Move to new electricity rates mostly goes smoothly

The transition to Glendale’s new electricity rate system, a five-year schedule of increases that started in August, has been mostly trouble-free, though there have been minor inconsistencies and errors, according to a city audit released this month.

The City Council, on a split vote, ratcheted up electricity rates through 2018, beginning with an average 8% increase, followed by increases of 7%, 5%, 2% and 2%, in order to lift the utility out of the red. The compounded increases amount to a 29.1% hike for residential customers, 25.9% for commercial customers and 22.9% for small commercial customers.

The new rates are separated into four sections: a base rate, which will increase steadily over time as outlined by the council vote, and three adjustable charges. The adjustable charges would be pass-through fees if estimates in three areas — regulatory costs, revenues and seasonal electricity use — differ from expectations, according to the audit.

Other than a few inconsistencies, such as missing high-season rate changes for about 49 customers who were underbilled, the rate change went smoothly, according to the audit.

However, auditors suggested Glendale Water & Power officials hammer out appropriate accounting procedures for the adjustable charges. The rates are set to adjust with the base rate charges every January and July for the next five years.

“GWP management agrees with the recommendation and has started to develop the accounting procedures for the adjustable charges,” the audit states, adding that officials plan to complete the task by Nov. 15.


Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.


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