Garrett Harris 12:36 a.m., June 19
Lemon Grove City Council to Take a Position on SDG&E Solar Rate Hikes
Energy costs for the Lemon Grove School District haven't decreased since spending more than $2 million to install solar panels at three Lemon Grove schools in 2005.
Quite the opposite.
In 2008, officials told the Union-Tribune that annual energy costs increased by $100,000 after installing the panels.
Now, SDG&E is proposing even more fees for solar customers. In October, the energy company submitted an application to the California Public Utilities Commission asking permission to update the company's rate design. By doing so, solar customers would be required to pay an additional fee for putting energy into the grid as well as for taking it back out of the grid.
Lemon Grove School District officials estimate the new "network use charge" would tack on an additional $48,000 to the annual energy bill.
So, the district joined the Helix Water District San Diego County Office of Education, and Poway Unified School District, and five other government organizations, protesting the increase.
On Tuesday, the Lemon Grove City Council will consider whether to support their cause and take a stand against the rate increase. And while the council's support will not be considered a formal action by the public utilities commission, city staff believes it may help the cause.
"SDG&E's proposed fee would have a negative fiscal impact on private and public organizations that have invested in renewable energy projects," reads the report from Lemon Grove City Manager Graham Mitchell.