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“The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is planning to boost the electricity bills of its customers by 37% over the next four years as part of its effort to cover steadily rising costs.

Officials with the city utility divulged their plans Thursday as the City Council’s Energy and Environment Committee debated Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s plan for boosting rates to help pay for renewable energy. Villaraigosa is seeking a 21% increase over the next year. That effort will be followed by other rate hikes by 2014, however.

“That’s an extraordinary burden on our homeowners and businesses,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, who called the four-year plan “unacceptable.”

The numbers were provided as the council committee reviewed the first of four rate hikes planned by Villaraigosa, which would increase residential electric bills by 9% to 28%. The panel postponed a vote until Tuesday, the same day that the full council is now scheduled to decide whether to uphold the first increase or send it back to the DWP board for revision.

Thursday’s meeting took place an hour after former Vice President Al Gore appeared with Villaraigosa via satellite in support of the mayor’s plan, which would help the mayor meet his goal of ensuring that the DWP secures at least 20% of its energy from renewable sources by Dec. 31.”

Read the full article by the LA Times below!