Los Angeles Utilities

Just for the hell of it, I’m posting my latest LA DWP bill, which covers June 10th to August 8th. How much are you paying?

Electric: $197.18
Water: $153.54
Sewer Service Charge: $95.86
Sewer Surcharge: $.81
City Utility Tax: $19.72
Solid Resources Fee: $52.00
State Energy Surcharge: $.37
Total: $519.43

There are 59 comments on this post

  1. Turn off some of your computers and cut lawn sprinkling times? Your sewer charge is based on historical water consumption, so if you cut down on water that will go down over time.

    As you probably now, your “solid resources fee” is going to go up $10/month or so starting very soon.

    Also, check out this thing which can monitor electrical usage by outlet: http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001067.php.

  2. Even if I eliminate my use of electricity from the city, I too would be paying a hefty amount on my LADWP bill.

  3. Dude! that’s pretty pricey
    Electric: $40
    Water: Apt is taking care of that
    Gas: $25 avg (I cook a lot)

    Well, it does depend on everyone lifestyle.. I’m hardly at home except in time for dinner.

    but here is an interesting post I had come across on digg.com


  4. Here’s one for ya:

    2 Bed, 2 bath apartment, loft 3rd bedroom:
    Heat, Hot and Cold Water: $100-130/month
    Electricity: $75/month(without A/C), $150-$200/month(with A/C)
    Rent: $1274

  5. 1 Bd apt, single occupant:
    Gas: $10/mo
    Electric: $0 – $20/mo (because I use very little electricity & also qualify for an LADWP low-income discount)
    Solid Resources Fee: $50/mo
    Rent: $880/mo

    I am baffled with this Solid Resources Fee tacked onto my LADWP bill–yes, I know it’s been raised recently, but I use a minimum amount of power and create next to no waste, recycling included. I live in a small apartment building with 5 units, and while each unit has its own garbage can (that’s 5 black bins and 3 blue recycling bins), the building only fills up 2 (at the most) of the black bins per week–why am I being charged so much when our tenants don’t make much waste?

    I’ve tried calling the 800-number for Solid Resources but they say it’s just because of the type of building I live in.

    This is ridiculous.

  6. I agree completely about the Solid Resources Fee. I don’t even use garbage cans at my apartment, I have to go across the street to use a fraternity house’s dumpster at 9am when no frat boys are awake to realize it. What is the charge associated with?! Garbage collection? Better not be, becuase my apartment has 15 units, thats over 750 a month for garbage collection at a complex with no cans?? highway robbery. how do you become exempt?!?

  7. I just received my LADWP bill and it had a 150 dollar Solid Resources Fee for this month only. I have no idea what it’s even for! I rent a house, but have received the bill in the past without this huge charge.

  8. HOLY S!HT_

    Why do US citizens vote for dumb f _ducks….the “Terminator & lame duck Bush Jr.” made a mess of not only the USA but also California> Los Angeles> my LADWP bill> ….hit home in a grand style. I live in Los Feliz, CA. & when I opened my bill I thought ” HUH!!!!” Really upset.

  9. ok so … DWP: 6/22/09 – 8/20/09 = $29.54
    i live in a smalllll sh!tty studio in the damn ghetto because its all i can afford on my own.
    ???SOLID RESOURCE FEE= $48.66
    Thats damn near double the electricity that i used in TWO freaking months, wtf? is that for trash? Water and Trash are supposed to be paid for in my building. WHAT IS SOLID RESOURCE FEE EXACTLY?

  10. I just opened my DWP Bill and was astonished by this “Solid Resource Fee”?! I cant tell you if I had seen it before but I curtainly see it now! 6/19 thru 8/20 my energy use fee is $130.04.
    With taxes/fees, etc + Solid Resouce Fee ($72.99), my bill totals $235.25!!!
    I live alone in a one bed/one bath… I was recently casually fantasizing about leaving California… It’s not such a casual fantasy anymore. I’m hating this town more and more due to these situations. I fear it’s only going to get worse. This is rediculous!

