LA city council delays vote to raise water rates

The L.A. City Council has delayed voting on a plan that could raise water rates for homes and businesses this summer. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more.

The L.A. City Council has delayed voting on a plan that could raise water rates for homes and businesses this summer. KPCC’s Molly Peterson has more.

Molly Peterson: The council is considering a new rate structure for the Department of Water and Power. Right now, DWP customers can pay one rate to use water up to a certain amount – above that amount, the rate goes up.

DWP commissioners approved a plan aimed to encourage conservation – essentially, it would impose the higher rate sooner. Customers who use 15 percent less water wouldn’t pay more. Those who don’t turn the taps off would pay a financial penalty.

The DWP calls this shortage year pricing. Some council members called it a rate increase. They said information about the rates arrived too slowly to fully consider them.

The DWP had hoped to put the new rates in place by June 1, but the utility needs to give customers a month’s notice. Its commissioners must now send a modified plan back to the city council before any rates change.

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