LADWP talks power rate hike

powerlinesAccording to officials, it’s a new day at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power where costs have gone up and most see rates will too.  DWP has begun to hold public meetings throughout its service area to talk about costs and rates.  Such a meeting will take place in the Eastern Sierra at the Tri-County Fairgrounds Monday, July 18th.

In a press release from DWP, the utility states that “The power industry in California and nationwide is undergoing a total transformation.”  The release refers to unprecedented and new legal mandates and the need to “replace aging power infrastructure to maintain strong reliability.”  DWP officials say they want to hear the public’s priorities.

You can check out more on this at

In an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times, writer Jim Newton reveals more.  Newton says DWP faces rough state mandates for renewable energy, obligations to restore the Owens Lake, increasing claims on its most expensive source of water, the Colorado River, and the huge need to replace power poles and water mains.  Newton writes that the only solution is rate hikes.

New DWP Manager Ron Nichols has been hosting meetings across LA. It is unknown if the top man will come to the Owens Valley meeting. Nichols admits the first reaction to rate hikes is resistance.  He points out that LA pays less for water and power than anywhere else in California.

Nichols is quoted as saying that mandated costs will push up electric rates by more than 15% over the next three years.  The DWP meeting in the Owens Valley happens Monday, July18th, 6:30 pm at the Tri-County Fairgrounds.

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33 Responses to LADWP talks power rate hike

  1. Ken Warner July 18, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    I’m not sure who you are labeling villain. I don’t claim to have the depth of understanding necessary to grasp the crux of the issue you’ve presented. But I found this —

    Last year, the Alliance of California Judges fought for a legislative audit of CCMS (California Case Management System). The former chief justice, the AOC, and the current head of the CCMS “oversight committee” all weighed in against it. Thankfully, our side prevailed. The February 2011 Bureau of State Audits report reveals a stunning record of failure, misinformation, mismanagement, and lack of oversight. The project, first slated at $250 million, may top out at $3 billion and will likely be obsolete by the time it is fully deployed in 2016.

    WRT: Unions. I’m sure your boss would welcome your offer to work 80 hrs a week for less than minimum wage and no health care or sick days or holidays off. Make a personal stand against Union style working conditions. It’s a small gesture but you’ll feel better for it….

  2. Surrounded by ? July 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm #


    Another spectacular blog that doesn’t have anything to do with anything. Short term memory is must be gone. The only two things you can remember is Bob is good and pensions are bad. I have to give it to you. You are now a two trick pony. Keep up the tricks and maybe someday you’ll be able to retire on them.

  3. Ken Warner July 16, 2011 at 11:13 am #

    The random hate and anger in these blogs is startling. Where does it come from? Why do most of you express yourself such? What satisfaction do you get from it?

    • upthecreek July 18, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      just keep paying your taxes…

      • upthecreek July 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

        Hey Ken

        On a more positive note

        This is what the power of the union can do in the name of progress\\

        SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Superior Court announced Monday that it’s laying off more than 40 percent of its staff and shuttering 25 courtrooms because of budget cuts.

        Presiding Judge Katherine Feinstein said the actions were necessary to close a $13.75 million budget deficit caused by state budget cuts. She said the cuts mean it will take many more hours to pay a traffic ticket in person, up to 18 months to finalize a divorce and five years for a lawsuit to go to trial.

        “The civil justice system in San Francisco is collapsing,” Feinstein said.

        Some 200 of the court’s 480 workers will be let go by Sept. 30, including 11 of 12 commissioners who preside over a variety of cases. And she said it could get worse if optimistic revenue projections don’t materialize by January.

        “The future is very, very bleak for our courts,” Feinstein said at a Monday press conference. Feinstein said criminal cases would remain largely unaffected because of constitutional guarantees of speedy trials. Every other type of court, though, is facing significant cutbacks.

        The San Francisco courts aren’t the only courts facing cutbacks, only the most dramatic. The Judicial Council, which manages the judicial branch’s budget, will decide Friday whether to cut funding of local courts by 8.8 percent or about $305 million.

        Other courts are considering unpaid furloughs for workers, shorter hours for clerks and other cost-cutting measures. None are going as far as San Francisco, but the budget woes have caused discord within the judiciary.

