LADWP Settlement Will Return $44 Million to Customers

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has agreed to return $44 million to thousands of customers who were overcharged under a botched billing system upgrade two years ago.

A proposed lawsuit settlement announced Monday would grant credits or refunds to overbilled customers, with most receiving $10 or less.

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The DWP also would spend $20 million to overhaul the billing system, and all 1.6 million DWP customer accounts would be audited.

A judge must still approve the settlement.

The utility's new computerized service was supposed to integrate billing, service calls and other operations. But after the September 2013 rollout, the utility was flooded with complaints about inaccurate and inflated bills, jamming phone lines.

The city has sued PricewaterhouseCoopers, which helped set up the billing system. The company has called the lawsuit meritless.

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