Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

L.A.'s ratepayer advocate backs hikes in electricity charges

DWP water main break
The ratepayer advocate appointed to bring more transparency to utility bill hikes at Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power gave his blessing Wednesday to a proposed 11% electricity rate increase.

Fred Pickel, who was appointed in February to the office created by voters last year, told the utility's board of commissioners that the increase is necessary to pay for capital improvements mandated by state and federal law.

Over two years, the rate increase would add about $3.55 per month to the typical residential bill, and about $18.60 per month to a high-use residential bill, according to DWP officials.

The ratepayer advocate’s report drew little argument from Jack Humphreville, a longtime critic of the DWP and its policies. Although he wanted to hear more from Pickel on long-term electricity rates and the DWP’s yearly payment to the city budget, Humphreville said, he generally agrees with his overall conclusion.

“I think the increase is reasonable given the circumstances facing the DWP, which is that they’re getting slammed by environmental regulations and people are paying for past sins -- not maintaining the infrastructure,” he said.

Pickel plans to release his review of the utility's proposed water rate increase next week. The City Council is scheduled to vote on both rate proposals in late September.

Pickel generally was complimentary of the DWP, which he said had been forthcoming and helpful during his rate analysis. Still, he said, the department must do more to reduce labor costs in the future, adding that DWP employees are paid much more than workers at other utilities.


LL Cool J breaks burglar's jaw in 'knock-down, drag-out' fight

L.A. considers spending millions to survey its broken sidewalks

U.S. Open tennis umpire told cops she wasn't home when husband died

-- Kate Linthicum and David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall


Photo: Workers repair a broken Los Angeles Department of Water and Power main. Credit: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (0)


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: