AUSTIN (Austin Business Journal) — The board of directors for Pedernales Electric Cooperative Inc. will consider rate increases for solar customers at its July 16 meeting — increases that have caught the wary eye of at least one major solar company as well as some homeowners who have purchased panels.

While the change would affect wind and battery-powered customers as well, the bulk of homeowners affected use solar. PEC serves about 356,000 customers, mostly rural and suburban residents west of Austin.

The proposed changes include time of use charges, which would mean higher rates during peak hours, typically during the hottest parts of the day or the hours around dinner time. Multiple fees — including application and installation charges — are also being considered.

As it is, solar customers are paying under 3 cents per kilowatt-hour for distribution. Under the proposed new bill structure, customers would pay a “demand charge” of $5.15 per kilowatt during peak demand times.

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