April 25, 2016

Public Advocate Dave Bonar comments on the potential impact of a FERC decision on the allocation of Artificial Island costs to Delaware customers (The News Journal)

March 2016

Delmarva Power electric and gas customers receive bill credits from the merger with Exelon.

October 15, 2015

Electric Choice in Delaware: Switching to a third party supplier can help consumers lower their energy bills as compared to remaining on the Standard Offer Service (SOS) energy supply provided by Delmarva Power, yet few residential and small commercial customers have made a switch. To understand barriers and evaluate potential solutions, the Division of the Public Advocate and the Public Service Commission are hosting two workshops, one October 22 and the second October 29, 2015. We encourage residential and small commercial customers, third party energy suppliers, and all interested parties to join in these discussions. Look for "Electric Affordability Workshop" in the PSC Calendar of Events for workshop details.

October 5, 2015: Energize Delaware announces a partnership with Catholic Charities to help low-income families qualify for the Weatherization Assistance Program. The Pre-Weatherization Assistance Program will help previously ineligible low-income families prepare their homes to meet the requirements for the Weatherization program. Participating families will receive financing to help with structural repairs such as leaky roofs, broken windows and doors, moisture in crawl spaces, or other minor problems which would negate the benefits of weatherization. The program will remedy issues that caused homes to be deferred from participating in the Weatherization Assistance Program, at no cost to the client. Candidates for the Pre-Weatherization program will come from the existing pool of deferred Weatherization clients. Read more...

September 18, 2015

Beginning Sept. 21, the Green Energy Fund for Delmarva Power & Light (DPL) customers will implement new solar incentives, DNREC's Division of Energy & Climate announced today. The Green Energy Fund provides grants to DPL customers for small scale solar and geothermal installations. All applications received on or after Sept. 21 will be reviewed under the new incentive levels. The Delaware Electric Cooperative's (DEC) Renewable Resource Program and the Delaware Municipal Electric Company (DEMEC) programs are not affected by this announcement.

"Rebate levels for the DPL Green Energy Fund program are being lowered due to a significant increase in applications, the lower cost of materials in the solar market and an increase in leased systems which do not need large incentives to make them economically feasible," said Energy Program Administrator Robert Underwood, Division of Energy & Climate. "These lowered rebate levels will still support systems that are economically feasible for homeowners, solar power purchase models (PPAs) and lease companies."

With the decreasing cost of solar coupled with the increasing popularity of solar lease and PPAs, the Division of Energy & Climate has seen a dramatic increase in Green Energy Fund applications. In 2013 the Green Energy Fund (GEF) received 284 applications, and in 2014 the number doubled to 571. For 2015, approximately 1,300 applications are projected. More than 80 percent of the applications received this year are under the newer PPA/lease financing model, which requires no money down on the part of the lessee, thus driving the increase in applications. The recent rapid growth in solar power installations, changing industry economics and limited funding have led to a 200 percent increase in applications and an unsustainable backlog of up to 36 months in grant disbursements.

The new GEF solar incentive levels are based on market conditions and recommendations from the Green Energy Fund Review and Recommendations Final Report conducted by the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC). The incentive levels are being reduced from a maximum of $15,000 for residential solar system to $3,300 for customer-owned systems and $1,000 for PPA/Lease systems. In addition, non-residential solar systems are being reduced from a maximum of $24,000 to $3,000. Lastly, the non-profit solar systems are being reduced from a maximum of $50,000 to $41,250. The new incentive levels will continue to keep the multi-year net present value (NPV) of these solar systems above zero, so that customers see a positive return on their investment.

"We understand that the changes in incentives will affect the solar energy business in the short term, but not addressing the backlog would be far more harmful," Underwood added. "We look forward to working with stakeholders to assist with this transition of the Green Energy Fund."

For more information on the new GEF incentives, please visit DNREC's Green Energy Page.

September 14, 2015

Stay Connected! The National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commssioners (NARUC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are designating September 14-20 as "National Telephone Discount Lifeline Awareness Week." Lifeline is a government benefit program that provides discounted wireline or wireless phone service to eligible low-income consumers. To see if you qualify, visit www.lifelinesupport.org. Existing subscribers may be required to verify their continued eligibility for Lifeline. For more information, visit www.usac.org or call the FCC at 888-225-5322.

August 4, 2015

A recent News Journal article discusses the potential for all energy users within the Delmarva Power Transmission zone, which includes the entire state of Delaware and portions of Maryland, to be allocated almost 100% of the costs of transmission upgrades approved by PJM Interconnection, LLC ("PJM") to remedy electric stability issues at Artificial Island in New Jersey. PJM is the Regional Transmission Organization serving thirteen states and the District of Columbia and is regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"). Because of the potential impacts on customers' electric bills, the DPA has been actively monitoring this issue (see our July 2014 letter regarding the PJM Staff project recommendation) and has engaged in discussions with PJM Staff and the owners of the transmission project approved by the PJM Board. On May 27, 2015, the DPA sent a letter to the PJM Board urging it to consider the obvious inequity resulting from the proposed cost allocation methodology. This situation is unique, and the DPA is convinced that PJM has the authority to take extenuating issues into account; we are currently considering all options available, including legal action, to obtain a more reasonable cost allocation for the Artificial Island upgrades.

