Delaware Division of the
Public Advocate

Public Advocate Files Petition to Reduce Tidewater Utilities, Inc. Rates

Date Posted: Tuesday, June 28th, 2022

Delaware Division of the Public Advocate

Delaware Department of State

Public Advocate Files Petition to Reduce Tidewater Utilities, Inc. Rates

 The petition calls for an overall reduction in rates of 8.408 percent

Dover, Del.—On June 23, 2022, the Delaware Division of the Public Advocate (“DPA”) filed a petition with the Public Service Commission (“Commission”) to decrease the rates of all Tidewater Utilities, Inc. customers by approximately 8 percent.

The petition, Docket 22-0528, calls for a reduction in rates due to Tidewater earning more than its Commission-approved rate of return. The DPA’s petition states that Tidewater has been overearning every quarter since the first quarter of 2020 and that measures taken to alleviate the overearning have been unsuccessful.

If approved, the total residential reduction in rates would be around $2.5 million, equating to an estimated quarterly reduction of more than $10 per residential customer.

The DPA’s petition is expected to be heard by the Commission at its next meeting on July 13, 2022, at 1 p.m. If the Commission grants the petition, a “show cause” hearing will take place before the Commission on August 10, 2022, at 1 p.m.

“During a time when customers have experienced significant hardships due to the pandemic, Tidewater Utilities, Inc. over earned its authorized rate of return as approved by the Commission. While steps were taken to eliminate the overearning, they did not rectify the issue. Simply put, no utility should be allowed to over earn their authorized rates. We are hopeful the Commission agrees with our petition and provides relief to Tidewater’s customers,” said Delaware Public Advocate Andrew Slater.

Tidewater Utilities Inc. serves approximately 47,000 customers in parts of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties.

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