December 3, 2015 – Delaware PSC Supports Transparent Delmarva Bills
DOVER – At today’s Public Service Commission (PSC) Meeting, the PSC reaffirmed the need for Delmarva Power & Light’s (Delmarva) monthly bills to be transparent when listing various charges. Commissioner Mike Karia stated, “The job of a public monopoly or government agency is to do a good job technically and two steps beyond that.”
The Billing Transparency docket brought forth by legislators was successful in breaking out the Low Income Charge, Green Energy Fund, and Renewable Compliance Charge on Delmarva’s monthly electric bills starting July 1, 2014. However, after holding more workshops this year, the parties involved could not agree on whether the Qualified Fuel Cell Provider (QFCP) Charge or “Bloom Charge” should be separately listed.
Delmarva currently files the QFCP Charge with the PSC on a monthly basis, and these filings can be found on the PSC’s website. At this time the QFCP Charge is included in the Renewable Compliance Charge. Some of the parties involved felt that due to the uniqueness of the QFCP Charge, it should be listed independently. Commissioner Harold Gray agreed and stated, “The internet is simply one of many channels through which to communicate with the customer as is the bill.” Gray continued that, “If it’s feasible and practical to do it, why not?”
The lengthy discussion presented several viewpoints on the importance of listing or not listing the QFCP Charge. According to Commissioner Karia, “The word is outreach.” He expressed that from his time working for the City of Dover’s utility division, he learned that the responsibility of the government is to overextend information to the customer.
The Commission decided that the QFCP Charge would be listed separately from the Renewable Compliance Charge by either listing it as a line item or as a note on the bill.
More details on Docket No. 13-250 can be found through Delafile, the Delaware Public Service Commission’s electronic filing system.
December 2, 2015 – Delaware PSC Fights to Protect Delaware Electric Customers
DOVER – The initial cost allocation for the Artificial Island project would have required all Delaware customers to pay almost 90% of the cost to resolve system stability issues related to generation at New Jersey’s Artificial Island nuclear complex while only receiving approximately 10% of the benefits. Without some relief, transmission costs for Delaware electric customers would have increased nearly 25% by 2018. Governor Jack Markell and Delaware Public Advocate, David Bonar, supported the Delaware PSC filing.
This week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order, in response to the Delaware PSC filing, for a FERC Technical Conference. The FERC Order states that the proposed cost allocation “has not been shown to be just and reasonable and may be unjust, unreasonable, or unduly discriminatory or preferential.” Delaware PSC Chair, Dallas Winslow, stated that, “while this is a gratifying response, there is still much work to be done.” The technical conference is tentatively set to begin in January 2016.
Starting in 2013, Delaware PSC Public Utility Analysts, John Farber and Joe DeLosa, began researching information, attending committee meetings, and drafting documents related to the Artificial Island project. Approximately 100 hours were spent on drafting the Delaware PSC complaint alone. Delaware PSC staff will continue to actively participate in the upcoming FERC proceedings related to this complaint and advocate the interests of Delaware customers.
The Artificial Island project is designed to resolve system stability and generation operating issues related to the PSEG Nuclear, LLC generating units on Artificial Island. The project includes 500KV substation work in New Jersey, 230 KV transmission line work in Delaware and a new 230KV transmission line to be constructed under the Delaware River from Salem to a new substation in Delaware that would tap into the existing Red Lion-Carranza and Red Lion-Cedar Creek 230 KV lines.
November 24, 2015 – Newark Police say ‘suspicious’ Delmarva Power impersonators were, in fact, legitimate employees
Following a warning issued by Newark Police earlier in November regarding suspicious persons authorities thought might be scam artists pretending to be utility employees, officials announced Tuesday the persons of interest in the case turned out to be legitimate utility workers.
Newark authorities said the incident reported on November 12, 2015, regarding an investigation that began following an October 13, 2015, incident.
On November 12, police reported a man in a blue jumpsuit, green vest, and white helmet had entered a home in the 100 block of East Park Place following a conversation with the home owner.
November 16, 2015 – FERC ROE Settlement Agreement
Based on a complaint proceeding initiated with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February of 2013 by the Delaware PSC and eight other participants, a settlement was achieved and filed November 6, 2015. The settlement resulted in a decrease to the cost for transmission service paid by Delaware customers of Delmarva Power & Light Company (“DPL”). For DPL, the total Delaware revenue reductions (direct and indirect) as a result of the settlement for the period up to May 2016 are estimated to be $14.7 million. The revenue reductions through the May 2016 period for DPL residential customers are estimated to be $5 million.
More details are available under “FERC ROE Settlement Agreement”.
November 12, 2015 – Suspect Enters Newark Home Disguised As Utility Worker
A man impersonating a utility worker allegedly conned his way into a Newark home Thursday afternoon, according to authorities.