  11. Solid waste resource fee for SFR in LA is 72.64 per billing cycle / 2 months… it’s been going up every year

  12. I’ pissed off as well. I live in a studio apartment and this solid resources fee is bull **** $ 48.00 for my trash? am I paying for my whole apartment complex or what? this is more than my electric bill by far. I cant wait till this state falls in to the ocean so I have no choice but move out of LA. This is nothing but a greedy mismanaged city government run by idiots who cant manage a checkbook

  13. I agree with everyone who is compleatly against this “Solid Resources Fee” I’ve been writing letter after letter trying to find an answer to why they charge such outrageouse fees please send letters to: Bureau of Sanitation
    Solid Resources Recycling Division
    Attention: Rita Robinson
    Multifamily Residential Recycling Program
    1149 S. Broadway Street 9th Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90015-2213
    I copied the LA Times hoping some story can get generated. I live in a complex with 6 units I agree how is it that they milk me for $50 i only take out a bag a trash a week. only 3 cans for our entire complex are out on trash day. I pay more in SRF then in electricity. How is that?

  14. A copy of my letter feel free to use the wording and copy the LA Times or someone who can get this into the media. I’m sure we are not the only ones wondering how it is we are milked for so much and where are money is going.

    Re: Solid Resources Fee for Multifamily Units

    Ms. Robinson

    I was shocked and outraged by the charges on my Electric bill. I wondered how I could be paying more in “Solid Resource Fees” then in Electricity. It should be based of the number of people in a household or if not a percentage of electricity usage something that evens out, but when I’m paying more for a trashcan I don’t fill up on a weekly basis. Who determines these regulations? these fees? Who do I need to speak to in order to get these insane charges lowered?

    Is this not part of what is paid in property taxes under public services? It seems like this additional fee covers maintenance of vehicles, equipment and containers, it seems mighty steep a price.

    I would like you to reconsider you strategy in they way you bill out these fees. I have attached a copy of my electrical bill. I pay more in “Solid Resource Fees” then I do in electricity.

    I would also like to mention that I do my part in recycling I sort my trash and give my cans and bottles to a friend who takes these items to be recycled and my plastics go to my neighbor along with milk containers. I take out a very minimal amount of trash to be charged such outrageous fees.

  15. Here’s another one of DWP’s tricks. They sometimes “estimate” your energy services or water services usage for the billing cycle. They’ve done it to me several times in the past and… of course, it’s always some random amount that is way above “my average past usage “. I called them to ask for an explanation. Get this….I was told…. it was to HOT outside to have the meter readers out reading meters! Can you freakin believe that one!

  16. I’m in the same boat. Just moved into Los Feliz, and pow! $49.95 per month for Solid Resource Fee.

    I live alone in a 1 bedroom, and try not to buy too much disposable crap, so I generate about one 13 gallon bag of trash per week. I am pretty sure that, at this rate, I could FedEx my trash to the dump for less money. Maybe not Overnight, but I bet FedEx Ground would do it for less.

  17. Jesse

    LOL…….RLOL………. Yes I agree Fed Ex Ground would probably cheaper :|.

    🙁 I Just bought a home and i’m trying to prepare myself for my first bill.


  18. This solid resources fee is the biggest rip-off ever!
    My electric was $60 and water was $6 (for 2 months) AND THE SOLID RESOURCES FEE WAS $80 AS OF MY 1-9-10 BILL!!!!??

  19. My solid resources fee is $78, nearly 40% of my bill. I live in a small house in the San Fernando Valley with a xeriscape front yard. My understanding is this is how Villaraigosa was able to fund more police officers. Maybe they should just state that on the bill.

    From a March, 2008 blog: (link below)
    “You may see trash fees go up once again in Los Angeles.
    Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says the hike is needed to hire 1,000 more police officers. The city has already raised monthly trash fees from $11 to $26 over the last two years to pay for the ongoing expansion of the L.A. Police Department. Officials are contemplating a proposal to raise the fee to as much as $38 a month.”

    I wonder how LADWP compares w/ other municipalities?


  20. My LADWP bill that covers 11/3 to 1/7, had a $116 Solid Resources Fee. WTF? My electric usage was just $50 dollars.

  21. This is crazy…. I don’t even what the solid resources fee…why would I have to pay this? We have to stop charge this….

  22. I, too, was curious why the Solid Resources Fee was so high. I found this page with some more info: http://www.lacitysan.org/fmd/srfinfo.htm

  23. i have been monitoring the “solid waste resources fee” for sevral years now. pulled out some old bills . aug 2008 $39 …..present bill (02/10)
    $50 !!!!! wow. its the citys license to steal(excuse me) and theyre broke on top of that!!!! (200 million shortfall) life in 2010 in los angeles!!! like it or leave it (unfortnatally) nothing u can do either!!!!

