2015, which determined that the value of solar far exceeds current electricity generation. In response, the state legislature adopted “Value of Solar” (VOS) pricing, which calculates the value of solar over an extended period of time to offset the costs of solar generation today. This program will eventually replace net metering and other incentives.

 

Maine Net Energy Billing

Program Type Net Metering
Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Hot Water Heating, Solar Thermal Electric, other renewable energy sources
Amount Credited to customer at retail rate
Required Documentation Interconnection agreement with utility
Official Web Site http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/legislative/rules/part3-electric.shtml

All electric utilities in Maine are required to offer their customers net metering. While investor-owned utilities are required to offer net metering for systems up to 660 kW in size, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives are only required to net meter systems up to 100 kW in size. The Public Utilities Commission has initiated a task force to study the implementation of VOS, which will replace net metering.

Customers may net meter systems that generate electricity with PV, solar thermal, geothermal, tidal power and other forms of renewables. Net excess generation produced by a customer in a month period is credited at the customer’s retail rate for up to 12 months. At the end of the 12-month period, any overall excess generation is credited to the utility with no compensation for the customer. The utility may choose to, at its own expense, install separate meters to measure both energy consumed and net excess generation.

Customers must sign a interconnection agreement with their utility. For systems under 10 kW in size, the application fee for the agreement is $50 plus $1 per kW. The state does not explain whether or not the customer must pay for a bi-directional meter or not.

Community-Based Renewable Energy Pilot Program

Program Type Performance-based Incentive
Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Thermal Electric, Solar Hot Water Heating
Amount

$0.10 per kWh or renewable energy credit worth 150 percent of the value of electricity generated

over life of contract

Required Documentation Application with the Maine Public Utilities Commission
Official Web Site

http://www.maine.gov/mpuc/electricity/community_pilot.shtml


http://mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/bills_124th/chapters/PUBLIC329.asp

The performance-based incentive pilot program was devised to encourage development of locally owned renewable energy resources. Overall, 50 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity can be permitted under the program. And individual system-owners can qualify for incentives on up to 10 MWs of generation. In addition, 10 MWs of power under the program are reserved for smaller installations—under 100 kW—like those installed at homes and small businesses.

Participants can qualify for an incentive of $0.10 per kWh generated under a long-term contract up to 20 years with their utility, or they can qualify for a renewable energy credit incentive worth 1.5 times the value of the electricity generated by the system.

To be eligible for the program, the system must be grid-tied and at least 51 percent of the system must be owned locally. Owners can include homeowners, local government entities, nonprofits and tribes. For projects larger than 100 kW, the municipality or tribe must provide documentation of community support for the project. Small generators need to contact their local utility to present their community-based certification and preferred contract terms. The utility will provide a standard contract form developed by the public utility commission, which must be returned by the system owner. The utility will then send the agreement to the commission.

Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program

Program Type Rebate
Technologies Photovoltaics, Solar Space Heat, Solar Hot Water Heating, Wind Energy                                  
Amount Up to $2,000
Required Documentation Solar Incentive Application Form
Official Web Site http://www.efficiencymaine.com/renewable-energy/solar

This highly popular first-come-first-serve program has been offered in Maine since 2005. Originally, it was funded at a rate of $500,000 annually, but the state increased funding for the program to $2.75 million for 2010, with some of the money coming from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. The program has been extended through 2015 and funding increased to $1 million annually, again partly because of ARRA funding. The state funds its portion of the program through a $0.005 cent, per kilowatt hour (kWh) assessment on utility electric generation.

The program is open to tenants as well as home and business-owners. For electricity-producing systems, applicants can qualify for a rebate of $2 per AC watt, up to a maximum of $2,000 for Maine homeowners installing PV or wind systems. Commercial companies can qualify for a rebate of up to $4,000 for installing wind generation at their facility. Solar thermal systems like water or space heating systems qualify for a rebate of up to $1,000 or 25 percent of system costs, whichever is less. However, new Energy Star homes or Maine Performance Homes can receive $1,500 for a solar thermal system.

To be eligible, people must apply for the rebate prior to purchasing or installing a system. Applicants can purchase their system after obtaining a reservation number for the rebate. To qualify for a PV rebate, the building must first undergo an energy audit and the results must be submitted to the program. PV systems must be installed by master electricians certified by NABCEP or one working with a NABCEP-certified installer and certified by the Maine’s Public Utilities Commission. Maine maintains a list of certified installers at the program’s page.

