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Old 03-16-2010, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ma
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Default L.A. utility rates may rise between 8%-28% to pay for mayor's green initiatives,7870063.story

DWP rates may rise between 8% and 28% to pay for mayor's green initiatives
The hike would pay for more aggressive conservation programs and a solar plan designed to create 16,000 jobs as well as cover the fluctuating price of coal and natural gas.
By David Zahniser and Phil Willon

March 15, 2010 | 11:21 p.m.

Households that get their power from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power could see their electric bills go up between 8.8% and 28.4%, depending on where they live and how much energy they use, under a plan unveiled Monday by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Appearing with labor and environmental leaders, Villaraigosa said the proposed increases would ensure that the DWP meets his goal of securing 20% of its energy from renewable sources such as wind and solar by Dec. 31.

The increased revenue would help pay for new environmental initiatives, including more aggressive conservation programs and a solar initiative designed to create 16,000 jobs.

But it also would address the DWP's failure to collect enough money to cover the cost of existing renewable energy initiatives and the fluctuating price of coal and natural gas, utility officials said.

"Nobody's denying that this is a big increase -- at least I'm not," said DWP Acting General Manager S. David Freeman. "Because we've put it off so . . . long, [ratepayers] have saved money in the last three years."

The mayor has been talking for weeks about the need for the DWP to charge more. Monday was the first day his team showed its estimate of the effects on consumers of the increase, which is scheduled to be phased in over a full year starting next month.

Under the plan, households that use the smallest amount of electricity -- technically known as Tier 1 customers -- would see an average increase of 8.8%. Those customers make up 58% of the DWP's residential ratepayers.

Tier 2 customers, who use more power and make up 36% of the utility's residential customers, would see an average increase of 16.8% to 18.9%. Tier 3 customers, who use the most power and make up the remaining 6%, would face hikes in their electric bills of 24.4% to 28.4%, according to documents provided by the mayor's office.

In the hotter San Fernando Valley, where ratepayers receive a slight break on their bills, the average Tier 1 customer would see monthly electric bills jump from $38.76 to $42.17 by April 2011. A Tier 2 customer in the Valley would see the monthly bill increase from $92.19 to $107.60, according to the proposal.

Businesses would see increases in the average bill ranging from 20% to 26%. Any increase would become less steep, however, once ratepayers adopt conservation measures or find ways to install solar panels and sell the excess power to the DWP, mayoral aides said.

The DWP board, whose members are appointed by the mayor, must approve the plan for the increases to go into effect; the proposal goes before the board Thursday. The City Council will review the plan in upcoming weeks and can affirm it or send it back for more work.

The mayor also warned that more increases would be needed to reach his next goal: securing 40% of the DWP's power from renewable sources by 2020.

"We could have raised our fees even more to address the long-term goal of taking us to 40% renewables by 2020 and coal-free," he said. "We knew we had to do this incrementally."

Either way, the proposal drew complaints from a Westside neighborhood activist, who described the increase as a hidden tax.

Mike Eveloff, president of the Tract 7260 Homeowners Assn., criticized the mayor for seeking more money at the same time the DWP is providing at least $220 million annually to balance the city's budget. "As long as the DWP is showing a surplus, then they have no rational reason for seeking a rate increase," he said.

Once all the increases are in place, the DWP will receive an additional $648 million per year.

Villaraigosa said the money would help pay for the hiring of "green doctors" to evaluate the energy efficiency of homes and stepped-up efforts to help residents obtain energy-efficient lightbulbs and refrigerators.

One union leader said residents would support the increases once they knew how the money would be spent.

"When they see that there is a clear-cut plan to do what we need to do in this city -- which is to be more green, to create jobs -- then I think that most people . . . are willing to go along with that," said Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the L.A. County Federation of Labor.


Copyright 2010, The Los Angeles Times
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:10 AM
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Bri-M Bri-M is offline
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Default Mayor flimflam

Did the mayor mention anywhere here that he will probably skim off some if not all of this money for his pet projects? he already is doing this. this is why he thinks that they don't charge enough.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:58 PM
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ilbegone ilbegone is offline
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Some things to look at:

What do DWP customers pay per KWH compared to customers of nearby municipalities and investor owned utilities?

The monthly billing figures per household sound competitive to me. What exactly are they talking about? There is a wide fluctuation of the sizes of housing and personal life styles. I don't believe residents of Boyle Heights or Van Nuys use electricity like the inhabitants of Hollywood Hills or Brentwood Estates.

It needs to be spelled out what exactly is "Tier 1", "tier 2", the charge per kilowatt hour for each one, average KWH usage per neighborhood, and the prevailing "tier" for typical housing of each neighborhood.

Then there would be something with substance to discuss.
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Last edited by ilbegone; 03-17-2010 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:41 AM
Rim05 Rim05 is offline
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Did the mayor mention anywhere here that he will probably skim off some if not all of this money for his pet projects? he already is doing this. this is why he thinks that they don't charge enough.
Soon only his people will be able to live in LA. He needs more funds to coddle his gangs with training them for employment (who says they want to work?) providing them with a rec center where they can play and plan their illegal activites, $200,000 to train low income (legal or illegal?) residents to be gardeners. Thank you Mr Mayor! All this while what working residents left are being taxed to death. Maybe that is how he is going to get rid of the legal citizens so this city can become what everyone said it will be.
I am sure they all thank you LA voters, for electing their Leader.
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:54 PM
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Ole Glory Ole Glory is offline
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