No getting around it, maintaining lines and poles is skilled labor-intensive work.
So this is it: just a few appearances left before the L.A. City Council, and soon customers of the L.A. Department of Water & Power could see slightly bigger bills. This week, it's the Energy and Environment committee, at 2 o'clock Wednesday. If all goes according to plan, the issue will go before the full council next week.
I spoke to the chairman of the energy and environment committeel, Jose Huizar, for the story that aired today. Frankly, while he seemed skeptical about information the DWP has provided to the council in the past, he seemed pretty confident in the present rate case, as analyzed by the ratepayer advocate. The concerns he raised were fairly run-of-the-mill, bread-and-butter ones, about low-income and senior constituents; how rates impact those folks is always a concern, and always will be.
Compare that to marathon late-night meetings after Mayor Villaraigosa first uttered the words "carbon tax" during the discussion about the energy cost adjustment factor, or ECAF, and the months of scrutiny about the DWP's motives that followed. About everything, especially greenhouse gas reduction related policies, coal, renewables, even energy efficiency. DWP's come a long way, public relations wise.
Stay tuned for more about the DWP's rate hike proposal, cause we'll have it.