Among the upcoming legislative issues facing the utility are renewable energy mandates, strengthened chromium 6 standards and sustaining California’s water supply, among others.
“All of those things really impact the city’s operations,” said John Takhtalian, assistant to the city manager. “While our existing lobbyist has done a satisfactory job of addressing what our needs have been, Glendale Water & Power is currently wanting to reassess the direction that is being taken.”
General Manager Glenn Steiger said the utility is facing more concurrent legislative issues than at any point in the past several years.
“That takes a good deal of resources on an ongoing basis to deal with the changing landscape,” Steiger said.
With the state moving closer to significantly lower drinking water standards for chromium 6, the utility could be forced to institute expensive treatment practices to strip the contaminant from local water supplies.
On the electric side, pending state legislation would require that 33% of power provided by utilities be from renewable sources, such as power generated by solar, wind or landfill gas. Some renewable energies are less cost effective, so the utility is working to increase its renewable portfolio while keeping consumer prices low, officials said.
In August, the City Council approved two wind energy contracts for more than $100 million.
“We need to balance clean energy with reliable and affordable energy,” said Lana Haddad, administrative analyst for the utility. “We don’t want to price someone out of having lights in their house.”
And several other major issues are on the horizon, including legislative attempts to mitigate the state’s water crisis, Steiger said.