It’s an idea that has been kicked around for a while, both by advocates of renewable energy and by Mayor Villaraigosa in his effort to generate 20% of L.A.’s energy from renewable sources—finally yesterday the Mayor announced a “carbon surcharge” that could boost electric bills by 8.8% and 24.8%, depending on where customers live and their power usage. The proposed increases would go toward funding new green energy projects for the DWP, like wind and solar, and could generate as many as 16,000 jobs. The increased rates will also surely add to the irritation of DWP customers who are already feeling the pinch of more expensive public services and a continued slumping economy. Many Los Angelinos probably consider themselves environmentalists—will they be willing to pay for their environmentalism?
S. David Freeman, acting general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power