Archive for  April 9th 2019

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Prospective solar energy customers could face new fees, and experts say it could delay a return on investment.

Jeff Tegrotenhuis’ solar panels cost about $8,000 to install. He saves about $50 a month. That’s about a 15 year return on his investment.

Tegrotenhuis’ current solar energy system is grandfathered in, but under a statehouse proposal, future solar customers won’t. The bill allows energy companies to charge solar users about $27 a month to use the energy grid.

“It’s a fairness issue because if you use the grid then you should take part in the safety and maintenance of the grid,” Tina Hoffman with MidAmerican Energy said.

1 Source Solar in Ankeny fears the bill could impact business.

“It’ll make our clients return on initial investment at least double,” said Todd Miller of 1 Source Solar.

The latest numbers from the Solar Energy Industries Association show nearly 4,000 solar panels were installed last year.

“We do about 60 to 70 residential installs a year. In total, 150 installations a year,” Miller said. “That number would at least be cut in half, if not more”.

Regardless of what happens at the statehouse, Miller hopes people see the value in solar energy.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — West Des Moines police announced an arrest Monday made in connection to the death of an 18-year-old woman.

Police charged 17-year-old Eliazar Montoya Gama of Des Moines with one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree robbery.

The arrest was made in the connection to the homicide of 18-year-old Sakira Kezia Tamara Bonner.

Police said the investigation identified Gama as a person of interested, and he was later located by Des Moines police. West Des Moines detectives interviewed Gama and filed the charges.

Friday night, police got a call around 11:42 p.m. from someone driving through the area of S. 64th Street and Coachlight Drive in West Des Moines and found Bonner in the middle of the road. She was transported by ambulance to a hospital where she later died.

Gama is currently being held at the Dallas County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing.