As expected, Cape Coral passed the Public Service Tax measure on April 29, 2013. The tax impacts every utility electric customer in the City. The more you use electricity, the more tax you pay.
As I noted in my earlier post, solar energy producers can avoid tax on every kilowatt-hour they reduce or produce with solar energy.
The City of Cape Coral released an online calculator that has a few deficiencies. Most importantly to me is that the calculator ignores solar producing customers using LCEC’s netmetering program (both commercial and residential). If you are a small commercial (non-demand charge) or residential customer with solar electric panels and you have a netmetered account, you pay different rates than standard utility customers. As a result, your tax calculation is different. The City’s calculator only shows large commercial (demand charge) rates, and not small commercial rates.
The good news is that there isn’t much tax difference for netmetered customers, who often pay lower rates than those who don’t produce solar energy. In fact, many residential netmetered customers fall below the 500 kWh tax threshold, so they will pay no tax except tax on the customer charge, or $1.35. Netmetered customers with an energy surplus in any month will also pay just $1.35!
I felt obligated to produce a better calculator that could be used by most commercial and residential netmetered customers who are producing solar energy. This calculator should match Cape Coral’s calculator for residential customers without solar electricity.
If the calculator does not appear below, you may access it directly at: http://szumlanski.com/PST/
Assumptions and Disclaimers: This calculator is based on the 7% Public Service Tax as approved on April 29, 2013 and utility rates are accurate as of May 1, 2013 to the best of my knowledge. SolarSouthwestFlorida and it’s author are not responsible for and errors or omissions in this calculator. Please use with caution. Results are for approximate reference only. Rounding errors may exist. The City of Cape Coral’s office calculator can be accessed by clicking here.