Hearing Next Week On Delmarva Power Proposed Natural Gas Hike

Delmarva Power’s requested 20% increase in natural gas rates will be the subject of a public comment session next week.
Delmarva Power filed an application with the Public Service Commission in January to increase its natural gas distribution rates by almost $19.5-million. Under state law, the increase would take effect August 14th on a temporary basis, subject to refund, pending a final decision by the PSC.
The natural gas supply rate also increased earlier this month.

According to information compiled by the Delaware Public Advocate:

If approved as requested, Delmarva Power residential and residential space heating customers will add another 18.72 percent and 16.65 percent, respectively, to their natural gas distribution charges. For a typical residential customer, Delmarva’s request would add more than $7 per month to their total bill and a residential space heating customer would see more than an $11 per month increase to their total bill.

This requested distribution rate increase follows a 21 percent increase in natural gas supply rates effective April 1, 2022, which equates to another $3.05 per month increase in customers’ bills.  Delmarva will be filing its annual change to its gas cost supply rates at the end of August and may include another increase that will become effective on November 1st.  

“These requests are significant and the impact on residential customers is substantial. It’s important for customers to be aware of utility rate increase requests and to utilize the public comment sessions to voice their opinions on the proposed rate increases,” Delaware Public Advocate Andrew Slater said.

The Public Service Commission will hold a public comment session on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. in the 3rd floor conference room of the Carvel State Office Building. For those unable to attend, a teleconference line is available at 1-866-299-7945 with an access code of #5979551#. Further, written comments are accepted through May 11, 2022, and may be sent by mail to Delaware Public Service Commission, Docket No. 22-0002, 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Suite 100, Dover, DE 19904, or by e-mail to psc@delaware.gov, Attn: Docket No. 22-0002.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating accounts for the biggest portion of consumers’ utility bills. Savings tips include turning your thermostat down a few degrees, replacing dirty furnace filters, weather-stripping doors and windows, opening shades on sunny days, and closing vents and doors of unoccupied areas.

Delawareans can contact Energize Delaware about its Home Performance with Energy Star, Home Energy Counseling, and Check-Up programs. These programs are designed to find areas that may need weatherization and could potentially produce utility savings.

For additional tips on lowering your gas bill, please contact your local utility or visit its website. Delmarva Power provides such tips here.

If you have been affected by the pandemic, there are several programs that may provide financial assistance, including the Delaware State Housing Authority’s Delaware Housing Assistance (DEHAP) program for rental customers, and Catholic Charities Utility Bill Relief Funding for utility and fuel bill payments. Potential clients should contact these agencies for more information.