Public hearings set on Delmarva power rate hike
CENTREVILLE — Delmarva Power has requested a rate hike, and three public hearings will be held about it toward the end of October
The electric company filed an application in July with the Maryland Public Ser vice Commission requesting the rate hike, said Tori Leonard, spokeswoman with the commission.
If approved, the impact on the typical residential customer who uses Delmarva Power will mean an additional $21.42 a month in their electric bills, she said. The typical residential customer is defined as using about 1,000 kilowatt hours a month, but the rate hike applies to all classifications, including commercial customers.
In its application, Delmarva Power said the rate hike is necessary because it made investments in infrastructure to improve reliability and deploy smart meters, Leonard said.
The increase would apply to Delmarva Power’s 203,000 customers in the counties of Queen Anne’s, Caroline, Cecil, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Somerset, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester.
Leonard said the rate hike will bring Delmarva Power an estimated $66 million in additional revenue. She referred questions about more details on the rate hike to Delmarva Power, which didn’t return phone calls.
There will be three public hearings about it, all starting at 6:30 p.m. A hearing will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Kent County Public Library at 408 High St., Chestertown; Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Chesapeake College, Economic Development Building, in Wye Mills; and on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Salisbury University, Teacher Education and Technology Center, in Salisbury.
People can submit written comments mailed to David Collins, executive secretary, Maryland Public Service Commission, reference case #9424, William Donald Schaefer Tower, 6 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21202.
The Public Service Commission expects to make a decision on the rate hike in the second week of February 2017, Leonard said.
The issue came up at the Queen Anne’s County Council of Governments at their meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14, when an audience member said he heard a rumor about it and its impact.
George “Smokey” Sigler, council president, urged the town government members of the organization to bring back a report at the next meeting about the impact on municipalities. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 12.
He called the rate hike a “doubleedged sword” because residents pay the increase in their monthly home electric bills, but also through taxes they pay to the town governments who also will see the increase in their bills.
Sigler, also president of the Centreville Town Council, estimates the town pays about $12,000 in electricity a month aside from the solar arrays the town has. Electricity is used by the town government for town hall, the sewer and water system and the police department.
For a home with many people, the increase will mean more than the $21 a month the Public Service Commission estimates for the average residential user, Sigler said.
Sigler, personally, is affected by the rate hike. He estimates the hike will mean an additional $60 to $70 a month for him because so many people live in his house and because of the size of his house.