Investigation reveals Delaware businesses may be overpaying for electric service

Many commercial customers eligible for lower rates from Delmarva Power
March 17, 2020

The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate and the Delaware Public Service Commission are urging medium-sized and large businesses that get their electricity from Delmarva Power to contact the utility immediately and ask if they qualify for lower billing rates.

This call to action is a result of a recent investigation conducted by public advocate and PSC staff, which revealed that more than 5,000 Delmarva Power commercial customers may be paying higher rates for electricity than their usage warrants.

“Delmarva Power’s commercial customers who qualify for a lower rate are entitled to that rate. Until there is a long-term solution in place, it is extremely important that customers contact Delmarva Power to find out if they are eligible,” said Public Advocate Drew Slater.

Public advocate and PSC staff are working with Delmarva Power on a plan to resolve this issue. However, all commercial customers receiving Medium General Service or Large General Service from Delmarva Power should call the utility at 1-800-375-7117 to ask, “Do I qualify for a lower rate?” Rate classifications typically can be found on page two of a customer’s electric bill, under Details of Your Electric Charges.

“This issue came to light a few months ago and has the potential to impact businesses of all sizes throughout Delaware. We look forward to working collaboratively with Delmarva Power to resolve this issue as soon as practicably possible,” said Matt Hartigan, PSC deputy director.

The rate classification issue was first identified in a formal complaint to the PSC filed by a Sussex County business owner last year. The PSC ruled in favor of the customer in December. The ruling generated news coverage from the Associated Press, and more customer complaints were received by the public advocate and PSC staff in recent months.

Upon further investigation, the public advocate and commission staff learned that as many as 5,200 businesses served by Delmarva – more than 35 percent of all the utility’s MGS and LGS customers – may be eligible for lower rates. These commercial customers may be entitled to hundreds of dollars in savings on their electric bills each month.

The Delaware Public Service Commission regulates investor-owned public utilities, and works to ensure safe, reliable, reasonably priced service. The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate advocates for the lowest reasonable utility rates, principally on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers, consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and an equitable distribution of rates among all classes of consumers.


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