July 16, 2015

The Delaware Public Advocate, as part of a broader coalition of states and consumer advocates, filed an Amici brief with the Unted States Sumpreme Court to support the continued participation of demand response resources in wholesale markets. Demand response resources help to lower the overall wholesale price for electricity, producing savings for all customers of wholesale markets. Read the Brief.

June 30, 2015

Considerations for Installing Solar Panels In Delaware: This fact sheet from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) can help you decide if system ownership, leasing, or a power purchase agreement will best meet your needs when choosing to install a solar panel system in Delaware. DNREC also released a report titled "Green Energy Fund Review and Recommendations Final Report" which includes a review of regional solar markets, solar incentives, and a comprehensive analysis of Delaware's Green Energy Program and recommendations for changes to the program.

Delmarva Power recently launched an education campaign for its customers considering renewable energy. Learn more from Delmarva's Green Power Connection...

June 2, 2015

A duly appointed Hearing Examiner issued his report of Findings and Recommendations related to Artesian Water Company's request for a rate increase. Search for Docket No. 14-193 on the PSC's Delafile system to find all public documents, including the Hearing Examiner's report, related to this case. Parties to the case must file exceptions within twenty days, and then the matter will be considered by the PSC for a final determination.

June 2, 2015

The PSC approved a 0.06% increase - from 0.31% to 0.37% - to Tidewater Utility's Distribution System Improvement Charge ("DSIC") effective July 1, 2015. The DSIC rate remains subject to review, audit, and an annual reconciliation by Staff based on a 12-month period ending December 31, 2015. Search for Docket No. 15-1000 on the PSC's Delafile system to find all public documents related to this case.

June 2, 2015

The PSC entered Order No. 8746 approving the merger between Pepco Holdings, Inc. (Delmarva Power's parent company) and Exelon Corporation under the terms and conditions contained in an Amended Settlement Agreement (dated April 7, 2015) and to which the the Public Advocate is a party. The PSC will issue a final order once decisions in Maryland and the District of Columbia have been evaluated to determine the impact, if any, on the terms contained in the Amended Settlement Agreement. Search for Docket No. 14-193 on the PSC's Delafile system to find all public documents related to this case.

May 27, 2015

Public Advocate David Bonar submitted a letter to the Board of Managers of PJM Interconnection, LAC requesting a re-evaluation of the cost allocation of a PJM approved transmission upgrade at Artificial Island in New Jersey. The formulaic cost allocation methodology utilized by PJM results in 99.9% of the costs of this $263 - $238 million project being paid by customers in the Delmarva Power transmission zone that covers all of Delaware and small portions of Maryland and Virginia.

October 3, 2014

Public Advocate David Bonar urges Delmarva Power customers who have purchased their energy supply from a third party energy supplier to review their contract terms and conditions. Press Release

July 17, 2014

The DPA files comments on the PSC Staff Report regarding Delmarva Power's proposed reliability investments. Read Comments...

June 30, 2014

Exelon and Pepco Holdings File for Merger Approval with Utility Commissions in Delaware, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Read PHI Press Release...

June 27, 2014

The DPA, along with the consumer advocates of Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, sent a letter to both FERC and to the PJM Board voicing their support of FERC's decision to appeal a May 23, 2104 D.C. Circuit Court ruling impacting the participation of demand response in PJM's wholesale markets. The letter also recognizes PJM's efforts in support of that rehearing request. If implemented, the result of the D.C. Cit cut Court decision will have substantial and detriment impacts on the costs electric consumers pay for energy, as well as system reliability. Read the letter

June 1, 2014

Delmarva Power Announces Rate Adjustments Read PHI Press Release...

May 30, 2014

Exelon, Pepco Holdings Inc., File with FERC for Approval to Combine Their Businesses Read PHI Press Release...

April 30, 2014

Exelon to Acquire Pepco Holdings, Inc., Creating the Leading Mid-Atlantic Electric and Gas Utility Read PHI Press Release...

April 11, 2014

Artesian Water Company, Inc. filed an application (PSC Docket No. 14-132) seeking an increase in total revenue of slightly more than $9.98 million. This represents an incremental increase of 12.59%a however, by including the Distribution System Improvement Charge ("DSIC") of 3.32% currently in place, which is set to zero upon filing for a general rate increase, the total increase requested is 15.91%.

November 25, 2013

Tidewater Utilities, Inc. filed an application seeking an overall revenue increase of $3,903,338, or approximately 14.42%. View the Application, Schedules and Testimonies

November 5, 2013

The Public Service Commission opened an investigation into the marketing practices of Starion Energy PA, Inc., a third-party electricity supplier (PSC Docket No. 395-13). The Commissions asks that anyone wishing to file written comments, concerns, or complaints regarding Starion or any of its agents, please do so before December 31, 2013. Refer to PSC Order No. 8477 for additional information.