        The Alliance of California Judges was formed almost three years ago by judges unhappy with the Judicial Council’s fiscal management. In particular, the Alliance is demanding administrators scrap plans for a new computer system projected to cost $2 billion to fully install state wide.

        Instead, court administrators are proposing delaying the project for a year, which would save $100 million.

  4. Inyoear July 15, 2011 at 1:16 am #

    I’m retiring from 35 years in public postion at the end of the month. As I’m filling out my PENSION paperwork, I’m smiling and thinking of you. Keep paying your taxes little man so that I can keep receiving my huge monthly check to support my fishing and hunting habits. I might even try some traveling.

    • upthecreek July 15, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      Good for your Mr Pension Man..

      You just better hope the Little man is around to keep your checks coming in.. It is just a matter of time before the system implodes and it will be UGLY.

      Also Iam sure you are leaving with some type of disability to avoid paying taxes and maybe you might even move to Nevada to avoid paying any of that lovley Taxifornia
      state income tax.

      best of luck Mr Pension Man

    • Rob July 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

      Inyoear – I’m not so little,

      Enjoy your time off. It doesn’t get much better then hunting and fishing.

  5. Ken Warner July 12, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    Here’s one web page that outlines the relative costs of various forms of electrical energy production.

    It might not be completely accurate and I’m sure that these kinds of estimates change weekly as all the technology involved continually evolves.

    Nuclear is currently highest overall and we get about 20% of our electricity from nuclear. Coal is the cheapest and also the dirtiest. New “clean coal” will cost more — not clear how much more.

    Solar, wind, geothermal are about 5-6% of total. Your electric bill reflects not so much the cost of generation but the cost of distribution and all the little people in between who take little piece of your dollar each time they pass it on from middle man to middle man.

  6. Rob July 11, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Benett – even if you’re right about DWP’s real financial situation Mono and Inyo Counties have never forced and have had little influence over decisions LADWP has made in the past. I don’t expect that to change much in the future either.

  7. Joann Lijek July 11, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    Wrong Pancake, most people who pay into pension plans also pay into Social Security and Medicare. I disagree that SS and Medicare are “entitlements”. We pay in, and properly invested and managed, we should get something out. This is the same with pension plans.

    • Agitated Pancake July 15, 2011 at 5:36 am #

      Sorry I didn’t lay the sarcasm on thick enough, I has trying to point out that these programs are the same as a pension. We are on the same page.

  8. Daris July 11, 2011 at 5:09 pm #

    Dear Agitated Pancake I beg your pardon both myself and my husband paid into a pension plan at work and Social Security. Some professions are able to not pay into Social Security because of union contracts. Please get your facts straight before you put your foot in your mouth.

    • Agitated Pancake July 15, 2011 at 5:34 am #

      A little more research shows I stand corrected. It is also my understanding that you will receive a reduced benefit from SS because of your pension. So it appears its better to negotiate out of paying into the system and putting that money in a 401 or 457?

      • Daris July 15, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

        Pancake I don’t know where you get your misinformation but SS and pensions are different. What you pay into SS and what you get in return has nothing to do with what you pay into or get out of your pension.

  9. Rob July 9, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Surrounded by ? –

    I’ve only been in Rusty’s once and that was 30 years ago, but I hear it hasn’t changed.

    I have zero debt and pay my own health insurance. And I’ve earned, invested and saved plenty as a private sector employee.

    I’m sick and tired of paying too much and getting to little from public agencies. You public sector employees have given me too little and cost me too much. While public servants you continually and constantly spent money you didn’t have, and the agencies that employ you have never lived within their means as us private sector employees absolutely must always do. I don’t want you, I don’t need you, and I surely don’t need to be protected by you. You like me, should earn a wage and get nothing more. You should pay for your own health insurance, and be 100% responsible for your own retirement savings.

    As far as I’m concerned you didn’t earn that pension nor do you deserve it. The real problem is wimpy/crooked politicians and public sector unions who allowed you to be paid and receive benefits that you don’t deserve. Do it on your own or not like all of us private sector employees that pay taxes so you can have your jobs, benefits, and pensions.