  24. It cost my building tenants and I, a six unit bulidling in North Hollywood over $3000 a year now to collect trash.

    How is this even legal?

    There has to be a way to stop this?

  25. I co-own a duplex in the Mid-Wilshire area. We had duplicate waste and recycling cans + 1 yard waste can. I turned mine back into the city to save driveway space and to share with the other unit. Trying to go green by not having so much waste. Still was being charged for my cans. Called LADWP and was told that every housing unit in the city of LA that has ELECTRICITY is charged the “Solid Resources Fee” whether you have the cans or not. Even my next door neighbor who died last November and the unit is vacant still has to pay this “FEE” because there is still electricity on in the unit. I was told by LADWP this was voted on by our city councillmen. Maybe it’s time to let our “councilmen” know about this the next time they are up for re-election. Call it whatever you want, but it is still a “tax”!

  26. We just got our latest bill and are in total shock! 78.81 for solid resources fee?! What do they think they’re doing? Are they just going to keep increasing it on us? Is there any way to stop them?!

  27. I moved into a new apartment in Los Feliz in June 2009 and when i received my first LADWP bill at my new place it had a $51 solid resources fee tacked on. I called them in August 2009 to ask them what it was about and they told me that i wasn’t supposed to be charged that, apparently it’s only for certain buildings. They said they would credit the amount. As of my current bill, February 2010 they still haven’t credited the amount and they’ve been consistently charging me every cycle for it. When i called back in Oct 09 to complain again they said that it was being held up in Accounting! Not sure why it is taking them over 7 months to process a credit and stop billing me for this but I am about to call again today and scream very loudly!

  28. You are all complaining here … you want to know my bill for Solid Resources Fee??? It is $293.74
    What the f**** is that??? My Energy and Water adds up to $256 and sewer to $55. My total bill is $622.
    I rent 3 bd house close to LAX. The bill was always in $300 range … How am I supposed to pay this much??? Outrageous!!!

  29. Where does it end? We all need to band together and do something about this “L.A. City Council Votes To Increase DWP Rates” at this point i’ll need to take out a loan to start paying off my utilities. Work put a hold on merit increases not even the cost of living that is insane. My pay remains the same but the cost of everything is going up.


  30. I live in a 1364 sq ft single family home in studio city and my DWP bill averages about 500 every 2 months which covers water, electricity, sewer, and solid resource. Gas comes to 70 per month in summer and double in the winter. I can live with the utility bills being as high as they are but solid resource fees are just ridiculous. It’s been raised and raised by the city to pay for things. It’s nothing but a tax! Villaraigosa has raised this time and time again to pay for things instead of cutting the fat. It’s gone from 11 dollars just a few years ago to 38 dollars a month now. God knows when it’s gonna be raised again to pay for other services

  31. My roommates and I rent a 3/bdrm in Weho and just got our regular $450+ for every other month PLUS $449.00 IN BACK CHARGES FOR the SOLID RESOURCES FEE. They said they have not charged us all year so now they are gouging us for a year. THIS IS BS.

    Are you guys paying these things or doing a payment plan? These payment plans better be interest free.

  32. Kacie, this is exactly what happened to me. Back charges.
    All I was able to do is to ask them to break the amount over 5 months. The CS Rep was very nice and had to troubles doing that. Try that.

  33. Just adding my voice to the fray! Also, I read somewhere in city literature that buildings with more than 3 units should have a lower fee than those with more than 3, but finding anyone in the city who knows this and can help me fix the issue is ridiculously difficult! Now I’ve got to go back and find that document and start waving it around. :\

    I did reach out to my neighborhood association, as I live in West LA and there are TONS of renters in this neighborhood, to see if they’re doing any advocacy to stop the continued raising of this fee. We need to make sure we all gather our voices up! Would anyone else like to start an official petition against the Solid Resources Fee?

  34. i rent 1/2 of a duplex in the melrose area. my question is concerning the “solid resources fee” aka, garbage pick-up. since my neighbor and i share the same bins, why is it we are each billed $70/month?…the normal pick-up fee for a single residence. since we’re using the same bins, shouldn’t we split the garbage bill?

  35. My electricity alone: $2.62 thanks greatly to the low income credit. Total bill: over $50!! All due to the solid resources fee. I share cans with my landlord even. I looked around online and apparently the fee is collected by the DWP and given to the city to pay for more cops. Maybe they should just use the damn helicopters less often….

