Gardiner, Maine - Solar Hot Water
A recently installed solar hot water system in Gardiner, Maine

Great news for Mainers ready to start kicking their oil habits – Biddeford Savings Bank is now offering a 7.99% APR loan program for financing solar energy projects and other efficiency upgrades.

With home heating oil averaging $3.67/gallon in Maine, financing a solar hot water system makes it possible for many homeowners to save more money in fuel costs than they spend on the loan note.

Why Financing Solar Hot Water Makes Fiscal Sense

More than 400,000 homes in Maine heat with oil, and many of these homes get their domestic hot water supply off of a high mass oil boiler. While this solution makes some sense in the wintertime, when the boiler is already running for space heat, in the summertime boiler efficiency is terrible – as low as 20% – leading to unnecessary waste from poor boiler efficiency and standby losses.

Solar hot water systems allow these homes to heat their water nearly entirely with solar energy from May through September (yes, even in Maine). With the boiler now largely dormant in these months, these homes will see a fuel oil savings of roughly 350 gallons of oil a year. That’s a savings of $1,284 a year and set to increase as oil prices continue climbing.

Now, with a solar hot water system averaging $12,500 gross, and around $7,750 after state and federal incentives, by paying cash the payback is less than 7 years. With financing that payback can be nearly instantaneous.

By putting down not quite half of the cost of the system, which is largely reimbursed by federal and state rebates, a homeowner can make a cash flow positive investment in solar hot water starting year one.

Financing Solar Hot Water Systems by the Numbers

Below posits a $6,500 loan with a $6,000 downpayment on a solar hot water system. The initial $6,000 outlay is largely reimbursed by state and federal incentives, and ultimately completely recovered by energy savings.
Financed Solar Hot Water Yearly Cash FlowFinanced Solar Hot Water Cumulative Cash Flow

Total System Cost 12,500
Downpayment 6,000
Loan Amount 6,500
Incentives
Federal Tax Credit 3,750
ME State Rebate 1,000
Net out of pocket investment 1,250
Savings in oil (mo) 107
Cost of loan payment (mo) 78
Net monthly savings 29
Cash flow positive!
Total # of payments 120
Estimated savings over 10 years 776*
Estimated savings over 15 years 7,529
* Takes into consideration a few other variables such as inflation of energy prices, overhead and maintenance, and performance loss of equipment over time

After the 10 year payback on the loan, you’ll experience many years of free hot water! Contact us with any questions about solar hot water system financials or for a complimentary site evaluation. You can call Biddeford Savings for loan details at: 207-284-5906.

Download program flyer
Solar Hot Water Loan Financing with Biddeford Savings Bank