LADWP rate hike obtains preliminary approval

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power bills could be going up after a preliminary hike was OK'd by the City Council. (KABC)

The Los Angeles City Council voted on Wednesday to give preliminary approval to the L.A. Department of Water and Power to raise its rates.

Another vote will take place at a later date. If that second vote passes, it could mean that water rates can increase by 4.7 percent and power rates can increase by 3.86 percent each year for the next five years.

By the end of that five-year stretch, the average DWP customer could pay about $21 more per month than they do now.

The new revenue would go toward upgrades to the city's aging pipe system and also meeting clean energy and climate change mandates.

DWP officials say they want to use the extra money to help prevent situations similar to what happened on the UCLA campus in 2014.

PHOTOS: Water-main break floods UCLA campus

More than 20 million gallons of water flooded underground parking garages and sent rivers of water rushing through the campus. The damage was caused by a ruptured 90-year-old city water line.

Officials say that hundreds of miles of city water lines are deteriorating and need replacement. They say some are more than 100 years old.
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