AUGUSTA – Maine Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed a bill that would restore a rebate program for people who buy solar power systems.

The bill vetoed by the Republican governor on Friday would provide $1 million for the program that would last more than two years.

The bill was amended by Republican Rep. Lance Harvell of Farmington to allow the fund to also be used to help low-income residents buy heat pumps.

It would cost Mainers roughly 60 cents a year on their utility bills.

LePage said it’s a “particularly painful time to impose an additional tax on electricity” as rates have already increased for many residents this year. He criticized lawmakers for rejecting his bill that would have used funds from the timber harvest to provide rebates for heat pumps.

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