Last week, Maine’s Supreme Court dealt a setback to a coalition challenging a Maine Public Utilities Commission rule that reduces the compensation solar users receive for the energy they produce. The Court dismissed the appeal, stating that the Superior Court is the proper channel to handle appeals to PUC rulemaking decisions.

Last spring, the PUC implemented the controversial new rules to gradually reduce net energy billing credits for new solar customers, even if power is generated and consumed on-site and never makes it to the grid. The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), the Industrial Energy Consumers’ Group, ReVision Energy, and the Natural Resources Council of Maine filed a challenge to the rules last year arguing that the PUC overstepped its authority, among other arguments. In a statement, CLF spokesman Jake O’Neill called the rule “simply unlawful” and said the organization would continue to fight the case in Superior Court.

“The recent decision will only slow down the adoption of solar and cause homeowners to pay more for electricity in the meantime,” said O’Neill. “CLF will continue the fight to expand the use of solar energy, even amid Governor Le-Page’s hostile approach to clean energy. This case also illustrates the importance of this year’s elections, and the need to elect officials who will fight for clean energy.”