For Palo Alto residents, installing a solar panel or an electric-car charger is about to get a little more expensive.
City officials are proposing to raise permit fees for solar panels and car chargers starting in July as part of their annual revision of the municipal fee schedule. These rate hikes, along with others, are projected to bring about $100,000 in new revenues to the General Fund.
Under the proposed fee changes, which the City Council Finance Committee is scheduled to discuss tonight (Wednesday), residential permits for electric-vehicle charging stations would cost $315. For commercial applicants, the permit cost would range from $975 to $1,450, depending on the station type, for the first charging station. The permit for each additional charging station would cost between $100 and $150.
The permit fees for solar panels are set to go up from $200 in the current fiscal year to $320 for residential customers. For commercial customers, the fees would range from $595 to $3,775, depending on the system being installed.
If the City Council approves these changes, they would take effect on July 1.
According to a report from the Administrative Services Department, the fee changes were proposed to recoup some of the costs of reviewing the applications. The new fees are expected to generate about $22,750.
"These fees are based on estimated levels of staff time for the plan check review and installation inspection process," Management Specialist Gail Wilcox wrote in the report.
Other proposals in the proposed schedule include new fees for non-profit organizations looking to rent a meeting room in the renovated Downtown Library; raised fees at city-run swimming pools; new permit fees for wireless-facility applications; and raised fees for group admissions to the Junior Museum and Zoo.
Palo Alto is also considering making more drastic changes next year. The city plans to hire a consultant to perform a comprehensive analysis of the city's entire fee schedule. The study will begin this fall and is scheduled to be completed before the council adopts the municipal fee schedule next year.
The committee will meet at 6 p.m. in the Council Conference Room at City Hall, 250 Hamilton Ave.