Federal investigators served a search warrant at City Hall and the Department of Water and Power Monday.
FBI agents raided the downtown headquarters of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and City Hall Monday. The mysterious investigation is the latest to rock City Hall this year. It’s unclear if the latest raid is related to an ongoing corruption probe reaching the highest levels of City Hall.
Authorities declined to discuss the nature of the investigation. The affidavit for the search warrant served Monday morning was under seal, and no arrests were made. Authorities also declined to confirm if the mysterious investigation is related to an ongoing corruption probe into foreign investment in major Los Angeles real estate developments. That investigation has touched multiple city departments, at least three Los Angeles City Councilmen and prominent business leaders. According to multiple reports, that investigations appears to be linked to Chinese investors with development projects before the city.
“We are confirming a search warrant at Los Angeles DWP in downtown Los Angeles, but are prohibited from commenting further because affidavits involved in the warrant are sealed,” Katherine Gulotta of the FBI in Los Angeles told City News Service.
There was minimal activity visible at the DWP office building at 111 N. Hope St. in the Civic Center area. A van with an FBI placard was parked outside the building, and at least two agents were seen going inside.
There were also reports of warrants being served at Los Angeles City Hall, but it was unclear exactly what offices were being targeted. Read more »
Or send an email, in your choice of English or Spanish. That’s a change from days of yore, when you had to get the information for yourself.
During last July’s heat storm, parts of Los Angeles sustained lengthy poweroutages, along with a shortage of information about when they would end. The Twitter rants from Angelenos kept (literally and figuratively) in the dark were as heated as the asphalt melting in the streets.
The Department of Water and Power is now rolling out a new service intended to close the power outage information gap, but to get alerts, you have to opt-in.
Customers can get email or text alerts in English or Spanish about outages in up to three different parts of L.A… For example, one for yourself, and the others for your family or your workplace.
The system also sends updates on expected repair times and when the power is back on.
In the past, LADWP has used social media to inform the public of outages. It posts an outage map online, too. People could also call in to ask when repairs would be completed. But this is the first messaging app that pushes the information directly to customers.
This week, Councilmember Mitchell Englander joined LADWP Chief Operating Officer Marty Adams, LADWP Chief Sustainability Officer Nancy Sutley, Los Angeles County Business Coalition President Mary Leslie, Actor/Environmental Activists Ed Begley Jr. and Matt Walsh, and students from Porter Ranch Community School to introduce legislation calling for LADWP to explore options to install “floating solar” panels on Los Angeles reservoirs.
Floating solar is an emerging and extremely efficient form of renewable clean energy. By covering the surface of reservoirs, floating solar conserves water by reducing evaporation and prevents harmful algae growth by blocking sunlight. Additionally, there is no land costs associated with the installation and there is greater efficiency of output due to the cooling effect of water.
Los Angeles reservoirs provide hundreds of acres of local surface area that can be used as a platform for capturing solar energy. The initial pilot calls for approximately 11.6 MegaWatts of solar installation on DWP reservoirs. That is enough energy to power approximately 3,190 homes per year and the offset 15.9 million lbs. of CO2 emissions per year or the equivalent of removing 1,567, cars from the road. LADWP estimates that Los Angeles Reservoirs have an achievable potential of 53 MW which translates to the electrical use of 21,000 homes annually or the equivalent of taking 10,320 cars off the road.
According to the State Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), retail sellers and publicly owned utilities are required to procure 50 percent of their electricity from renewable energy resources by 2030.
Los Angeles is in a unique position to lead the country in the adoption of clean, renewable energy. With our geography, our climate, and our city-owned and operated utility, we have all the ingredients necessary to push for the wide-use and adoption of solar energy. By co-locating these panels on city-owned reservoirs, we eliminate the land-use cost and impacts of traditional solar panels.
Below is a link to the Charter-mandated evaluation of DWP that’s done every five years. Navigant is the consultant that performed the work. It’s almost 600 pages so we’ve included the 10-page Executive Summary…..and in case you haven’t already seen it there’s also a link to yesterday’s Daily News story about the survey.
Items of particular interest to you might include Community Outreach Section 10, Section 9 Customer Service, and Section 8 Rates Benchmarking.
With temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley today, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) urges customers to conserve energy use where possible, while not jeopardizing their health and safety.
“During times of extreme heat, we strongly encourage customers to conserve electricity as long as it does not jeopardize their own health or the health of their pets,” General Manager Marcie Edwards said.
LADWP officials said energy demand on Thursday was the highest so far this year – 5,679 megawatts – and is expected to be about the same today. The all-time peak power demand was 6,396 megawatts, reached on Sept. 16, 2014. Power use in Los Angeles averages about 4,700 megawatts during the summer, and usually increases in late August through September. Read more »
It was hailed as a modern makeover of an aging, inefficient way to bill customers. Instead, the new system at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power became a nightmare, spewing out thousands of faulty bills, some wildly inflated.
When upset customers called the utility for help, many languished on hold for a half-hour or more.
Nearly two years later, the utility announced Monday that it would credit or refund tens of millions of dollars to customers who were overbilled during the botched rollout, under a proposed class-action lawsuit settlement between the utility and aggrieved customers.
In all, the department says it billed $44 million in excessive charges after the system went into effect. DWP Chief Administrative Officer David Wright said the utility has already refunded or credited some of the money, reducing the sum still owed customers to $36 million.
