The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has dismissed a challenge to a new rule by the state Public Utilities Commission on home solar panel systems.

The Portland Press Herald reports the court ruled Thursday the case should go to superior court judges first, a move that disappointed environmental advocates.

The case centers around the PUC ruling that gradually reduces the credit homeowners with solar panels receive on their energy bills.

Utilities previously credited people with solar panels as part of an approach called “net metering.” Critics such as Gov. Paul LePage opposed the measure, saying it pushed costs on other customers and was unnecessary as the price of solar panels decreased.

PUC Administrative Director Harry Lanphear says he is happy with the court’s decision.


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