In less than a month, you had better keep an eye on your light switches, Glendale residents. Every bit of energy used is going to cost you quite a bit more. In a 3-2 vote, the City Council approved the increasing of electricity bills for the next five years. Overall, the rate will equal a 29 percent increase by 2018.
The agreement was reached after several meetings took place about the desperate financial situation of Glendale Water & Power. If electricity rates did not increase, the company would have become bankrupt by 2017. The meetings were met with a lot of complaints from businesses and individuals who begged for a smaller increase. However, the three pro votes from Mayor Dave Weaver, Councilman Ara Najarian and Councilwoman Laura Friedman did not waver.
Councilman Ara Najarian shares that it is his duty to make sure the city has “viable electrical utility” and that the increase hurts, but there is no alternative. However, many individuals are upset because the city transfers $21 million from the electrical fund to the general fund, which covers the costs of police, parks, and other public services. The city has cut back on the transfer, but any more and the public services and parks would suffer greatly.
The last price increase was all the way back in 2007. The new increase is hoped to boost reserves to $114 million by the end of 2018.
So what exactly does the increase look like for the average Glendale family? The Glendale News Press breaks it down like this, “Under the approved plan, an average single-family homeowner who pays $103.15 monthly now would see rates increase by $9.16 to $122.31 next fiscal year and then an additional $21.38 through 2018 to $133.69.”
Of course, families can offset the increase by watching their electricity usage better. Invest in a programmable thermostat and unplug gadgets when they are not in use. Also, don’t overcharge your electronics, since that is just wasted electricity too. Every small change can add up.
Honestly, no one enjoys paying more, but for the average family in Glendale, the extra cost is not substantially greater. Bigger households and companies are more than likely going to feel the increase. However, a small increase is definitely preferable over bankruptcy of the power company.