Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has announced a proposal for a carbon surcharge as part of the energy cost adjustment factor rate action undertaken by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners.
The surcharge serves as both a financial incentive and an investment tool. The increase will incentivize stakeholders to use alternative energy, and therefore reduce Los Angeles' dependence on fossil fuels. However, the carbon surcharge will not drastically affect the average ratepayer; the average monthly bill will increase by less than $2.50, according to the mayor.
The funds from the surcharge will also be deposited into a renewable energy and efficiency trust fund that is expected to generate 18,000 jobs over the next 10 years and help lay the foundation for a local green economy. The trust fund will specifically invest in two types of programs: energy efficiency and a solar feed-in tariff.
‘This carbon reduction surcharge empowers every person in this city to play a role in building our green future and placing Los Angeles at the forefront of the green revolution,’ says Villaraigosa. ‘By investing in renewables and energy efficiency, we are building the foundation for an emerging industry that will attract good paying, green-collar jobs to Los Angeles.’
To ensure that the carbon surcharge is transparent for ratepayers and stakeholders, a neutral ratepayer advocate will be appointed and placed in the Office of the Controller to oversee it. The surcharge will appear as an itemized charge on the customer's bill.