Southern California environment news and trends

LA City Council approves electricity rate hikes after a year and a half of prep

Huntington Beach Power Plant

Bear Guerra/KPCC

The Los Angeles City Council has approved electricity rate hikes for Angelenos after the city’s utility spent a year and a half laying groundwork for the increase.

The Los Angeles City Council has approved electricity rate hikes for Angelenos after the city’s utility spent a year and a half laying groundwork for the increase.

Most average homeowners served by the L.A. Department of Water and Power will pay rates around 5 percent higher over two years. Small commercial customers are set to see an 11 percent hike over that same period.

LADWP executives told the council that mandates for renewable energy, for greenhouse gas reduction and for prohibiting power plants from using sea water to cool equipment are driving the costs.

Replacing poles and lines to keep lights reliably on is a factor, too.

Ten council members voted to support the rate hike, which had the blessing of L.A.’s ratepayer advocate, Fred Pickel. Council member Jan Perry, who is running for mayor, and Councilmen Dennis Zine, Mitch Englander and Bernard Parks all voted against the increase.

The measure will return to council for a second reading next week.

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