June 19, 2021 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Consumer Watchdog: DWP Overbilled Ratepayers

LADWPConsumer advocates called today for the replacement of the ratepayer of the Department of Water and Power, saying he has failed to properly advocate for the utility’s customers.

Representatives of Consumer Watchdog sent a letter urging Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer to fire DWP ratepayer advocate Fred Pickel, saying “his failure to speak out for ratepayers during these last years of scandal makes clear he should be replaced with a true consumer advocate immediately.”

The consumer advocates pointed to Pickel’s history as an energy consultant who worked closely with Enron and on the side of utilities, rather than customers.

Pickel was not immediately available for comment.

The demand came as the group pressed city leaders to significantly revise a settlement deal aimed at resolving inaccurate bills that resulted in some DWP customers overpaying for services and others paying less than what was owed.

Consumer Watchdog advocates Jamie Court and Liza Tucker contend the agreement gives DWP officials too much power in deciding how much to refund or back charge customers.

Under the existing settlement terms, “ratepayers are being asked to give up broad, significant legal rights against DWP,” Tucker and Court contended, referring to provisions that ask customers to give up their ability to challenge or litigate prior to knowing how much they would be refunded, or if they would actually owe DWP.

“While some ratepayers will receive refunds, many have or will receive notices that state they owe back bills and have underpaid on their account,” they said.

Attorneys are expected to submit revised settlement terms to a judge by Tuesday. The judge declined to accept the deal in two previous hearings, and requested about a dozen revisions during the most recent hearing.

The consumer advocates also invited Garcetti and Feuer to a lunch with overbilled ratepayers to discuss the deal, suggesting that they meet a day before Thanksgiving.

Related Posts

Culver City’s Mobile Recycling Program Launched

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

By Toi Creel A Culver City program is new way of collecting recyclables for California Redemption Value. In collaboration with...

Culinary Legend Alice Waters Opening Westside Restaurant

June 17, 2021

June 17, 2021

Unnamed restaurant set to open this fall at Hammer Museum By Sam Catanzaro Legendary chef Alice Waters is opening her...

Westside’s Councilmember Mike Bonin Served Recall Papers

June 16, 2021

June 16, 2021

Bonin served recall papers Tuesday, over 27,000 signatures must be obtained from constituents  By Sam Catanzaro “Our streets have become...

CCUSD Creates First Assistant Superintendent of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

June 15, 2021

June 15, 2021

New position first of its kind in California, possibly the nation Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) has created a...

Culver City Police Search for Suspect in Assault and Possible Hate Crime Against Asian American

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

Culver City police are searching for a suspect wanted for the assault and possible hate crime against an Asian American...

Edify TV: Westside Vandalism Suspect Arrested

June 14, 2021

June 14, 2021

A man has been arrested in connection with a series of Westside vandalisms in West L.A., including at a local...

Mixed-Use 144-Unit Housing Project in The Works For Los Angeles-Culver City Lot

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Apartments would contain public space plus affordable housing By Toi Creel A new six- story housing project is being reviewed...

Edify TV: Traffic Calming Measures Slated for Fox Hills-Area

June 11, 2021

June 11, 2021

Traffic calming measures are coming to roads in Culver City’s Fox Hills area. Learn more in this video made possible...

‘LA-Style’ Fried Chicken Spot Popping-up in Culver City This Weekend

June 10, 2021

June 10, 2021

Go Go Bird to be at Citizen Public Market Friday and Saturday By Kerry Slater An “LA-style” fried chicken restaurant...

St. Bernard Senior Chloe Jackson Leads the League in Community Service

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

Chloe Jackson has been giving back to her community for as long as she can remember. The St. Bernard High...

Mother’s Beach Lifeguard Tower Painted to Raise Awareness for Autism

June 8, 2021

June 8, 2021

LA County Ocean Lifeguard Scott Snyder paints MDR lifeguard tower to support special needs families By Sam Catanzaro A Mother’s...

CCUSD Collecting Chromebooks From Students

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

By Chad Winthrop Culver City Unified School District (CCUSD) is collecting all Chromebooks and power supplies that have been distributed...

Culver City Police Release Footage From Burglary in Hopes of ID-ing Suspects

June 7, 2021

June 7, 2021

Two suspects sought for May 9 incident By Chad Winthrop Culver City police have released security footage from a recent...

24-Unit, Six-Story Development Approved for Palms

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

Regent Street and Dunn Drive development given green light By Toi Creel  A six story, 24-unit apartment building project will...

Santa Monica Parking Structure to be Replaced by Housing?

June 4, 2021

June 4, 2021

A Santa Monica parking structure be demolished and replaced with affordable housing. Learn more in this video made possible by Santa...