Governor's office, Portland mayor urge state to act on solar

By Marina Villeneuve, Associated Press

 

Everyone from the Democratic mayor of Portland to powerful environmental lobbyists to Republican Gov. Paul LePage is weighing in on the future of a policy that gives bill credits to solar system owners who feed excess energy back to the grid.

 

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Everyone from the Democratic mayor of Portland to powerful environmental lobbyists to Republican Gov. Paul LePage is weighing in on the future of a policy that gives bill credits to solar system owners who feed excess energy back to the grid.

LePage calls the nearly 30-year-old policy a "reverse Robin Hood program," while advocates say he's ignoring a study suggesting solar energy reduces everyone's electricity rates.

LePage vetoed a widely-supported reform bill this spring and now wants the state Public Utilities Commission to eliminate so-called "net-metering" altogether.

Solar and environmental groups want the commission, which is reviewing the policy because of state law, to leave the matter to legislators.

Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling, whose city is considering solar projects, says the commission should act swiftly to eliminate uncertainty.

 

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