LADWP Budget Cuts to Save Department $440 Million Over Three Years
Measures Include Hiring Freeze, Elimination of Executive Take-Home Cars, and Debt Refinancing
|LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) today announced budget cuts and cost-saving measures that will help the Department reduce its operating costs by $440 million over the next three years. The budget cuts come as LADWP faces increased cost pressures from new and expected regulatory mandates, aging infrastructure and costs associated with major long term investments for the utility and its customers’ future.
“Just as families across Los Angeles and the entire country have had to look at ways to cut costs and save money, Ron Nichols and the Department of Water and Power are hard at work to ensure fiscal sustainability at the nation’s largest municipal utility,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “These budget cuts will help LADWP keep their operating costs lower than other major utilities and provide affordable power to its ratepayers while continuing its progress to obtain energy from renewable sources and become the largest clean utility in the country.”
Immediately upon appointment as General Manager of the LADWP, Mr. Nichols began the cost cutting review, together with a cross section of Department management and staff, at the request of Board of Water and Power Commissioners President Thomas Sayles.
The vigorous assessment of potential saving opportunities focused on areas where the Department could cut back without jeopardizing quality of service to its customers.
Immediate cost-saving measures include a hiring freeze and reduction in overtime, cancellation of noncritical facility improvements and office remodeling, other widespread administrative cutbacks affecting purchases of new computers and the elimination of executive take-home vehicles, travel credit cards, non-essential travel and training and cancellation of the Holiday Light Festival.
“Our customers are being forced to tighten their belts in this economy, and we need to be more frugal too,” said Ron Nichols, General Manager of LADWP. “These budget cuts are part of our commitment to function more like a business in today’s economy while investing in the future of Los Angeles.”
“These budget cuts hit the mark and make a very strong statement about LADWP’s budget priorities and approach moving forward. Ron and his entire team have been developing a comprehensive, achievable set of cuts that will save our customers money in the long run” said Mr. Sayles.
The budget cuts were presented today by Mr. Nichols to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners during their regularly scheduled board meeting. The next board meeting will be held on April 19, 2011.
About the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the nation’s largest municipal utility, provides reliable, low-cost water and power services to Los Angeles residents and businesses in an environmentally responsible manner. LADWP serves about 1.4 million electric customers and 680,000 water customers in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit www.ladwp.com. For the latest news about LADWP, please visit www.ladwpnews.com. Follow the Department on Twitter: @LADWP.
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