AUGUSTA – When a light gets turned on, a certain percentage of the electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind, water, solid waste or biomass.

Each year, electric utility companies must show they are relying on a greater percentage of renewable energy. The goal, as Maine law stands, is for 10 percent of electricity to come from new forms of renewable generation by 2017.

Legislation introduced Thursday by Gov. Paul LePage would eliminate the requirement. Under the proposed law, electricity providers would be able to stay at the current level of 4 percent renewable energy sources.

The goal of the bill, L.D. 1570, is to lower the price of electricity for Maine consumers, said Kenneth Fletcher, director of the governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security. Maine has the 12th-highest electricity prices in the nation, he said.

Some people say the bill discourages the use of “green” energy in Maine and would set the wrong tone for developers as they examine whether to build renewable-energy facilities, such as those for wind or tidal power projects.

While electricity is not necessarily more expensive when derived from renewable sources, the cost is rooted in items called renewable energy certificates, Fletcher said. Electricity suppliers in Maine must buy renewable energy certificates to prove they are meeting state standards, and the cost is passed on to consumers, he said.

The state already relies on renewable energy for a significant portion of its electricity. About 26 percent comes from hydropower. Nearly 4 percent comes from biomass, 2 percent comes from solid waste and 0.4 percent comes from wind, according to the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

The governor’s bill wouldn’t limit how much electricity is derived from renewable sources; it simply wouldn’t require power companies to increase by 1 percent each year their intake of renewable energy, Fletcher said.

Some people say that lowering the price of electricity isn’t more important than providing incentives for production of “green” energy.

“The bill says price is king. It says that’s the only thing that matters,” said Dylan Voorhees, clean energy project director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine.

“The way we need to diversify and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels is both by increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency,” he said. “This bill goes completely against that.”

Jeremy Payne, executive director of the Maine Renewable Energy Association, said that if the legislation passes, it will be a red flag to investors who are interested in developing Maine’s sources of renewable energy.

“I think stable state policy for any industry is always a good thing,” he said.

While the bill’s aim is to encourage business, it may end up hurting a number of businesses — developers, Payne said. “Unless there are some enormous changes, I’m 100 percent sure we’ll be in opposition to this bill,” he said.

Chris O’Neil, a spokesman for Friends of Maine’s Mountains, favors the bill because it could cut back on the number of wind farms in Maine. In some cases, the electricity that’s generated is sold out of state.