    As far as DWP rate hikes go. You greenies wanted more alternative energy; in fact you voted it into law. Now is the time for you to shut up open your wallets and pay for it.
    Cost is always passed down to the consumer. I can’t wait to see what you vote into law next that will cause you to complain later when you have to pay for it.

    You would have been much better off buying your own solar systems and removing yourself from DWP’s rate increases, than voting on a law forcing utilities to invest in alternative energy sources only to pass the cost down to you the consumer.

    • Benett Kessler July 9, 2011 at 6:55 pm #


      We might check on DWP’s real financial situation before blaming people who want alternative energy. It’s not a bad thing to look for ways other than coal and oil to fuel our lives.
      DWP gives a hefty payment to the City of LA every year – in the hundreds of millions. They make a ton of money off Eastern Sierra water and hydro-power. They have also
      spent money like arrogant sheiks – junkets, cars, big salaries (among the biggest utility salaries in the nation), expensive office furniture – you get the idea. The new manager
      has begun to cut back but there just might be a way they could afford alternative energy sources without socking it to the customers. Or, you might be right that we will all have
      to pay a few dollars more per month.

      Benett Kessler

    • upthecreek July 10, 2011 at 6:08 am #

      amen to that Rob

      if Social Security and Medicare is so great .WHY do we have public pensions.


      • Agitated Pancake July 11, 2011 at 3:39 am #

        Those paying into a pension plans don’t pay into social security…and don’t receive it. I believe both of those entitlements need to go away, along with most social(ist) programs.

        • upthecreek July 12, 2011 at 12:09 am #

          Are you calling PUBLIC Pensions a socialist Program??

          Yes, I do Agree..

      • Rob July 11, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

        The public pension eaters will vote your post down but not a single one of them will answer your question.

        If Social Security and Medicare is good enough for us, it’s good enough for them, especially since they work for us.

        The entire arrangement is ass backwards.

        • Bob Loblaw July 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

          Yet again Rob, I feel I must remind you of things you’ve conveniently left out. Like the fact that public employees paid into the pensions they “eat”. Just like you or I can pay money toward a retirement account. They also pay into Social Security and Medicare. In fact, for many years CalPers (The big public pension outfit in this state) was not only self funding based on employee contributions and investments, but also being robbed regularly by the State. Please, try to mix in a little bit of factual information with your rhetoric.

    • Bob Loblaw July 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm #


      First a little disclosure, my Dad is a public employee. Second, open a window, I think you need some fresh air. “While public servants you continually and constantly spent money you didn’t have” is perhaps the most poorly thought out statement I’ve ever heard. Many public employees were living happily within their means, right up until someone got the bright idea to reduce their means by as much as 15% or so. This is a massive example of ill informed scapegoating. “You public sector employees have given me too little and cost me too much.” If you really want to know, public sector jobs (DWP excluded) pay a good bit less than their private sector counterparts. This disparity is made up for by offering better retirement options, and so-so health insurance.

      Now, if you really want to throw stones about agencies hurling money out the window, you may wish to start railing on about private sector companies having to pay prevailing wage to their employees working on public jobs. If you’re going to throw someone under a bus, I suggest Senator James J. Davis of Pennsylvania, and Representative Robert L. Bacon of New York. If you are going to insist upon arguing in a public forum, do us all a favor and try to be at least a little informed.

      After all this, I feel I should close by reminding you, that you do need public employees. Without them you’ve no roads to drive on, no place to take your garbage, unregulated food (unless you farm) and no cops to keep you safe from the worlds less altruistic folks.

      • Rob July 14, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

        Bob – it’s not a fact public sector jobs pay less then their private sector counterparts. Perhaps in the past, but it hasn’t been that way for quit some time. When the economy tanked I took a 20% cut in my private sector job.

        We do have common ground though.. amazing as it is. Prevailing wages on public sector jobs is a joke. As an estimator I bid public works jobs all the time. I totally do not agree with it. However it sure makes the guys in the trenches happy.

        What public sector / private sector job would you like to compare.

