DWP proposes rate increase for water, electricity
Increase needed to meet ‘mandates, regulatory requirements’
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Manager Ron Nichols has proposed raising power rates by 10.5 percent and water rates by 4.9 percent over two years.
The rate increases would raise the average monthly bill about $3.35 for most residential power customers and $2.53 for monthly water bills.
Nichols presented the rate increase to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners this afternoon. Nichols said he planned to do extensive public outreach and would bring the rate proposal back to the board in June. If approved, it would then go to the City Council and the mayor for final approval.
During a briefing with reporters before the commission meeting, Nichols said the department has not raised electricity rates since 2010, when utility officials and City Council members waged a bruising public battle over rate increases.
LADWP officials point out that Los Angeles water customers pay among the lowest rates of big cities in the state, an average of $40.18 per month. Water customers pay an average of $62.67 per month in San Diego and $56.35 per month in San Francisco, according to the LADWP.
Nichols said the rate hikes are necessary to meet strict legal mandates and regulatory requirements, such as a state law mandating that the department generate 33 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. The utility also needs to replace aging power generators and water infrastructure.
Much of the revenue from water rate increases would go to expanding the city’s local water supply by funding conservation measures, capturing more storm water and recycling water.
The goal is “to wean us off of imported water,” which is the most expensive source of drinking water, Nichols said.
The power rate increase would fund the replacement of aging coal-fired coastal power plants, installing more renewable energy and replacing aging power transmission infrastructure.
The electricity rate increase would also be used to pay for a solar program approved by the City Council Tuesday. The so-called Feed-in-Tariff would allow the department to purchase solar power produced by customers in the city.
Nichols said he expected to ask the City Council to consider the power rate increase first, and the water rate hike later.
A power rate increase of more than 10 percent proposed by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is going before the full City Council for a vote.
The increase was proposed in the middle of 2011, but the Council postponed voting on it until the Ratepayer Advocate, Fredrick H. Pickel, Ph.D., could provide an independent analysis of the proposal.
When L.A. voters went to the polls on March 8, they passed 10 of the 11 measures presented. Following are an explanation of the changes these measures will bring forth.
Measure G will reduce the city’s costs for the pension and retirement healthcare plans for newly hired police officers and firefighters. The ballot question does not apply to the pension plans or retirement healthcare costs of existing police officers and firefighters. Measure G rolls back benefits that were created with Los Angeles Charter Amendment A in 2001.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—A North Hollywood High School team won the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's regional Science Bowl and will travel to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Science Bowl, April 28-May 2.
The school's Team A will advance to the national competition after coming out on top Saturday during the regional Science Bowl in downtown Los Angeles. North Hollywood placed third in the national competition last year.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — City Councilman Dennis Zine and attorney Ron Galperin, each promising to root out abuse, fraud and waste as the city’s official watchdog, will face off today in a runoff contest to succeed Controller Wendy Greuel.
In the primary, Zine, who has positioned himself as an experienced City Hall veteran, finished a few hundred votes behind Galperin, a businessman who touts his “outside” perspective.
Prior to Laura Chick taking office as Los Angeles city controller in 2001, few in the public really paid close attention to the audits that were the exclusive domain of that department.
The charter establishes the controller as an elected official and gives that individual responsibility for serving as the auditor and chief accounting officer of the city.