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Responding to California's Major Fire Challenges

November 17, 2016

Publicly-owned utilities account for about 25% of the electricity generated in California at rates about 41% lower than investor-owned utilities. Nationally, the 2,000+ public utilities serve over 48 million Americans.

But what of the future? Policy makers have shifted generation requirements to alternative energy sources in ever-increasing amounts. A bill moving through the California Legislature would require that 100% of energy be derived from alternative sources by 2045.

LA Department of Water and Power general manager Dave Wright will discuss the present challenges facing public utilities. Looking beyond, Mr. Wright will consider the issues arising from a new presidential administration, including possible shifts in energy policy regarding exploration, distribution and power generation.

Stable, reliable, inexpensive water and electricity are cornerstones of our local and state economies. Join us for a vigorous discussion of our region’s energy future.


David Wright is the General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP). Mr. Wright was first hired as Senior Assistant General Manager of LADWP’s power system in February 2015. Shortly thereafter, he became Chief Operating Officer, overseeing the Water and Power Systems and operations of several divisions spanning logistics, human resources and community affairs and customer service.

Dave worked for the City of Riverside for 25 years, most recently as the Public Utilities General Manager. Trained as a CPA, he first held a number of positions within the finance department, including City Controller, before assuming management duties with Riverside Public Utilities. A recognized leader within the utility industry, he served as president of the Southern California Public Power Authority in 2008.

Mr. Wright has continually used his financial background to control costs and keep rates as cost-effective as possible. He has bachelors and master’s degrees in business administration from California State University, Fullerton.