Delaware Division of the
Public Advocate

Investigation Reveals Thousands of Delaware Businesses May be Overpaying for Electric Service

Date Posted: Friday, March 6th, 2020


March 5, 2020



Drew Slater
Public Advocate

Samantha Hemphill

PSC Ombudsman



Investigation Reveals Thousands of Delaware Businesses May be Overpaying for Electric Service

Many Commercial Customers Eligible for Lower Rates from Delmarva Power


DOVER – The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate and the Delaware Public Service Commission are urging medium and large businesses that get their electricity from Delmarva Power to contact the utility immediately and ask if they qualify for lower billing rates.

This call to action is a result of a recent investigation conducted by the Public Advocate and staff of the Public Service Commission (PSC), which revealed that more than 5,000 commercial customers of Delmarva Power may be paying higher rates for electricity than their usage warrants.

“Delmarva Power’s commercial customers who qualify for a lower rate are entitled to that rate. Until there is a long-term solution in place, it is extremely important that customers contact Delmarva Power to find out if they are eligible,” said Public Advocate Drew Slater. 

The Public Advocate and PSC staff are working with Delmarva on a plan to resolve this issue. However, at this time, it is recommended that all commercial customers receiving Medium General Service (MGS) or Large General Service (LGS) from Delmarva Power call the utility at 1-800-375-7117. When speaking with a customer service representative, customers should be sure to ask, “Do I qualify for a lower rate?” Rate classifications typically can be found on page two of a customer’s electric bill, under “Details of Your Electric Charges.”

“This issue came to light a few months ago and has the potential to impact businesses of all sizes throughout Delaware. We look forward to working collaboratively with Delmarva Power to resolve this issue as soon as practicably possible,” said Matt Hartigan, deputy director of the PSC.

The rate classification issue was first identified in a formal complaint to the PSC filed by a Sussex County business owner last year. The PSC ruled in favor of the customer in December.

The ruling generated news coverage from the Associated Press and additional customer complaints were received by the Public Advocate and PSC staff in recent months.

Upon further investigation, the Public Advocate and PSC staff learned that as many as 5,200 businesses served by Delmarva – more than 35 percent of all the utility’s MGS and LGS customers – may be eligible for lower rates. It is estimated that these commercial customers may be entitled to hundreds of dollars in savings on their electric bills each month.


The Delaware Public Service Commission regulates investor-owned public utilities and works to ensure safe, reliable and reasonably priced service.


The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate advocates for the lowest reasonable utility rates, principally on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers, consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and an equitable distribution of rates among all classes of consumers.




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