Public Benefit Charge on electric bills. Since 1998, Glendale has been
required by the state to collect a 2.85% fee on electrical use and pour
it back into programs that reduce bills and promote efficiency.
The so-called Business Energy Solutions program is geared to
Glendale's top 100 electric customers, who spend $36.8 million a year in
electricity and pay more than $1 million a year in the Public Benefit
Charge. The businesses would be eligible for energy audits and upgrades
for such equipment as mechanical, refrigeration, heating, air
conditioning and lighting systems.
The council will also consider approving spending $76,500 a year to
give a break to those who use medical equipment. The discount will range
between $5 and $15 a month, depending on usage.
Earlier this fall, Glendale increased the monthly discount for
low-income seniors from $3 to $10 a month. Glendale is also planning an
energy efficiency program for smaller businesses.
Bernie Palk, executive director of Glendale Water & Power, said the
audit and upgrades will save the city money because they reduce the
amount of power the city buys. It's also good business to help customers
help themselves, because they will have the option of buying power
elsewhere if Glendale opens its borders to competition because of
deregulation, Palk said.
"By helping businesses, we are helping ourselves," Palk said. "We want
them to stay with us."
Glendale enacted a policy that divides the $3.6 million in annual
revenue between businesses, government and residential programs.
Mayor Ginger Bremberg said it is appropriate businesses benefit from
the program because they are putting in so much money. "They are paying
just as much as anybody else and should get something back," she said.
Arnold Schaffer, president of Glendale Memorial Hospital, which pays
$94,000 a month for electricity, said the program is good because it will
reduce the hospital's energy costs and the need for the city to buy more
power. "In the long run, that will save citizens money," Schaffer said.
Glendale is unable to tie any business assistance to getting companies
to buy their power from the city in the future. Schaffer said his
hospital hasn't decided on its energy needs.
"We are going to wait and see how this plays out. There is not enough
information to make a decision," Schaffer said.
Besides the 2.85% fee, electric users pay a 7% utility tax.
The Glendale City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council
chambers of City Hall, 613 E. Broadway. The Glendale Housing Authority
will meet at 2:30 p.m. and the Glendale Redevelopment Agency at 3:30 p.m.
The meetings will be televised live on Charter Communications Channel 6.
In other action, the council will consider:
* Proceeding with bond financing for the police building.
* A report on rental assistance for housing programs.
* A report updating city efforts to help auto dealers along Brand
* A report on Y2K preparedness of the city.
* A report about water deliveries from the cleanup of Superfund sites.