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The primary agenda item addressed by members of Truth or Consequences’ Public Utility Advisory Board Monday evening, July 19, involved proposed revisions to Ordinance No. 664, specifically pertaining to the establishment of residential solar energy systems. Board members ultimately approved several revisions and a direction for their recommendations to be forwarded to the city commission for consideration.  

Responding to a direction from city manager Bruce Swingle and the commission, board members first noted a need to remove wording that previously placed a limit on the size of an alternative energy system residents might install. This was found to be in violation of state law and the board agreed removal of the related wording would be in order. 

After discussion of other concerns with the ordinance, PUAB members also agreed to recommend a set payback fee five-cent per Kilowatt-hour for excess energy generated by such systems. In response to a request from the city manager, board members further agreed to include a $20 per month cap on credit for any excess energy generation. In this way, members suggested even a very large solar energy system would return a maximum of $240 annually to any individual account. 

•The evening’s only other action item was the annual consideration of board leadership. With no other nominations entered, PUAB members unanimously approved the re-election of George Szigeti to serve as board chairman and for Jeff Dornbusch to also return as the board’s vice-chair.

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