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City waives permit fees for alternative energy projects

The list of qualifying devices includes passive solar space heating, solar water heating, solar thermal electric, photovoltaic, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, fuel cells and alternative energy refueling stations.

As energy costs creep higher, solar panels and similar devices gain in appeal.

The Hillsboro City Council voted Tuesday to provide another incentive to residents considering adding these systems to their homes or businesses: Qualifying devices will be exempt from payment of the normal permit fees associated with installation or construction.

The list of qualifying devices includes passive solar space heating, solar water heating, solar thermal electric, photovoltaic, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, fuel cells and alternative energy refueling stations.

Other devices may also qualify if they meet the standards of an "alternative energy device" as defined by Oregon statute.

Modifications to existing structures or devices - even though intended to conserve energy - do not qualify for the fee waiver.

City Manager Tim Erwert expressed concern over the loss of revenue while the city continues to incur the costs associated with the permitting process, including inspections. Staff will monitor qualifying projects, and the council can revisit the issue should this number become significant.

Councilor Nenice Andrews questioned the logic of this plan. "The aim is to... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

As energy costs creep higher, solar panels and similar devices gain in appeal.

The Hillsboro City Council voted Tuesday to provide another incentive to residents considering adding these systems to their homes or businesses: Qualifying devices will be exempt from payment of the normal permit fees associated with installation or construction.

The list of qualifying devices includes passive solar space heating, solar water heating, solar thermal electric, photovoltaic, wind, biomass, hydroelectric, fuel cells and alternative energy refueling stations.

Other devices may also qualify if they meet the standards of an "alternative energy device" as defined by Oregon statute.

Modifications to existing structures or devices - even though intended to conserve energy - do not qualify for the fee waiver.

City Manager Tim Erwert expressed concern over the loss of revenue while the city continues to incur the costs associated with the permitting process, including inspections. Staff will monitor qualifying projects, and the council can revisit the issue should this number become significant.

Councilor Nenice Andrews questioned the logic of this plan. "The aim is to encourage alternative energy," she said, "but if they take hold, we'll take away that incentive." She stressed the need to find other ways to encourage use of new technologies.

Councilor Ed Dennis suggested the Transportation Committee might investigate further incentives.


Source: http://www.oregonlive.com/n...

SEP 8 2006
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