L.A. to cancel overcharges on GWP bills

Even Glendale Water & Power has issues with its bills from a utility company — and has to complain to get them fixed.

After years of back-and-forth with the city of Los Angeles, members of the Glendale City Council announced this week after a closed-session meeting that they have settled a dispute with the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power regarding bill overcharges.

Los Angeles officials have agreed to waive the overcharges as well as give Glendale Water & Power a 50% discount on some of its future billings, according to the announcement made during a City Hall meeting this week.

The settlement must still be signed by representatives from both cities before it becomes official.

Glendale Water & Power imports power that residents use to turn on their lights and other electronics from several sources across the country, such as power plants in Utah and Nevada. That power is delivered to the utility through three transmission lines owned by the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. Glendale pays Los Angeles a fee for using those three lines.

But in 2008 and 2009, Glendale officials noticed that some bills were higher than what they had normally paid to use the transmission lines.

Glendale usually spends nearly $1.2 million to use the Los Angeles-owned transmission lines, but the bills were roughly doubling Glendale’s normal monthly costs, said Steve Lins, chief assistant general manager of power and support services at Glendale Water & Power, in a phone interview Thursday.

As a result, Glendale complained and filed a claim with the city of Los Angeles. The two sides have been discussing the issue for some time and they’ve finally come to an agreement.

Los Angeles charged Glendale more than normal because it was no longer allowing the Glendale utility to lump all of its transmissions together across the three lines. For decades, Glendale had been aggregating its transmissions to make up its 114 megawatt limit, but Los Angeles said each line had an individual cap that could not be lumped together. If Glendale went over that, it would have to pay a separate fee.

As part of the settlement, the extra 2008 and 2009 charges will be cancelled. However, one perk Glendale used to enjoy, netting transmitted power, will be cut. That means Glendale can no longer send, for example, 200 megawatts of power over the lines and receive 100 megawatts and only be responsible for the netted difference, or 100 megawatts of power.


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


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