Fred Pickel, who was appointed to bring more transparency among utilities in California, recently announced his support for a proposed rate hike from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, The Los Angeles Times reports.
According to the media outlet, Pickel stated that the rate hike would be necessary to pay for several projects around the city, many of which are capital improvements mandated by law. The proposed rate increase would raise rates by about $3.55 per month for a standard residential electricity bill. A heavy-use residential energy bill will rise by about $18.60 per month.
Jack Humphreville, an outspoken critic of the DWP's policies, also agreed with the rate hike.
"I think the increase is reasonable given the circumstances facing the DWP, which is that they’re getting slammed by environmental regulations and people are paying for past sins – not maintaining the infrastructure," he said.
Los Angeles officials are expected to vote on the proposal in September.
Many Californians are calling for improved energy deregulation laws, as the state has had a troubled history with implementing these laws in the past. However, many say a more competitive energy market could help keep prices down.