Electric shock: Glendale residents stunned by expected increase in power rates

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Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Glendale residents could see shocking increases in electricity rates
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Glendale Water and Power plans rate increases that could total more than 35% over the next three years.

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- The cost of electricity in the city of Glendale could be going up soon - by a lot.

"Oh, I don't like that at all," says Glendale resident Arlene Grace.

Glendale Water and Power says it needs to raise rates for long-term projects. It plans for more solar, a biofuel plant at the existing Scholl landfill and an upgrade to the power grid.

GWP General Manager Mark Young says "We're doing that in in preparation for two things. The electrification of vehicles and building electrification is really going to put a heavy strain on our distribution system, as is putting rooftop solar throughout the city."

Young explained this to the City Council last month. As of now the proposed rate increases would be an average of about 14.8% in December - then 11.3% on July 1 of next year and another 11.3% on July 1, 2025.

Council members were stunned when they heard the amount of these increases.

"The residents are going to go crazy when you do your final workup and residential rates are put in. They're going to go bananas," says Councilmember Ara Najarian.

"I will probably be seeing a 20% rate increase. I was devastated by this report. I was shocked by this report," says Councilwoman Paula Devine.

We looked at the numbers and found that among public utilities, Glendale already has some of the highest electricity rates in our area.

Frank Tucker, who lives in Glendale, says he's on a fixed income.

"I know rates are going to go up but that's a lot of money - 14% is a lot. Social Security only gives you like 3 1/2% raise a year," says Tucker.

"Everything is going up. What about our pay? We're not getting any raise anyway," says Grace.

GWP is set to present the full rate proposal to the City Council in November. If approved, it would go into effect on Dec. 1.