The following article can be found on the Cooler Planet Web site.

In a move that solar aficionados find inexplicable and dangerous, the City of San Diego in December upped its solar installation fee, from $93 to $565, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

San Diego City officials say the inflated cost reflects the actual cost by the city to insure that solar systems are installed in a safe and appropriate manner. The rate increase, they insist, has nothing to do with the city’s general fund.

Still, it’s surprising the city would make such a move, given last year’s study by the Sierra Club in California, which showed a solar permitting fee disparity among California cities of thousasnds of dollars, with the higher fees being a definite turnoff in regard to installing solar and the one thing that could defeat California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Million Solar Roofs goal.

For example, in 2009, solar permitting fees in Los Angeles County were about $1,143, or almost three times as much as in Orange County ($426), Riverside ($404) and San Bernardino ($401).

Once the study was released, Los Angeles County officials hastily backpedaled, dropping fees to $370. But even at their pinnacle, LA County fees were nowhere near the $5,000 that Morgan Hill (California) businessman Bob Kushner paid to install his $140,000 panel solar array in 2005.

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