The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will host a community meeting at on Wednesday evening to discuss rate increases which they assert are necessary to pay for infrastructure upgrades and the conversion to more renewable energy sources.
The plan put forward by LADWP would increase rates by 4.6-percent beginning July 1, 2012 and by 5.9-percent beginning July 1, 2013-- a total of 10.5% over 2 years. It would make for an increase of 1.4 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to the current average rate. According to the LADWP, the typical residential customer, using 500 kWh, would have $3.35 added to their current $65.79 monthly bill.
General Manager Ronald O. Nichols and LADWP Senior Managers will present the proposed power and water rate changes during the upcoming meetings, answer questions and take comments.
“We began a conversation last summer regarding the fundamental reasons why LADWP needs to increase water and power rates,” Nichols said. “A lot has happened in the past year; legal mandates that were unclear have come into focus. Aging equipment has gotten older and deferred costs are mounting. A ratepayer advocate has been appointed and is at work reviewing these proposals.”
The proposed power rates will also fund new investments in energy efficiency programs, as a way to mitigate the potential bill impacts. Energy efficiency is also a cost-effective way to meet environmental mandates and improve reliability.
Potential water rate increases will also be addressed at the meeting.
The Water Quality Factor adjustment approved earlier this year--$0.35 per billing unit (748 gallons) for mandated drinking water quality improvements--enables LADWP to defer consideration of an additional water rate action until later this year.
In fiscal year 2012/13, customers will see an automatic adjustment for purchased water when the price is adjusted in late Spring. An additional increase of about 0.5--percent is planned, as part of rate adjustments that require Board of Water and Power Commissioners action only, to support continued development of local water supply programs. These include water conservation, recycled water, stormwater capture, and groundwater cleanup.
For fiscal year 2013/14, LADWP is proposing a 4.6% water rate increase effective July 1, 2013, excluding the cost of purchased water, to invest further in pipeline and related infrastructure replacement, local water supply programs and additional water quality investments that are part of $1.1 billion required for water quality compliance.
Nichols stressed that while action on the request was not needed immediately, the increase needs approval this year to allow time to approve the necessary construction and related water quality improvement contracts and hire and train pipeline replacement crew members.
LADWP's community meeting in Highland Park will be held on Wednesday, May 2 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Ramona Hall Community Center. To attend, RSVP by calling 213-367-1361 or clicking here.
This report was adapted from a LADWP press release.