Encinitas City Council voted Wednesday night to waive permit fees for electric-vehicle charging stations and solar panel projects as part of a one-year pilot program.
The program aims to encourage residents to explore alternative energy sources, a trend that appears to be on the rise in Encinitas. Last year there were 120 energy efficiency projects, this year there have already been 116, and city staff said they expect that trend to keep growing.
Processing these energy-efficiency permits translates to about $14,500 in annual revenue for the city, according to a staff report (a digital copy is attached).
A permit for a solar panel or solar water heater costs $318, and about $200 of that goes to EsGil Corp., a local company that helps with inspection and permitting. A permit for an electric vehicle charging station costs $274, and about $170 of that goes to EsGil Corp.
City staff will be asking EsGil Corp. to support the pilot program by also waiving or reducing its fees.
After the one-year trial, city staff will report back to council so it can decide whether to extend, eliminate or change the program.
Natural gas vehicle home refueling projects are also eligible for the pilot program, though city staff said those are so rare, none are anticipated.