Now that Gov. Paul LePage has vetoed the solar bill (L.D. 1504) we must all contact our legislators to ensure the veto is overridden.

I am building a “solar shed” next to my small house in Augusta, without subsidy. Thanks to net metering and my heat pump, six solar panels will provide up to 80 percent of my heating and electricity costs.

Maine people who care about our planet want policies that encourage solar energy in Maine. The opposition, led by LePage and other Republicans, and joined by lobbyists for the utilizes and fossil fuel industry, argue that compensating people for the solar energy they contribute to the grid increases everyone else’s cost. That’s not true. Studies in 10 states (including Maine) conclude that solar power produces a net gain for all ratepayers.

L.D. 1504 is the best defense against a PUC rule that would cost rate payers up to $1.5 million over the next three years for meters the utilities need to charge solar producers for the energy they produce for their own use.

In a recent column in this newspaper, James LeBrecque, LePage’s energy adviser, denounced solar as being “heavily subsidized,” without mentioning the cost of building the power lines necessary to connect to Quebec Hydro.

Thanks for your help.

Denis Thoet


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