Solar financing: How do you pay for solar in Maine?
There is a great reason that Maine homeowners have chosen to purchase a solar electric system for their homes: it’s an excellent investment! Solar panel systems not only benefit the environment, but last for more than 25 years, increase your home’s value, and offset most or all of your Central Maine Power (CMP) bill every month. Those monthly electric savings add up quickly, and as energy prices continue to rise in Maine, the return on investment only improves!
If you’ve already decided that installing solar panels on your home is right for you, the next big question you might have is, “how do I pay for a solar electric installation?” The good news is that the cost of solar electric systems has significantly decreased over the last decade making solar more affordable than ever before. But of course, solar isn’t free – to get solar savings, you have to first pay for your solar electric system. Luckily, there are several different ways to do so.
This guide discusses the primary ways to pay for solar in Maine: a cash purchase and a solar loan. It is important to note solar electric systems qualify for the 26% federal tax credit* whether you pay cash or finance your solar electric system purchase.
Paying Cash Up-Front for your Solar Panels
If you can afford to pay for your panels with cash, it will give you the highest return on your investment. You’ll never have to worry about paying interest or any other fees. You’ll own your solar panels immediately, and you get to enjoy energy savings costs. We like to think of it this way: Most solar panels have warranties for 25+ years. So if your solar panel system produces 100% of your electricity needs, you’ve just paid for 25 years’ worth of electricity. That means protection from any future electricity rate hikes, and as the cost of electricity increases, you will see an even greater return on investment.
A cash purchase is right for you if:
- You’re looking to maximize your savings from solar with the shortest return on investment (currently 8-12 years for solar);
- You prefer not to pay interest by financing the purchase
- You want to enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of solar at the lowest cost available
Financing your purchase of a solar electric system
Another way to own a solar panel system is to finance the purchase. There are three common options to finance the purchase of a solar panel system:
1. Solar Loans: Maine Solar Solutions offers solar system financing through Mosaic. These loans offer low-interest rates and a variety of term lengths with no prepayment penalty. Application is paperless and effortless. Fixed monthly payments can be the same or lower than your average monthly electric bill.
2. Home equity line of credit: Many homeowners provide their finance via a low-interest home equity line of credit.
3. Refinancing and cash out: Many homeowners take advantage of lower mortgage rates to refinance their mortgages and pull cash out to purchase solar and make home improvements.
A solar loan is right for you if:
- You don’t have the cash on hand required to pay for a solar panel system upfront;
- You want to invest your cash on hand to earn a higher interest rate
- You want to enjoy the financial and environmental benefits of solar on a budget
Paying for solar when building a new home
Adding a solar electric system to your new home is a big win all around! By bundling the cost of a solar panel system in the construction of your new home, you will essentially replace an ever-increasing electric bill with the fixed monthly cost of your mortgage. And with many new homes owners choosing all-electric homes (by adding heat pumps and electric hot water heaters), adding solar could eliminate any utility bill for the lifetime of your home!
Ready to schedule your free solar site assessment?
At Maine Solar Solutions, we believe in making solar energy affordable for all Maine families and businesses. Whether you want to maximize your financial returns or find an easy solar solution to save money and help the environment, we will help you find a financing option that works for you. Contact us today and have our professional solar consultants present your options and make the plan so you can start saving money on your electric bills now.
*Maine Solar Solutions, LLC does not provide financial, legal, or tax advice. Please consult a professional.