David DeMille – The Spectrum
Falling costs have encouraged more St. George residents to go solar, but some of the associated costs to the city’s municipal power utility could result in a new fee for those trying to go green.
The city council gave verbal approval Thursday to the idea of imposing a capacity fee for solar installations, aiming to offset funding issues that managers say have developed out of the city’s “net metering” program, which requires the city to purchase any existing power that homeowners generate but can’t use themselves.
Sixty-three of the some 28,000 customers on St. George’s grid have solar systems installed, but they can generate about a megawatt of power between them, enough to raise concerns about whether the net metering program pays solar customers too much for the excess power they generate, said Rene Fleming, conservation coordinator for the city.
She recommended a monthly capacity charge that would increase incrementally based on system size, although no set dollar amount had been figured. (…)