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LA DWP proposes more rate hikes over 2 years

A sign is seen outside the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power building in this undated file photo.
April 4, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Power and water bills could be going up again for Los Angeles residents. The L.A. Department of Water and Power is proposing more rate hikes.

The utility company asked for an increase of 10.5 percent on power and 4.9 percent on water over the next two years. That works out to an average monthly increase for residential customers of $3.35 on power bills and $2.53 on water bills.

The proposal first goes to the DWP Board of Commissioners. If approved, it would then go to the city council and mayor for final approval.

DWP General Manger Ron Nichols said the department has not raised electricity rates since 2010. He also said the rate hikes were 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.

Nichols first proposed the rates hikes last summer. The utility company 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.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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