The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power June 14 proposed a 16.8 percent power rate increase spread out over the next three years. The intent is to cover the cost of environmental mandates, including greenhouse gas reductions, renewable energy, and phasing out once-through cooling at its coastal power plants. The hike also is aimed at maintaining the muni\u2019s credit rating. LADWP general manager Ron Nichols unveiled the rate proposal at a meeting of the muni\u2019s board of commissioners. Nichols told commissioners the hike would add about $12 a month to the average residential electricity bill after three years. The general manager indicated the increase would not fully cover the cost of upgrading the muni\u2019s aging distribution system. That would require a steeper increase. Reacting to the announcement, Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry said she would not back any rate hike until the city appoints a ratepayer advocate, as authorized by voters earlier this year (Current, March 11, 2011). She said the council needs independent analysis before going forward. LADWP proposed the hike after a considerable effort to build a public case for a revenue increase over the past months. The effort contrasts sharply with a hasty and combative attempt to gain a long-term increase in 2010 that ultimately failed (Current, March 26, 2010). The muni\u2019s power rate hike would be accompanied by a 15.3 percent water rate increase spread out over three years. Nichols pledged to hold a series of public meetings on the rate hikes before the city council takes them up in the fall. He said he wants to have the new rates in place by November. In a related move, on June 15, the muni was able to successfully refinance $694 million of outstanding power system revenue bonds at near record-low interest rates. The refinancing reduced LADWP\u2019s interest cost on the bonds from approximately 5.22 percent to 2.72 percent, saving power customers $102 million over the next five years.