AUGUSTA – Environmental groups have filed a new lawsuit against the Maine Public Utilities Commission over its decision to reduce the credit homeowners receive on their energy bills when they install solar panels.

The Bangor Daily News reports the lawsuit filed Thursday in Cumberland County Superior Court claims regulators violated state law by approving new rules that raise the costs of connecting to the grid. The lawsuit says the rule change was not based on valid research, and violates a law that prohibits charges for on-site power generation.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court last month dismissed a challenge to the new rule, concluding it does not have authority in appeals coming directly out of rulemaking from state agencies.

The Public Utilities Commission has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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