Maine residential solar energy incentives

Home energy loan program:

-Through this program, residents of Maine may qualify for low interest loans used for energy improvements.
-Eligible energy technologies for this program include; solar water heat, biomass and geothermal heat pumps.
-Loans range from $2,800 to $30,000.
-Interest rates for these loans are fixed at 3.95%.

Solar and wind energy rebate program:

-The state of Maine offers rebates to residents who purchase and install solar photovoltaics and solar thermal systems at home. Grid-tied wind energy systems have also been added to this rebate program.
-Rebates for PV systems are set at $2 per watt with a maximum incentive of $2,000. Rebates for solar thermal systems vary but typically are either 25% of the project cost or $1,000 - $1,500. Rebates for wind energy systems are $500 per 500 watts up to 2,000 watts without exceeding $2,000.
-Qualifying systems must meet all specified requirements and standards.

Residential renewable energy tax credit:

-This personal tax credit allows the taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of expenditures including labor costs and installation of qualified residential solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems or fuel cells. Small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps can also be accredited for.
-Solar-electric systems and solar water heaters have a maximum incentive of $2,000 if placed in service before 2009. There is no maximum incentive for systems placed after 2008.
-The excess amount of the federal tax credit may be carried forward to the next taxable year if it exceeds tax liability.
-This can be carried forward until 2016, but after that, it is unknown if the unused credit will be able to be forwarded.

Residential energy conservation subsidy exclusion:

-This is a personal exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities.
-The value of a purchase or installation of any energy conservation measure by a customer such as solar water heat, solar space heat or photovoltaics will not be included in the customer’s gross income.
-Customers of an electric utility company, who participate in the utility’s energy conservation program, may receive a rate reduction of electricity furnished or a nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity on each monthly electric bill.

Energy-efficient mortgages:

-This is a federal loan program where homeowners can use EEM (energy-efficient mortgages) to finance renewable energy technologies in a home.

Net metering:

-Net metering is available to residents who have renewable energy equipment such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass or hydroelectric power that is capable of calculating the flow of electricity in two directions.
-The net excess generation is given to the customer at the utilities retail rate as a credit on the customer’s next bill.
-Maximum capacity is set at 660 kilowatts for investor owned utilities and 100 kilowatts for consumer owned utilities.
-Qualifying systems must meet all efficiency requirements.