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LADWP News Alerts: Credit for Late Payment Charge

May 06, 2014



DATE: May 20, 2014 3:17:13 PM PDT

LADWP Letterhead

LADWP Offers Credit for Late Payment Charge for Customers Who Pay Their Utility Bill in Full During the Month of June

Bill Credit Offered as LADWP Resumes Collections Activities

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners today approved a one-month program aimed at encouraging customers who are currently late in paying their utility bill to pay their bill in full. Customers who are behind on their utility bill and who pay their account balances in full during the month of June will receive a refund of all late payment charges accrued in 2014.

The Late Payment Charge Credit is a way to encourage customers who have fallen behind on their utility bills to get caught up. Customers who take advantage of the credit will receive a full refund of any late payment charges assessed since January 1, 2014 on their next utility bill. Customers who are late on their bill and cannot make full payment in June will not receive the credit, but are encouraged to contact LADWP and set up a payment plan to avoid further collections and possible disconnection of service.

The Late Payment Charge Credit is another step toward continued resolution of billing problems that occurred since LADWP replaced its 40-year old customer information and billing system last year.

“The billing system conversion created regrettable problems for too many of our customers, but we are trying to make it right by fixing the problem and offering sensible solutions like the Late Payment Charge Credit,” said LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards. “If you’re behind on your bill, we encourage you to pay it in full in June and get your late charges credited on your next bill. If you cannot pay in full, you won’t receive the credit, but you can make a payment plan and pay off your utility bill over time,” Edwards added.

LADWP suspended collection activities and service disconnections in November 2013 following billing and operating problems experienced with the implementation of its new customer information and billing system. Since then, many residential and commercial customers have fallen behind on their utility bills. Currently, more than 200,000 customer accounts are over ninety days late, with an overall total outstanding balance of $150 million.

As LADWP’s billing system and related operations have stabilized and progress has been made in resolving billing problems, customers who are late on their bill are strongly encouraged to pay their bill in full. Customers unable to pay in full during the month of June can instead make payment plans with LADWP, but they will not receive the Late Payment Charge Credit. Customers who do not pay their bill in full by the due date or make payment plans will be subject to further collection activities, up to and including disconnection of service. If a customer has not received a bill, and has been using their utilities, they are strongly encouraged to contact us at 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) or online at .

“We apologize for the problems that too many of our customers experienced with our new billing system implementation over the past months,” said Randy Howard, Senior Assistant General Manager of the Power System.  While we have made significant progress in fixing the problems, too many of our customers have fallen behind on paying their utility bills and we want to encourage them to get caught up.  The outstanding charges are for utility services delivered and deemed correct.  As we implement full residential collections process, we want to encourage all customers who have fallen behind to pay their bill  in full, or contact us to make payment plans before the service is terminated.

To take advantage of the Late Payment Charge Credit, customers can make their payment online at or call 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) and follow the self-service options to pay by phone. They can also visit any of the 15 regional LADWP Customer Service Centers and make payment by cash, check, money order or cashier’s check.

Additional Information:

The LADWP Late Payment Charge
LADWP assesses a late fee of 1.5 percent monthly to unpaid balances for electric and water services that exceed $150 for each service.

Billing System Problems and Progress
LADWP has made substantial progress in resolving billing and operating problems related to implementation of its new customer information and billing system, including the following:

  • Hired and trained 49 additional customer service representatives to reduce telephone hold times.
  • Hired and trained 21 new meter readers.
  • Reduced telephone wait times by more than half.
  • Reduced the number of estimated bills from 26% in December 2013 to 7% in May 2014.
  • Billed on time and within industry standards.
  • Held seven “Bill Resolution Saturdays” at four regional customer service centers and additional community bill resolution events.
  • Streamlined 1-800-DIAL-DWP call center hours to reduce hold times by making available more customer service representatives at the times our customers call more frequently.
  • Increased self-service billing payment and transaction options on the bill pay web page.
  • Increased transparency with a new billing info web page to track progress on resolving billing problems.
  • Responded to Solar Hotline requests within 48 hours – a substantial improvement over past performance.



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DATE: May 5, 2014 2:27:44 PM PDT

LADWP Letterhead


LADWP Urges Safe Handling of Mylar Balloons to Prevent Outages 

LOS ANGELES — During this festive time of year filled with graduations and other special occasions, officials of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) remind all Los Angeles residents about the dangers and significant inconvenience posed by the release of Mylar balloons and oversized latex balloons into the air. Each year, thousands of homes and businesses are impacted by stray Mylar and oversized balloons causing power outages. The silver, metallic coating on Mylar balloons is a perfect conductor for electricity. When contact with power lines is made, they can short transformers, cause power outages, melt electrical wires causing them to fall. They can even spark an electrical surge that could potentially destroy home electronics.

Careless handling of these balloons can cause injury to the public and to utility employees working on equipment. In addition, balloon-caused outages often lead to traffic tie-ups since power outages can disrupt traffic signals, and cause a significant inconvenience for residents and business owners who lose power.

 Randy Howard, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager, Power System, said, “We want everyone to enjoy their graduations, weddings and other festive occasions this season, but we strongly encourage everyone mindful of the risks that these shiny metallic or oversized balloons pose when they are released or drift away and become entangled in power lines. Maintaining the safety of the public and our personnel is a top priority for LADWP.”

LADWP offers the following important safety tips for handling Mylar balloons:

• Always attach a weight to metallic balloons

• Never release a metallic balloon outdoors

• Keep metallic balloons away from power lines

• Never use metallic ribbon with metallic balloons

• Always deflate metallic balloons and dispose of them properly when no longer in use

• Never release large/oversized latex balloons or large bunches of latex balloons. They can strike power lines when released or when they fall back to the ground

Florists and other merchants must ensure that metallic balloons are properly weighted, and should remind their customers not to release them outdoors.  California law (California Penal Code Chapter 1559 Section 653.1) restricts the use of metallic balloons and metallic ribbon. In essence, the law states the metallic balloon must be weighted down separately so it does not travel up into the power lines. The law also prohibits metallic ribbon from being attached to helium-filled balloons.

Always assume power lines are energized. Always keep yourself, your equipment and all other items, at least 10 feet away from power lines. If a balloon or any object becomes entangled in an overhead power line, do not climb the pole or make any other attempt to retrieve the object. If a power line falls on the car while you are driving or riding as a passenger, stay inside of your vehicle, call 911 if you can and wait for help to arrive before exiting. Do not open the door and do not exit the vehicle. Wait for help to arrive.

The largest municipally owned utility in the nation, the LADWP was established more than 100 years ago to provide water and electricity to meet the needs of the City’s residents and businesses. LADWP currently serves more than 3.8 million customers.

# # #


For more information contact:

Joseph Ramallo
LADWP Communications
(213) 367-1361


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