Maryland’s Delmarva Power has made a formal request with the state’s Public Service Commission to raise distribution rates for its more than 200,000 electricity customers in the state. If approved, the rate increase will raise more than $22.7 million for the utility, which will go toward “service reliability investments already made” as well as the recovery of $6.5 million in costs associated with Superstorm Sandy and other recent major storms.
In a press release, Delmarva’s Region President, Gary Stockbridge, explains the rate hike: “We understand that these are difficult economic times for many of our customers and we are working diligently to control our costs… however, in order for us to continue to provide the best service possible, it is critical that we continue to invest in improving and upgrading our electrical system.”
If the 5.5 percent rate hike is approved, the average residential monthly bill will increase by over $7, from $140.22 to $147.96. Rate hikes for any utility’s distribution services are largely inevitable, as the costs of improving the reliability of service and the cost of adhering to regulations increases. However, small rate hikes add up. The last electric distribution rate increase was in July of 2012, only eight months prior to the current filing. Customers saw rate increases of about $3.11 on the average bill. While a few dollars doesn’t make much of a difference to most customers, a $10+ -on average- increase is quite noticeable to customers.
Since the rate hikes are for Delmarva’s distribution services, all of Maryland’s Delmarva electric customers will likely be affected if the hikes are approved. Customers are still able to shop around for the supply side of their electric service by comparing and selecting a retail electricity provider of their choice.
Find out more about comparing electricity rates here.