  36. Does anyone know what we can do or who we can go to to do something about this ? I looked up watchdog institution for LADWP but didn’t find a conclusive institution to lodge a complain with.

    Do we really want a bigger government when all they seem to care about is ripping us off ?

  37. Hi David Gagne,

    Thanks for raising this as an issue – did you ever resolve this in anyway ? Do you mind if I post this thread on yelp & give us more publicity to issues like that ?

  38. Well, to be honest, I was only posting my DWP bill so my friends on the East coast would see how expensive water and electric is out here. I wasn’t really trying to “raise awareness” of the solid resources fee issue; that just sort of happened on its own as other people left comments on this post about it.

    Of course you can post a link to this on Yelp, or anywhere else you’d like.

  39. Just moved to a two unit duplex in Los Feliz and was shocked to find I am bring charges $79 every billing cycle for the solid resources fee. Does anyone know if I were to tell DWP that I want to stop all their services and use SoCal Edison for electricity if they will charge me for garbage?

  40. Boy am I glad I found this, I thought I was the only one freaking out!…I just had a heart attack when I received my first bill for $470.00 from LADWP….WHAT?????? Im one person? Solid Resource fee was 71.00 and sewer charge was 55.59. I just moved from Ventura County 805 and I can tell you I’ve NEVER experienced this kind of gouging in my life. I will definitely be writing a letter AND sending it to the LA TIMES as well. Wow, I don’t know if I can afford to live here afterall???? I had no idea about these fees! This is a complete fraud to the people of Los Angeles!

  41. David:

    Thanks for the blog and the thread it has caused:

    Quick background: I was born on family ranch land in Van Nuys in September 1946. My wife was born in Montebello in 1950 and raised in North Hollywood (Not NoHo). We have reside in North Hollywood for 44 years.

    We have been in an ongoing two (2) year bureaucratic battle with the City for charging us the LA City Sanitation Service Charge.

    Here’s the rundown as follows:

    As to the complaints related to the LA City Sanitation Service Charge? We have never been serviced by the LA City Sanitation Department. The city never dropped any containers at our address. We do not currently have city containers.

    We have had private commercial solid waste dumpster pick-up for the 16 years we have resided at this commercial property location. The dumpster charge is covered by the other three (3) commercial businesses that lease space on this property and our portion is paid through our original lease contract.

    We reside in the 1450 sq. ft. 2 bedroom loft with business office. Our 25 year lease is $725.00 per month and that covers the water and sewer services charges.

    Now keep in mind that the city also receives a portion of the private commercial solid waste dumpster fees. So in practice, the city is and has been double billing us without having to service us with their containers.

    Solid Resources Fee: $70.45

    Currently our official complaint is somewhere in the just recently elected new city councilman’s “Do I Have to Do This?” in-box. And he has another 28 days to respond to my latest request to answer to this situation.

    Thanks again David, for the thread that has stayed active for over 2 years.

    And, as my saying goes: I may be old by I’m persistent…


  42. it’s money laundering as usual, it costs less to accumulate waste and dispose of it with a private company once a month, there shouldn’t be a monopoly of areas for one company to overcharge its inhabitants by assuming its volumes of waste generated.
    it has to be rectified, maybe we’re not living in a democratic country in the end, we’re doomed.

  43. Just got my water bill… this Solid Resources fee is $304.76…
    its ridiculous!!! does anybody knows how to get exempt or at leas cut it in half???

  44. **** all of u coplain i rent a 4 bd house.We would usually get the solid fee no more tha $120.00 but thi month it was $$495.00 can u fukin belive this has to be a joke It’s about 1/4 of my rent i can belive this………………..

  45. this crazy charge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. okay i finally got them to remove and refund the $50 solid resource fee that they’ve been charging me every month for the past year and a half. apparently it relates to trash pick up. since i live in an apartment and there is a private company that picks up our trash (not LA county), we should not have to pay this fee. i had to have my landlord call the private company and have them issue a letter stating that they’ve been picking up the trash since i’ve moved in and thus it was never serviced by LA county. i sent the letter to LADWP and they are refunding me all the solid resource fees that they’ve been charging me since i moved in here. hope this info helps some of you guys.

  47. For some reason the last two billing cycles my dreaded Solid Resources Fee is nowhere to be found. My bill is now cut in half. I live in an apartment complex — so I don’t know if they changed pickup services or not.

