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They’re at it again.  LADWP is raising electricity rates 11.1% over the next two years, unless the LA City Council votes against the hikes, which they won’t.

After internal LADWP approval, endorsement from the LADWP Rate Payer Advocacy Group, and now tentative backing from the LA City Council before a second vote next week, the increase appears destined to hit our pocketbooks.

What might be the reason behind the rise? To bloat the salaries of utility employees?  No.  Well, at least not directly.  More on that later…

A LADWP issued press release from September 12, 2012 states:

“The Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners moved forward today with a proposed 2-year electric rate change to pay to pay for investments needed to comply with legal mandates that are driving a complete transformation of LADWP’s power supply, to invest in replacing rapidly aging infrastructure to maintain reliability and expand customer opportunities through additional investment in money-saving energy efficiency programs which also comply with state requirements.”

Solar Forward crew installs SunPower Panels on a tile roof

Whether we continue charging our lives off finite fossil fuels, or invest in pricier renewable energy (which thankfully we are shifting towards), the fact is our energy expenses will and must rise.  Here in California, electricity rates are rising at an average of 6% each year.

And there’s more.  According to a LA Times article, “Independent ratepayer advocate Fred Pickel told the council that the DWP’s financial plan called for possible increases of 7.8% in 2014, 7.6% in 2015 and 6% in 2016.”

Yes, it’s a drag.  No, we can’t change it.*

Still, LADWP’s publicity battle would have been easier had it not just been revealed that their staff are paid approximately 26% – 46% more than workers at other utilities.  While levelheaded Angelinos may accept higher energy costs during an economic downturn, it’s a bit hard to swallow in light of these generous salaries.

*Here’s the secret: you can avoid utility inflation.  Go solar.  Produce your own energy by purchasing a solar system, with an average ROI of 7-9 years.  After that, your electricity is free.  Or, lease a solar system for no money upfront, paying only a low monthly payment for the next 20 years.  Zero-percent interest.  No catch.  Contact Solar Forward for a free estimate, www.solarforward.com.