Delmarva Power requests rate hike

NEWARK — Delmarva Power on Tuesday filed a petition with the Delaware Public Service Commission to authorize an electric base rate adjustment of $62.8 million.

If the request is approved as filed, the bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh will increase by $10.23 per month to a total bill of $151.34. The rate request will be reviewed by the Public Service Commission before it can take affect. That process that could take nine to 12 months. Delmarva Power said it has been more than three years since it has requested an electric or gas rate increase.

Delmarva Power spokesperson Nicholas Morici said in the announcement that the increase is being sought to recover the costs of reliability and smart-infrastructure investments that have reduced the frequency and duration of power outages, and a gas base rate adjustment of $21.5 million to improve service and ensure the integrity and safety of the gas system.

Improvements in the electric system include upgrading four substations with advanced automation equipment that allows the company to pinpoint outages and send crews directly to the specific source of the damage, according to Delmarva Power. Improvements also include replacing hundreds of miles of wire with sturdier, more weather-resilient wire to help prevent power outages.

“In today’s technology-driven society, dependence upon a reliable electric grid has never been greater. A reliable and modern energy system is what Delaware needs to continue to attract and retain healthy businesses in the state,” said Gary Stockbridge, president of Delmarva Power.

Delmarva Power said it has invested $222 million into its electric system since 2013. Those investments have produced a 17 percent drop in the number of outages and a 44 percent increase in the speed in which outages are restored, Mr. Morici said in the announcement.

The natural gas rate adjustment is also subject to Public Service Commission approval. If approved as filed, the typical residential customer using 120 ccfs would see an increase of $13.55 per month for a total bill of $143.22.

Delmarva Power said it has invested more than $120.9 million in upgrades to the gas system since 2013 by modernizing the gas-delivery system through the replacement of about five miles of old steel mains, two miles of plastic mains, approximately 20 miles of cast and ductile-iron mains, and 38 miles of (3,500) worn steel and copper services to residences and businesses.

“Replacing old gas main and worn services ensures the safety and integrity of our gas system,” Stockbridge said.

For more information about Delmarva Power, visit www.delmarva.com.

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