Metropolitan Water District’s rebate budget $24m in the red as member agency LADWP announces cash for grass program

Posted on | June 10, 2009 | No Comments

From Aquafornia via the Riverside Press Enterprise: “Metropolitan Water District’s board (yesterday) ordered an audit after questioning the management of a regional rebate program for water-saving appliances that is $24 million in the red.

The board of directors, meeting in Los Angeles on Tuesday, rejected a committee recommendation to pull money out of reserves to pay for a flurry of outstanding rebate claims incurred in the past few months, when the program had run out of money.

“This program has not been managed or monitored properly,” said board member James Blake, who represents the city of Fullerton. “We said when the money was gone, it was gone. We have not only used up the money, we are proposing to double or triple the money.”

Directors voted to have MWD’s auditor validate all pending claims to come up with an exact dollar figure, and to evaluate the best use of conservation dollars. No money will be spent until the audit is complete, according to the vote. A report is expected at the next board meeting, July 14.”

Meanwhile on June 2nd, the Metropolitan member agency, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, launched a new cash-for-grass program.

UPDATE JUNE 10, 2009, 1:41PM PST — A MWD spokesperson said today that of the $24m outstanding rebate payments for water-saving appliances, $2m concern home-owner claims. As a result of the debt and funding freeze, the MWD program will be on “hiatus” until the board decides how to act. More will be known about the fate of the program after the July 14 board meeting. Meanwhile, the cash-for-grass program recently unveiled by the Met member agency the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which is funded by the City of Los Angeles, will be unaffected other than the tortuous wait on the rebate telephone line shared with Metropolitan.

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