Pub­lic hear­ings set on Del­marva power rate hike

Times-Record - - News - By CHRISTOPHER KERSEY

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.

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