Sierra Club survey finds variation in local fees for solar power

A survey of local governments in San Luis Obispo County by the Sierra Club shows a wide variation in permit fees charged to businesses to install solar power.

Volunteers with the club surveyed all seven municipalities as well as the county to determine how much the fees would be to install 131 kilowatts of photovoltaic panels on the roof of a business. They determined that the fee would range from $273 in Atascadero to $31,548 in Morro Bay.

The survey is part of a statewide effort by the Sierra Club to encourage local governments to charge only enough in fees to cover costs and thereby encourage more small-scale commercial solar installations, said Kurt Newick, coordinator of the club’s permit-fee campaign.

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