A deeply divided Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday backed increases in electric rates, acknowledging they will be painful for customers but insisting the hikes are needed to maintain the Department of Water and Power's financial health.
The council's decision capped months of debate and political maneuvering -- as well as outcry from both L.A. residents and business owners who say they already pay enough for electricity.
Revenues from the rate hike would go in part toward environmental initiatives backed by the mayor, including renewable energy contracts and more aggressive conservation programs. Without the hike, the DWP said it could have its bond rating downgraded.
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