EcoMotion Solar Uncovers $251,000 Annual Bill Error for Santa Monica

Michael Ware was doing his job, head down, analyzing all City-owned sites for solar. We’ve done the library, bus shelter, schools, etc… What other facilities make sense? Which ones have both suitable space for solar and an attractive rate offset? One site that Ware and his colleague Drew Lowell-Britt studied was the City’s water treatment plant, located outside of Santa Monica on the West Side of LA. The City of Santa Monica has been paying LADWP for power at this facility for years, and erroneously was being charged a utility user tax, something that cities are exempt from paying.

At the end of the day, Ware was successful at getting the tax lifted from the City’s accounts within the LADWP territory. This will save the City of Santa Monica $251,000 in the first year. And taxes are being lifted retroactively for 1.5 years, giving the City of Santa Monica big credit. According to a city employee,”…it was the diligence of Michael Ware from EcoMotion that has resulted so far in a savings to the Water Resources Department of $218,000 for our electric bill for Arcadia going back to Oct 2013.”

“Michael is the one that noticed we have been paying a utility tax on our DWP bills where we should be exempt. He pursued it with DWP and has gotten the status changed in our two meters at Arcadia…. He just left my office, where we went over the 3 remaining bills including Charnock where they are still charging us the utility tax of 12.5%. His intention is to go back and get the status changed for those as well and hopefully a similar credit…. Just want to give a shout out on behalf of Michael Ware!”

Over the next 20 years, assuming a 4% utility rate escalation, the City will save $7.47 million dollars thanks to this correction.