solar electricity rates

15 Oct How do electric rates impact solar system payback?

solar electricity rates

A solar energy system is one of the few home improvement projects that will pay for itself in savings over time. The solar energy produced by the solar system can dramatically reduce or virtually eliminate your electric bill.


In areas with high energy prices, solar energy systems pay for themselves more quickly in savings. This is because solar electricity is replacing the use of inexpensive power from the electric company. In areas with high electricity prices, solar systems pay for themselves in the savings more quickly.


Does Maine have high electricity prices?

Washington, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Oklahoma have the lowest power rates. Maine ranks 9th in the country for electricity costs, so our rates are higher than the national average. Mainers pay an average of $0.18 a kWh compared to an average of $0.13. This means that a solar system in Maine will pay for itself in savings more quickly than a solar system in Washington or Arkansas that is generating the same amount of power.


Have Maine electric rates been increasing?

Yes, electricity rates went up significantly in the last few years. Residential CMP customers saw a 14 percent increase in 2019 and an 18 percent increase in 2018. Emera customers had a 16 percent rate hike in 2019. As electricity rates increase, solar will pay for itself even more quickly by the savings.


Will my solar system qualify for net metering?

Solar energy customers that are connected to the power grid can be credited for the surplus solar electricity that they feed to the power grid. This is called net metering or net energy metering.


Many solar households generate more solar electricity than they consume on sunny days. If the system doesn’t have batteries, any surplus electricity goes to the power grid and you will receive credits on your electric bill. If you supply 5 kWh of electricity to the grid during a sunny day, then you use 5 kWh of electricity at night, then you will owe no money for the nighttime power that you consumed.


Can I save up my solar credits beyond a year?

Unfortunately not. At the end of every 12-month period, CMP or Emera will zero out your solar energy credits. Unfortunately, solar energy credits expire after one year.


Therefore, accurate solar system sizing is essential. An undersized system will not maximize the potential benefits of going solar. Likewise, homeowners will not be compensated for all their energy if a solar system is oversized. The Sundog Solar team is skilled in accurately sizing a solar system. We take pride in providing realistic estimates for our customers. 


If you want to learn more about solar for your home or business, please contact our solar design team at [email protected] or 207.548.1100.



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