        • Bob Loblaw July 15, 2011 at 2:25 am #

          Rob- It is indeed a fact that public sector jobs in California pay less then their private sector counterparts. Many took a hit in the private sector when Wall Street pulled everyone’s pants down. But many in the public sector did as well. So without further ado, here’s a few examples of the differences.

          Heavy Equipment Operator- Median 30.76 hourly, Inyo 17.99, State 18.47, City of Sacramento 24.91

          Civil Engineering Tech- Median 30.01 hourly, Inyo 19.30, State 21.66, City of Sacramento 20.90

          Heavy Equipment Mechanic- Median 26.75 hourly, Inyo 17.99, State 21.58, City of Sacramento 22.84

          Building Maintenance Worker- Median 19.59 hourly, Inyo 18.16, State 17.29, City of Sacramento 18.24

          These are facts. These facts are easily found from these agencies. Median wage figures came from the BLS, and reflect California median wage. City of LA excluded, public employees typically make less. Thusly, good retirement and average health benefits sweeten the pot.

          One last thing… Before you rail on about unfundable pension plans, consider this. Prior to unfettered lunacy from the financial sector CalPers (the major public retirement system in CA) had a surplus of money because of investment gains, and employees paying in. California regulary robbed CalPers coffers to balance their budget.

          • Joann Lijek July 15, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

            Nothing better than “just the facts”. Thanks

          • Rob July 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

            Throw the pension/benifits numbers in with those figures and you’ll get a different results. But yes it’s a pretty sweet pot.

            California robbed CalPers because they can’t live within there means. That should be an issue to even you.

          • Bob Loblaw July 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm #

            Rob- I don’t think you’ve researched the actual costs of which you speak. The company I work for pays for my health insurance, and matches my 401K contribution to a point. However when California (which by the way has a nasty track record for not living within it’s means, a valid point) was robbing CalPers coffers it was not paying anything in. CalPers was self sufficient. At the end of the day public employees are not the monster here. The financial sector is. And sadly, many of the folks you seem to be sharing “Kool-Aid” with, are happily in support of not regulating the very ones who’ve put us in the debacle we’re in.

            If you really want to change hearts and minds, show some factual evidence from reliable sources of how much these benefits cost on top of wages, and how they measure up. You may be surprised. Most of the folks earning the median wage I referenced also have retirement and health care. As an adult I’ve never had a job that didn’t have some kind of health plan, and some sort of retirement option (typically a contribution matching type thing).

  10. Lee July 9, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    I find that usually those people who complain about pension plans are those that wish they had one. The people who have pension plans have worked all their lives to get it. Why do some people they these workers not entitled to it?

    I have to wonder of those like “upthecreek” had worked a job for years and years that resulted in a pension plan, would he/she refuse it in the end and say “no thanks, I feel it’s wrong to have one”??? I doubt it.

    • Rob July 11, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

      Lee that’s a tough post to disagree with. However the issue is public sector pensions. If you’re pension is through the private sector more power to you. However I know of very few private sector business that pay pensions unless they have a monopoly or primarily contract with the government. IE aerospace.

      Local, State, and Federal employees should get no more then the people who employee them, and those people are us taxpayers. There lies the problem. They should get Social Security and Medicare, nothing more and nothing less then everyone else.

      I’m not saying you shouldn’t take your pension. I’m saying public sector employees shouldn’t have a pension.

      Now with people retiring earlier and living longer it’s no longer sustainable and especially at taxpayer expense.

  11. Surrounded by ? July 8, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    One trick pony rears its ugly head in this story also. Are all of the world problems caused by pensions? Rob/creek you still haven’t given any firm answers to the question I posed to you before. What is it you think the pensions are taking from you personally? I will pose this question to you until one of you gives an adequate response. Do you have any kind of retirement plans? Sitting in Rustys until you fall from the stool dead is not a plan.

  12. upthecreek July 8, 2011 at 5:53 am #

    “According to officials, it’s a new day at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power where costs have gone up and most see rates will too. DWP has begun to hold public meetings throughout its service area to talk about costs and rates. ”

    The only costs that have gone up are their Pension costs..
    Time to “feed the beast” poor poor sheeple

  13. jj July 8, 2011 at 1:31 am #

    Now they want to take more of our water and our money. i hope they choke on both!


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