Electricity & Water

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) oversees the city’s water and electrical needs and serves nearly four million residents. Other utility companies, such as Southern California Edison, provide electricity to incorporated cities within LA County. Some cities within the county, such as Pasadena and Burbank, operate their own water and power companies. Ever since the now infamous California Water Wars at the turn of the 20th century, when Los Angeles and the Owens Valley were at odds over water rights, arid LA has been plagued with water shortages. The lack of adequate rainfall creates continuous drought-like conditions, and residents and businesses are constantly being asked to conserve water. There are eight storage reservoirs along the LA Aqueduct, with 99 reservoirs and tanks located within the city. The water is distributed through more than 11,500 kilometres (7,200 miles) of pipes. According to the LADWP, Angelenos use an average of 135 gallons per person, per day.

In recent years, Los Angeles has also had some electrical woes and, during periods of peak demand, has been prone to rolling blackouts. The term comes from the practice of shutting off power in a specific area and then restoring it when additional power is obtained or the power is turned off in another area. Typically, these blackouts happen during the summer months when people tend to blast their ACs.

Utility bills are usually on a 30 day cycle and arrive each month in the mail. Users can pay by US mail, in person, by wire transfer, or by credit card via the phone or internet. You can enrol with each utility company to have your bill paid using direct debit. Once set up, this service is free and you will still receive a monthly statement.

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