Under the settlement, customers who were overbilled will get credit for the excessive charges. If they have closed their accounts, they will be mailed refund checks.
The utility says the vast majority of the billing credits and refunds will be small — around $10 or less — but customers will be made whole no matter how small the error. And the money will be returned even if a customer didn’t know there was a mistake.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has proposed a 5-year water and power rate action that provides funding to accelerate the replacement of aging infrastructure, better protect against drought conditions, and meet water and power supply mandates while improving customer service. The proposed rates are also designed to further incentivize conservation while keeping LADWP’s rates low in comparison with nearby utilities.
LADWP presented the Water and Power Rates Request 2016-2020 to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners during a special meeting Wednesday, kicking off a four-month outreach effort to inform L.A. residents, businesses, and stakeholder groups about the rates proposal and get their input. The process follows an agreement LADWP has with Neighborhood Councils and other key business and community stakeholders to provide a 120-day review period prior to adoption of new rates. Read more »
LOS ANGELES — For a limited time, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is offering a $10 bill credit for new paperless billing customers. Customers who currently receive printed LADWP bills, and who sign up for paperless billing through ladwp.com, will receive a $10 credit on their next bill.
Paperless billing is a secure, convenient and environmentally-friendly billing option. Once enrolled, customers will receive bill notifications via email. This will reduce paper clutter, help decrease the environmental impact from printing paper bills and provide easy access to informative online newsletters.
“This program is part of an ongoing effort to reduce our environmental footprint through all the services we provide,” said Randy S. Howard, Senior Assistant General Manager of the LADWP Power System. “Also, when we don’t have to print and mail a bill, the Department saves money, which in turn saves our customer-owners money. We are happy to offer our customers this bill credit, especially right after the holidays.”
For complete program information and to sign-up to receive the $10 bill credit, please visit www.ladwp.com/paperless.
The $10 paperless billing incentive is available through June 30, 2015 to all LADWP customers who currently receive printed LADWP bills.
Persistent phone scammers are deceiving LADWP customers into paying non-existent water and power bills with threats of immediate service shut off. Don’t fall victim to phone scammers posing as LADWP “collection” personnel.
LADWP employees will NEVER ask for personal payment information over the telephone. They will never ask you to purchase pre-paid cash cards from a convenience store to pay your utility bill.
Payment by telephone can ONLY happen through the Department’s voice automated payment system, not with live employees. LADWP personnel do not accept payment information verbally over the telephone.
If you get a call asking for a cash card or credit card number or other personal financial information, hang up and call LAPD.
Safety and service excellence are of utmost importance to LADWP. Victimization of our customers will not be tolerated. Impostors can expect to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Read more »
This CIS platform touches nearly every aspect of utility operations, including customer service, meter reading and billing. It is the heart of our customer service system and used during each customer interaction by phone or online. Over time, this system will help us significantly improve the customer experience.
Any time an information system of this size and scope is replaced, issues will arise and need to be addressed within the first 1 to 3 billing cycles. LADWP is currently near the beginning of the 2nd billing cycle.
To date, approximately 3% to 5% of our customers have experienced delayed bills and late notices, and incorrectly estimated bills, which has led to periods of excessively long and unacceptable hold times when customers have called to report a problem or ask routine questions about their account. In addition, some commercial and residential solar customers and large multi-facility customers have experienced problems with their bills. While these problems have affected a relatively small percentage of our customers, they have resulted in higher than normal call volumes and these calls have taken longer to resolve than is typically the case, resulting in longer than acceptable hold times for other customers who are trying to get through to an operator.
LADWP is fully committed to resolving these issues as quickly as possible. As part of those efforts, next week we expect to begin offering customers a Virtual Hold feature, which will provide customers the option of receiving a call-back, rather than waiting on hold. We are also accelerating efforts to reduce the number of customers receiving inaccurate, late, or delinquent notices.
As the system stabilizes over time, we expect the number of issues and customers affected by them to be reduced significantly and ultimately eliminated. For those customers who have experienced exceptionally long hold times, or who have received an incorrect bill, we offer our sincere apologies.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to resolve issues that have resulted in our not meeting the highest service standards for every customer. We will continue to provide updates to our customers and stakeholders over the coming weeks as the system continues to stabilize.
Various Ways to Contact LADWP to Get Your Questions Answered
Use Phone Self-Serve Options: Our 1-800 DIAL DWP phone system provides callers with a variety of self-serve options, including the ability to report outages, make payments, obtain bill-pay extensions, and other services, all without the need to speak to a customer service representative.
Use Virtual Hold—If you need to speak to a Customer Service Representative, don’t wait on hold. LADWP is currently testing virtual hold technology and plans to implement it next week to reduce hold times. Virtual hold allows customers to receive a callback at a set time instead of waiting on the line for a representative.
Email Us—Email account inquiries to [email protected]. Your concern will be responded to by a representative as quickly as possible and in most cases, within one business day.
Call During Off Peak Hours—If possible, call on Saturdays and Sundays between 7am and 10 pm, especially Sundays, as call volumes are typically much lower on the weekends.
Go Online—Use the LADWP.com website to: report outages, view the status of existing outages, view account balances and make payments, among other services, without speaking to a representative.