Del. Public Advocate Files To Seek Tidewater Utilities Rate Reduction


The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate is petitioning with the Public Service Commission to decrease the rates of all Tidewater Utilities customers by about eight-percent. Tidewater serves about 47,000 customers in parts of Sussex, Kent and New Castle Counties.
In its filing, DPA states that Tidewater has been “over-earning” – -exceeding its Commission-approved rate of return — every quarter since the first quarter of 2020.
The Delaware Public Service Commission is scheduled to hear the Public Advocate’s petition July 13th.

“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,” Delaware Public Advocate Andrew Slater said.

The Division of the Public Advocate provided additional information below:

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.