PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson Public Utilities District commissioners have agreed to remove a $100 application fee for a meter included with older solar array systems.
The fee used to pay for a meter that was attached separately to new solar systems installed at Public Utilities District (PUD) customers’ residences.
It read how much electricity they gathered and how much the residence would use.
This information was then was checked once a year by PUD employees, with the reports sent to Washington State University for them to study.
This meter is no longer being used by new solar customers, as the meter that reads the amount of electricity gathered by the arrays and its use are internally part of the system. The old meter is superfluous at this time, General Manager Kevin Streett said.
The old meter is no longer installed and checked by PUD, which is why Streett recommended removing that fee, as there is no reason for it anymore.
When the solar systems were first installed, the PUD was spending more on cost of the materials and solar systems and the $100 was a way to recoup their losses. Now, the costs have gone down and the PUD no longer is trying to make up the cost differential and the fee is not needed, Streett said.
The production program that created these specific meters ended, and so that is why the PUD neither installs them or currently services them, Streett said.
The resolution passed unanimously by the three commissioners.
“Why should we charge them the hundred dollars when we’re not doing the work,” Randall said.
This decision does not effect the $350 fee for the net meter exchange or the $165 for the net meter installation. Those are still fees customers must pay as part of solar array installation.
The actual cost for the current meter used by PUD is $220, but the two fees also cover workers time to install, Streett said.
This change only effects new customers, it has no impact on current solar customers of PUD , Streett said.
Jefferson County reporter Zach Jablonski can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5 or at [email protected].