Environment & Science

Deja vu as LA City Council sends one-time 4.5% rate hike to DWP board

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The Los Angeles City Council again approved a small hike in energy bills. KPCC's Molly Peterson reports that this time, the vote's provoked a different reaction.

City Council members approved the same increase in the energy cost adjustment factor they OK'ed two weeks ago. This vote sends a one-time increase of about 4.5 percent to the Department of Water and Power's board of commissioners.

The board rejected that increase last time; it favored a slightly higher adjustment. L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said then that he didn't have the authority to force his appointees on the commission to decide a certain way.

This time, Villaraigosa issued an immediate statement approving the rate hike as a reasonable compromise. The DWP board will meet tonight to consider the proposed rate hike.

Even if the board approves it, the rate adjustment won't go into effect until the first of July. There's a possibility that DWP rates will go up again in October. Before that happens, the L.A. City Council wants the DWP to prepare a detailed report about its finances.