Maine regulators propose reforms to solar policy

By The Associated Press

Maine regulators are proposing changes to an energy policy that lets solar owners receive credits on their utility bill for energy they sell back to the grid.

 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine regulators are proposing changes to an energy policy that lets solar owners receive credits on their utility bill for energy they sell back to the grid.

Critics including GOP Gov. Paul LePage have criticized the policy for selling back electricity at "above-market" rates. On Tuesday, Maine public utility commissioners, all appointed by LePage, appeared to agree that current solar rules are not equitable and don't take into account the market.

Commissioners said proposed rules, which haven't yet been released, would reduce the value of credits over the next decade as installation costs decline.

Solar energy advocates had asked regulators to wait on any reform until legislators return in January. A Natural Resources Council of Maine spokesman called the rules "unnecessary" and said solar energy lowers costs for all ratepayers.

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