HALLOWELL, Maine (AP) - Maine utility regulators are delaying implementation of a big change in how owners of rooftop solar panels receive compensation for energy they generate.

Solar installers say a push to gradually reduce such credits for new customers would dissuade residents and small businesses from installing solar panels. The Public Utilities Commission voted Tuesday to push back the pending rule's effective date from Jan. 1 to April 30.

Maine Public Utilities Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy said that he hopes the delay would allow more time to hammer out specifics of the new rule.

The Conservation Law Foundation and clean energy supporters are challenging that rule in Maine court. Oral arguments are set for Dec. 13.

Democratic Rep. Seth Berry says the delay gives lawmakers and the court time to reverse course.