Los Angeles DWP to end water and power shutoffs for low-income customers who can’t pay
Los Angeles and Orange County water and power shutoffs for low-income households that can’t pay will end on December 1, the water authority said Tuesday.
The deadline for the shutoffs, which affected more than 400,000 customers, was also moved to January, the authority said.
The city and county have been required to use the shutoffs because they get too much water or power at times it should not be used.
Los Angeles said it had exhausted its $16.5 million in other shutoffs that were left over after state officials ordered the shutoffs under an impasse last month over a $13-billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit stemming from the shutoffs.
The city has paid for the remaining $12.8 million of the shutoffs through the end of the year, spokesman John Nelson said.
The DWP estimates that the shutoffs will save it $4 million each month.
In a memo to the public, the DWP said the new deadline and the timing of the move will ensure that the system doesn’t run dry.
“We are hoping for a positive outcome to the lawsuit and are working with our legal team to ensure that as soon as possible, the system is back on stable footing,” the memo said.
The state attorney general, which intervened on behalf of the city, approved the shutoffs Sept. 25. The state contends the city is running a “water war” and wants to ensure lower electric bills.
While the state has said it will not appeal the shutoffs, it has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to step in.
Los Angeles and Orange counties each get 50 percent of their energy and water from the state, leaving the responsibility for distributing their water to the cities and other authorities that receive a slice of the state’s revenue to use as they see fit.
The attorney general and DWP are suing over a state-imposed cap on power bills the city’s utility customers must pay, arguing they should be allowed to use more or less of their energy and water depending on conditions.
The state argues that the $13-billion settlement last month doesn’t impose enough financial