LA Council committee approves DWP rate increases

Proposed Los Angeles Department of Water and Power rate increases were approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council's Energy and Environment Committee, and will now go to the full City Council.

Committee chair Felipe Fuentes voiced reservations about the electricity rate proposal, saying he wished there was "a more robust conversation'' by the LADWP board that approved it, but he threw his support behind the water rate plan.

"Excited about water, really concerned and nervous about electricity,'' Fuentes said, before agreeing with the rest of the panel to advance the proposals to a City Council vote tomorrow.

The council only has the ability to "affirm or deny'' the rate hike plans, which were previously approved by the LADWP board, which is comprised of members appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who supports both proposals.

Under LADWP's water rate hike plan, the average customers would see a 4.76 percent annual increase, or an additional $3 a month, for each of the next five years. This would mean that a monthly bill of $57.79 for the typical residential water user would increase to an average rate of $72.90 at the end of the five years, according to an example in a staff report.

With the electricity rate increases, the typical single-family household in Los Angeles could see its monthly electricity bill go up a total of $12 over five years.

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