Gov. Paul LePage uses a model of a home selling solar power to the electric grid during a press conference at the State House to decry a recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission that he says will force Maine ratepayers to subsidize the solar industry.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage said Friday he would urge the three-member Maine Public Utilities Commission “to resign in a heartbeat,” saying their “absolutely horrendous” decision last week on solar policy will hurt most of the state’s electricity ratepayers.

The Republican governor called a rare news conference in Augusta to expand on remarks made during Tuesday’s State of the State speech, when he said that he’d fire the three utility commissioners — whom LePage appointed — though he doesn’t have the power to remove them.

It’s all around the commission’s decision last week that rolled back “net metering” — a policy in effect since the 1980s in Maine that allows homeowners with solar panels to be credited by utilities, including Central Maine Power, for excess power sent to the grid.

LePage has called for the policy’s elimination, labeling it an unfair subsidy. For opposite reasons. he and environmentalists who support it were angered by the decision, which will allow existing customers and those signing up before 2018 to be grandfathered at current rates for 15 years, but give reduced credits to those who enter the program through 2042.

On Friday, he said of the commission that he “would ask them to resign in a heartbeat,” saying his only demand is to “lower the cost” of energy and “do no harm to the environment.”

“The people who generate the solar power on their roof pay for the generation but CMP is still going to bill you,” LePage said. “The Maine people are going to pay for transmission costs twice until 2042.”

Comments are not available on this story.