Redding Council Approves New Solar Rates
It was an electric night of sorts at the Redding City Council meeting last night.
After several months of wrangling over reimbursement rates for both existing and future solar customers in Redding, the council finally voted on the rate for the so-called “net metering”, the rate at which the utility pays back customers who produce more power than they use.
In September the council had floated the idea of canceling contracts with about 1200 customers who had 30-year contracts at a rate of fifteen cents per kilowatt-hour. But when customers and representatives from the industry complained, the council voted to grandfather that rate, and then form a committee to look at the issue.
The committee gave its report to the council at last night’s meeting recommending a rate of just six cents per kilowatt-hour.
However, in the report it stated that solar representatives believe in order to make solar feasible for customers a rate of twelve cents would be in order. Mayor Adam Mcelvain and Council Member Michael Daquisto both agreed with the twelve cent rate with Daquisto saying that there’s much more to consider.
“You’ve got 300 people in the business some of which may go out of business because they won’t have additional things to install. As they go out of business, you lose part of your tax base.” Daquisto said.
But a competing motion of six cents won the majority vote, with the council also voting to bring back the issue in one year with the intent to adjust the rate if needed.
The council also voted to purchase a fleet of electric vehicles with cap and trade funds from the Redding Electric Utility, and a grant from the McConnell Foundation. With the destruction of the downtown parking garage, the vehicles will be used to shuttle people from outlying parking facilities to the downtown for a period of 12 months.