Delmarva Power filed a petition (Docket No. 16-0649) on May 17 with the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC) to authorize an electric base rate adjustment of $62.8 million and a natural gas base rate hike of $21.5 million.
The utility, a subsidiary of Exelon, provides electric service to more than 305,000 customers and natural gas to 130,000 customers in Delaware.
If the request is approved as filed, the bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month will increase by $10.23, or 7 percent, to a total bill of $151.34. The residential customer using 120 centum cubic feet (ccf) of natural gas per month would see an increase of $13.55 per month, or 10 percent, for a total bill of $143.22.
It has been more than three years since Delmarva Power requested an electric or gas rate increase. The company said it made the filing to recover the costs of reliability and smart-infrastructure investments that have reduced the frequency and duration of power outages. Specifically, DPL has invested $222 million into its electric system since 2013– and the utility claims that these investments have produced a 17 percent drop in the number of outages and a 44 percent increase in the speed in which outages are restored.
Delmarva Power also has invested over $120.9 million in upgrades to the gas system since 2013. The utility has modernized the gas-delivery system by replacing approximately five miles of old steel mains, two miles of plastic mains, approximately 20 miles of cast and ductile-iron mains, and 38 miles of worn steel and copper services to residences and businesses. Additional gas-related capital expenditures are primarily the result of planned equipment replacements and upgrades to improve operational performance and safety systems.
“In today’s technology-driven society, dependence upon a reliable electric grid has never been greater,” said Delmarva Power President Gary Stockbridge, adding, “Our customers are seeing better performance as a result of the reliability improvements and smart infrastructure investments we have made to our system. With cost-efficiency in mind, we have made practical decisions to invest in the areas that needed to be upgraded the most.
“Replacing old gas main and worn services ensures the safety and integrity of our gas system,” Stockbridge added.
The rate request will undergo a thorough Delaware PSC review process that could take nine to 12 months.