Residents of Los Angeles could soon start paying high electricity rates if the LA City Council Committee votes to approve the rate hike, after already approving the initial proposal from the Department of Water and Power, Southern California Public Radio reports.

According to the media outlet, officials from the DWP explained to council members that legal woes make up about 70 percent of the utilities need for higher electricity rates, as some mandates include pledges for renewable energy and other energy efficiency measures, retrofitting projects and costs associated with solar installations.

Now, independent ratepayer advocate Fred Pickel is saying the utility deserves to ask for a rate hike.

"As you look at DWP rates and say, gee, why are they low? I think part of the reason is rates have been held down too long and we’re underinvested in some areas that will affect reliability," he told the committee.

High electricity rates could be helped by creating a competitive energy market, however California has a fairly tumultuous past with attempts to implement energy deregulation laws. Still, many organizations are pushing for the laws, saying they would not only bring electricity rates down, but also create jobs and spur the economy into action.