October 16, 2013

The Public Service Commission hosted the third, and final, "Public Interactive Discussion Forums and Comment Session" on October 16, 2013 in Wilmington, DE. The purpose of the sessions was to hear from the public about their expectations for reliable power delivery and the potential costs for that reliability. Delmarva Power is planning to spend $397 million dollars over the next several years on infrastructure replacement and improvement, and according to a presentation by PSC Staff, Delmarva Power residential customers could see an increase of up to $18.99 per month by 2017 for infrastructure improvements alone.

October 8, 2013

Effective October 8, 2013, rates for customers of Artesian Wastewater Management, Inc. will increase to $80 per EDU per month (EDU stands for Equivalent Dwelling Unit; most residential customers are charged 1 EDU). By Order No. 8442, rates will increase to $85 per EDU per month approximately one year later on September 14, 2014.

The PSC entered Order No. 8469 which permits consolidated billing for customers of Artesian Water Company and Artesian Wastewater Management. This means that rather than receiving one bill for water services and a second bill for wastewater services, charges for each service will appear on a single bill. The PSC also approved a posting sequence for partial payments received for a consolidated bill: (1) Any existing arrearages for either water or wastewater service; (2) Arrears by vintage priority for water or wastewater service. A water service arrearage has a higher priority than wastewater service arrearage of the same vintage; (3) Current charges for water service; (4) Current charges for wastewater service.

By Order No. 8466, the PSC approved Delmarva's request to place into effect a second temporary rate increase in the amount of $25,155,265, effective October 22, 2013. This increase is permitted under Delaware law, and is in addition to a $2,500,000 increase that went into effect on April 9, 2013 in accordance with Order No. 8337.

October 2, 2013

Delmarva Power filed a proposed "Forward Looking Rate Plan" for PSC consideration. Under the proposal, the PSC would be asked to approve a level of revenue to be recovered from ratepayers over the next four years. View Application.

September 26, 2013

The PSC entered Order No. 8464 which allows the Delmarva Power Environmental Surcharge Rate ("ESR") to increase from $0.00021 per ccf to $0.00059 per ccf for all firm delivery service customers beginning November 1, 2013. This rate increase is subject to refund pending an evidentiary hearing scheduled for November 21, 2013 and a final determination by the PSC.

Effective November 1, 2013, most Delmarva Power natural gas customers will see a decrease in their Gas Cost Rate("GCR"). By Order No. 8457, the PSC allowed the proposed rates to go into effect, subject to refund, pending a final decision. The impact on a residential customer using 120 ccf during a winter month will be a decrease of approximately $8.23.

The PSC approved the OFCP-RC ("Bloom Energy") rate for Delmarva Power electric customers for service rendered September 30 through October 28, 2013. The charge for all rate classes, except GS-T and GS-P, during the effective period will be $0.003980 per kWh. See Order No. 8459.

By Order No. 8458 the PSC allowed an increase in the Gas Sales Rate ("GSR") for most customers of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. The rate becomes effective November 1, 2013, and is subject to refund pending a final determination by the PSC. The impact on a residential customer using 120 ccf during a winter month will be an increase of approximately $1.32.

September 16, 2013

The Public Advocate filed comments regarding Delmarva Power's 2012 Integrated Resource Plan ("IRP"), recommending the PSC find the IRP offers little benefit for its cost and to urge the Legislature to eliminate the requirement.

September 5, 2013

Press Release: Delaware Public Service Commission and Public Advocate recognizes "Lifeline Awareness Week" September 9-15, 2013


Properly placed trees can help to keep you home cooler in the summer and block cold winter winds, but make sure to choose the Right Tree for the Right Place. The Arbor Day Foundation offers useful information to help guide your tree selection. Remember, before you dig call 8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked.

The Delaware Division of Energy and Climate works with local non-profit agencies to provide energy conservation services for homes of low-income Delawareans. A family of four making less than $46,000 per year may qualify for free in-home weatherization services that can save owners and renters hundreds of dollars in annual heating bills. For more information about the Weatherization Assistance Program, please contact the Weatherization Team at 302-735-3480, or visit Home Weatherization Services.

The Delaware Sustainable Energy Utility recently announced its partnership with the University of Delaware's award-winning Industrial Assessment Center to finance energy assessments for non-residential buildings in Delaware. This is an outstanding opportunity for non-profit organizations to discover cost effective ways to reduce energy costs - savings which can be used to meet their organizational goals. To learn more, contact Energize Delaware at (302) 883-3048.

The US Department of Energy notes that "[r]educing the amount of air that leaks in and out of your home is a cost-effective way to cut heating and cooling costs, improve durability, increase comfort, and create a healthier indoor environment." Learn more about finding air leaks in your home, and the ins and outs of caulking and weather-stripping.