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DWP gets nod from city regulator to raise LA electricity rates

On Tuesday, September 26, the Los Angeles City Council approved the Department of Water and Power's plan to raise electricity rates, a decision that came after hours of debate, NBC Los Angeles reports.

According to the news source, council members voted 10-4 in favor of raising electricity rates 11.1 percent, which will be introduced in two phases. By July 1, 2013, the city hopes to have the new system fully in place.

The rate hike will send the average price of a kilowatt-hour of energy to 14.1 cents, compared with the current 12.69 cents. A typical LA household that pays a $65 energy bill will only only see an increase of about a dime a day, DWP said. The higher rates come as DWP looks to bring in additional revenue to support renewable energy programs, improve efficiency and conservation and get rid of certain power plants.

"The DWP rate increase approved by City Council minimizes the impact on ratepayers while improving reliability, funding cost-saving conservation measures and strengthening LA's position as an environmental leader," said Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

California has a volatile history with electricity rates, and the state has toyed with energy deregulation as one option to stabilize rates. Should such laws be drafted, residents would have the opportunity to compare electricity plans and choose one that best suits their needs.