Maine Solar Power Financial Incentives

Financial Incentives


USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

04/09/2003

08/25/2015

Maine Uniform Building and Energy Code

ME

Regulatory Policy

Building Energy Code

07/27/2006

08/24/2015

Tribal Energy Program Grant

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

05/01/2003

07/31/2015

Energy-Efficient Building Standards for State Facilities

ME

Regulatory Policy

Energy Standards for Public Buildings

07/16/2006

07/23/2015

Fannie Mae Green Initiative- Loan Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

05/28/2015

07/13/2015

Net Energy Billing

ME

Regulatory Policy

Net Metering

01/01/2000

07/10/2015

Maine Green Power Program

ME

Regulatory Policy

Mandatory Utility Green Power Option

09/15/2009

07/10/2015

Energy-Efficient Mortgages

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

03/21/2002

06/24/2015

Energy Goals and Standards for Federal Government

US

Regulatory Policy

Energy Standards for Public Buildings

06/19/2006

06/21/2015

Community-Based Renewable Energy Production Incentive (Pilot Program)

ME

Financial Incentive

Performance-Based Incentive

07/17/2009

06/05/2015

Model Wind Energy Facility Ordinance

ME

Regulatory Policy

Solar/Wind Permitting Standards

08/01/2009

06/05/2015

USDA - Biorefinery Assistance Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

10/04/2012

05/22/2015

Federal Appliance Standards

US

Regulatory Policy

Appliance/Equipment Efficiency Standards

06/30/2006

05/21/2015

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

US

Financial Incentive

Personal Tax Credit

08/10/2005

05/13/2015

Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Credit

03/15/2002

05/13/2015

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Corporate)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Exemption

03/05/2002

04/24/2015

Efficiency Maine Appliance Rebate Program

ME

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

10/15/2012

04/17/2015

Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs)

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

05/02/2006

04/16/2015

Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Credit

03/11/2002

04/13/2015

Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

03/31/2015

03/31/2015

Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs)

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

10/23/2008

03/20/2015

Green Power Purchasing Goal for Federal Government

US

Regulatory Policy

Green Power Purchasing

02/19/2004

03/20/2015

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

03/16/2015

03/16/2015

Energy Efficiency Targets

ME

Regulatory Policy

Energy Efficiency Resource Standard

04/06/2011

03/16/2015

Interconnection Standards for Small Generators

US

Regulatory Policy

Interconnection

10/30/2007

03/16/2015

Efficiency Maine Residential Lighting Program

ME

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

06/16/2005

03/13/2015

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance (EA/REDA) Program

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

02/18/2015

02/19/2015

Residential Energy Conservation Subsidy Exclusion (Personal)

US

Financial Incentive

Personal Tax Exemption

03/05/2002

02/16/2015

USDA - Repowering Assistance Biorefinery Program

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

10/08/2012

02/06/2015

Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System (MACRS)

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Depreciation

03/15/2002

12/23/2014

Energy-Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Deduction

01/10/2006

12/22/2014

Residential Energy Efficiency Tax Credit

US

Financial Incentive

Personal Tax Credit

01/10/2006

12/22/2014

Energy-Efficient New Homes Tax Credit for Home Builders

US

Financial Incentive

Corporate Tax Credit

01/10/2006

12/20/2014

USDA - Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Loan Guarantees

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

04/09/2003

12/09/2014

Solar Easements

ME

Regulatory Policy

Solar/Wind Access Policy

01/01/2000

12/05/2014

Solar Rights

ME

Regulatory Policy

Solar/Wind Access Policy

06/16/2009

12/05/2014

FHA PowerSaver Loan Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

12/04/2014

12/04/2014

USDA - High Energy Cost Grant Program

US

Financial Incentive

Grant Program

09/27/2010

11/20/2014

U.S. Department of Energy - Loan Guarantee Program

US

Financial Incentive

Loan Program

09/12/2008

11/20/2014

Fuel Mix and Emissions Disclosure

ME

Regulatory Policy

Generation Disclosure

01/01/2000

10/16/2014

Efficiency Maine Business Programs (Unitil Gas) - Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs

ME

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

12/27/2007

10/14/2014

Efficiency Maine Multifamily Efficiency Program

ME

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

08/06/2012

10/14/2014

Efficiency Maine Business Program

ME

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

06/16/2005

10/13/2014

Renewables Portfolio Standard

ME

Regulatory Policy

Renewables Portfolio Standard

01/01/2000

09/02/2014

Interconnection Standards

ME

Regulatory Policy

Interconnection

01/19/2010

08/15/2014

Efficiency Maine Residential Home Energy Savings Program

ME

Financial Incentive

Rebate Program

09/30/2013

09/30/2013

Maine PACE Loans

ME

Financial Incentive

PACE Financing

04/05/2010

07/24/2013

Local Option - Property Assessed Clean Energy

ME

Financial Incentive

PACE Financing

04/05/2010

07/24/2013

Efficiency Maine Trust - Renewable Resource Fund

ME

Regulatory Policy

Public Benefits Fund

01/01/2000

06/11/2013

Efficiency Maine Trust

ME

Regulatory Policy

Public Benefits Fund

08/23/2006

06/11/2013

Green Power Purchasing

ME

Regulatory Policy

Green Power Purchasing

03/25/2003

02/19/2013

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