Delaware’s Public Service Commission has approved the first electricity delivery rate increase in 15 years for Delmarva Power, an overall increase of $16.7 million in the utility’s electricity distribution rates.
However, the move does not result in an increase for Delmarva residential customers. DPL says rates will go down about 1.3% as of February 1st. Last April, Delmarva implemented new rates based on a request for a total of $26.4 million in new revenues. The PSC did not approve the company’s request in full, so the new lower rates will reflect that decision.
Delaware customers are also in line for bill credits for the months in which their rates were higher than approved by the Commission, from April 2010 until January of this year.
The distribution rates are separate from the supply rates, covering the costs of poles, wires and other equipment necessary to deliver electricity to homes and businesses.
Another controversial aspect of electricity rate structures in Delaware, known as “decoupling,” is the subject of further study. The PSC is asking for a series of public workshops and a detailed plan of implementation.
The decoupling proposal would introduce a new rate design the company says “breaks the link between Delmarva Power’s revenue and electricity sales in order to better align the company’s interests with those of its customers for greater energy efficiency.” Critics say the new format would have the most impact on customers who use less electricity.