Statement by LADWP General Manager Austin Beutner
|LOS ANGELES — Since my appointment just weeks ago as General Manager of the Department of Water and Power, I have made it clear we are moving forward, not looking back.
We’ve put in place a plan to reduce costs in this budget year by $263 million and we have shared this plan with the City Council, our customers, and the community. These cost savings will help reduce rates.
Next week we will present our strategic plan, which will set forth our long-term priorities and identify the resources to pay for them.
We have begun an Operations and Financial Review with the goal of further reducing costs. This review will cover all business processes and operations including real estate, customer service, contracting practices, risk management, renewable energy investment, balance sheet, working capital and cash management, and information systems.
We will also present to our Board of Commissioners next week a concrete plan to establish a ratepayer advocate.
Our budget this year provides for a transfer to the City of Los Angeles of $254 million, which is 8 percent of Power revenues based on an agreement between the City of Los Angeles and the Department. This equates to $5.22 per month per customer for a typical residential power bill. We have budgeted for this amount and have rates approved to pay for it. If we are able to find a way to reduce rates (thereby reducing revenues) the amount of the transfer may be reduced as the 8 percent will be of a smaller number.
Since a draft of the report was first presented to Department staff yesterday morning, we are still reviewing it. While we don’t wish to engage in an extended debate over the auditor’s findings, it appears there may be several errors of fact in the report. The Department will also review the final report when we receive it.
We are committed to engaging in a constructive dialogue with the Mayor, City Council, our customers and the community and we look forward to further opportunities to discuss the steps being taken to improve transparency, reduce costs and improve operations at the Department of Water and Power.
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