LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The board that oversees the Department of Water and Power voted Tuesday to raise customer rates to help pay for upgrades on the city’s aging pipe system.

Under the proposed rate hike plan, a single family household could see bills go up by $3 per month, each year, for the next five years, according to the LADWP.

“No one likes to raise rates, but the price of inaction will be much higher for all of Los Angeles’ residents,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Even with this increase, DWP’s water rates will remain some of the lowest in the region.”

Revenue will be used for higher operating costs and the unfunded employee pension liability, according to the proposal.

Customers who use less water could see smaller hikes, while heavier water users could see bigger increases.

Rates could also be higher than anticipated if current drought conditions continue.

“For the first time, rate increases can be adjusted and reduced if the DWP does not perform as promised,” Garcetti added. “There will also be a formal rate review after two years to assess if additional changes need to be made.”

At 11 a.m., the board is scheduled to vote on the rate hike plan, which is backed by Garcetti, during a meeting in downtown Los Angeles.

If approved, the proposal will next be considered by the L.A. City Council.

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