    Was wondering if anyone else has seen any difference in their fees?

  48. Thanks, Ann and Jon. It’s good to know this can be dealt with.
    I have lived in my duplex apt. for over 30 years. For the first time this month my bill has included this Solid Resource Fee. My complex has private trash service- the city doesn’t even pick up my garbage, yet they are charging me $72.84 for two months.
    A call to the number on my bill, after waiting almost 1/2 an hour to speak to a rep, was the equivalent of banging my head against city hall. I was basically told it is a city charge and all dwellings are being charged it- a $437 charge for a service I do not even use.

  49. Single family house.
    Occupants: 2

    Electric: $221.08
    Water: $33.60
    Sewer Service Charge: $67.05
    Sewer Surcharge: $.81
    City Utility Tax: $22.11
    Solid Resources Fee: $76.42
    State Energy Surcharge: $.41
    Total: $400.77

  50. avatar
    defrauded dwp customer

    Last Saturday I found a shutoff notice in my mailbox, giving me 24 hours to come up with more money to pay them than I make in a whole year. Btw., my own bill did not contain a past due balance at all – this is someone else’s bill (and DWP even admits it)!!!

    Had no choice but to file protective BK (I NEED my power on to do my job) and these mafiosos still shut it off. Hope they’ll all rot in jail…

  51. our bill just came in $197 for electricity, 75 for SRF (outrageous!).. no one is even home at that period of time.. we don’t have a/c and we use only the small $24 heater you buy at target. its rediculous..

    let’s all move to the north carolina!! 🙂 there they only pay around $120 for electricity ( with a/c, heater, tv in all 4 rooms, lights are left overnight, cooking done all the time etc) they don’t even pay for the trash… it is not a necesssity to work 3 jobs just to pay mortgage. you can still go home after work and relax in a nice countryside environment!!!

  52. May 5th to May 27th

    3 Units/Units #3 Landlords frequent visits.
    SRF $145.98
    Electric: $255.15
    Water: $80.46
    Sanitaion Cahrges $240.12
    Total: $575.73
    Divides bill 2x’s $288.86/Unit #1 Front House (2)
    Unit #2 Middle House $288.86 (3)
    Unit #3/Landlords should pay his part SRF of $48.66/2mos. I just send him a letter he needs to start paying his part.

  53. I give in 😐 i’m just shelling out the cash, no use if fighting the inevitable. I took on two roomates to be able to live in LA :-|.


  55. Today I learned that I as the new owner of a small house in South Central, I have to pay the bills that were generated by former tenants of the former owner. It’s over $3000.00. DWP rep says the water & power will not be turned on until I pay the money. Has anyone ever heard of this situation?

  56. Has anyone found a way to lower or discontinue the sanitation dept. fees? Is there a class action suit? I’m disabled and unable to work, and have a set income from social security, (classified as extreme poverty level by federal government), which has not increased in two years. How is it possible that the mayor and city council voted to phase out the low income fee waiver program and expect elderly, disabled, low income citizens to survive? I think voters should have a say in how the department of sanitation operates and charges. I would rather see less trash collections, less waste of funds in the operations. Many can afford to pay the fees, but many cannot. It is not an equitable system of how and what is charged. All of us are being held hostage and have to pay “fees” for services not used, because if we don’t, our electricity will be shut off.

  57. only homeowners should have to pay for sanitation removal, not renters. It’s time for class revolution!

  58. I’ve been living in SoCal for over a year now and have never seen a solid resources fee on my bill. Maybe my apt complex pays for it? I still pay a sanitation fee of $1.20/month but that’s about it.

    I was surprised at how high my bill was for July-Aug…I have a 524 sq ft studio and I’ve only run my wall a/c for about 2 hours/night and somehow my bill ended up $98. I’m most certain I used my a/c TWICE as much than that and it was only half of the cost as this most recent one.

    I was shocked.

  59. Getting on this rant a little late in the hate, but I too am outraged about LADWP “Solid Resources Fee. We recycle to the max, but all the aluminium, glass and everything else of value is pilfered away by people pushing stolen shopping carts up and down the street at ungodly hours making all the dogs start barking, WOW talk about a lose lose situtation. And we only put our bins out maybe twice a month. And they charge $70 every two 2 months. What the heck can we do about this RIP OFF

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