Newark Police said the suspect knocked on a door in the 100 block of East Park Place at approximately 1:30 p.m. and told the resident he needed to check gas pipes in the basement.
The resident allowed the man in and he was in the home for a short period of time before leaving without incident, police said.
Police confirmed with utility companies and city officials to confirm no workers had been sent to the address in question.
The suspect was described as a black male wearing a blue jumpsuit, green vest, and white helmet. He was also carrying a clipboard, police said.
Police said this incident was similar to one that occurred in October in which the suspect told the resident he was an employee of the City of Newark. They urge all residents to be mindful of who is granted access to their homes, and note city employees will rarely ask for access to come inside and are always carrying identification.
Anyone with information that could assist in this investigation is urged to contact Newark authorities at 302.366.7100, ext. 3427.
October 30, 2015 – Public Utilities Required to Maintain Third Party Notification System
Gas and electric public utilities will be required to maintain a third party notification system that allows a customer to designate a third party to receive notice prior to the termination of service due to the signing of House Bill 177. Customers must designate, in writing, the third party to receive such notice and the third party must indicate, in writing, their willingness to receive it on behalf of the customer. Third parties will not be held liable to the utility should they accept third party status. This legislation does not place this requirement on telecommunication, cable, water, or wastewater utilities.
HB 177 also allows condominium and common interest communities to adopt bylaws that require unit owners to designate the unit owners’ association as the third party to receive the termination of service notice. The Common Interest Community Ombudsman will assist with this by establishing a form bylaw for use by common interest communities and unit owners.
This law will become effective November 3, 2015. The Delaware Public Service Commission supports this legislation as a common sense way to facilitate greater communication between utility providers and customers.
October 9, 2015 – Docket 14-0283 Written Comment Period Extended
The written comment period for Delaware Public Service Commission Docket 14-0283 – In the Matter of the Commission’s Review of Delaware’s Retail Electricity Pricing and Potential Long Term Approaches to Secure Lower Priced Energy – has been extended to October 30, 2015.
Additional information regarding this matter can be found on the commission’s electronic filing system, DelaFile, by searching on Docket 14-0283. Written comments may be submitted electronically via DelaFile or to Delaware PSC Regulatory Policy Administrator Pam Knotts. Please reference Docket 14-0283.
October 9, 2015 – PSC Approves Artesian Water Refund
On October 6, 2015, the Delaware Public Service Commission approved an Order authorizing a refund to Artesian Water customers based on the outcome of Artesian’s most recent rate case – – Docket 14-132. The Commission had previously authorized Artesian to place interim rates into effect which were more than the final, approved amount. Artesian will begin issuing refunds no later than October 26, 2015. More information can be found by searching on Docket 14-132 on the PSC’s electronic filing system, DelaFile.
September 14-20, 2015 – Delaware PSC Recognizes Lifeline Awareness Week
The Lifeline program is a collaborative effort on the part of the Delaware PSC and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make telephone service more affordable for low-income Delawareans by providing a discount on fees and monthly charges for landline or wireless telephone service. For more information about the Lifeline program, please visit the FCC’s Lifeline page.
August 28, 2015 – Delaware PSC Files Artificial Island Complaint
On August 28, 2015 the Delaware Public Service Commission took the unprecedented step of filing a Federal Power Act Section 206 Complaint Filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) seeking relief from the proposed cost allocation for the PJM recommended Artificial Island solution. The Complaint alleges that the proposed cost allocation is unjust, unreasonable and wholly inconsistent with cost-causation principles and legal precedent requiring the allocation of transmission project costs to be “roughly commensurate” with the benefits of the project. The complaint is another example of the Delaware PSC advocating for fair and reasonable utility prices for all Delawareans. For more information, please refer to FERC docket 15-95.
August 26, 2015 – D.C. Public Service Commission Rejects Exelon/Phi Merger
Yesterday the District of Columbia Public Service Commission rejected the proposed merger of Exelon and Pepco Holdings, Inc. (PHI). PHI is the parent company of Delmarva Power. The merger had previously been approved by the Delaware Public Service Commission, but the companies also needed to secure approvals at the federal level, and in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. All jurisdictions except D.C. approved the merger. The rejection of the merger has no immediate impact for Delmarva Power customers in Delaware. The Delaware Public Service Commission staff will continue to monitor the merger proceedings and proposed path forward by Exelon/PHI.
August 26, 2015 – Delaware PSC Encourages Storm Preparedness
Late summer and fall can bring severe weather to the Delmarva Peninsula which may impact utility services, including strong thunderstorms and hurricanes. The Delaware Public Service Commission encourages all Delawareans to prepare for severe weather occurrences and the possibility of power outages by having an emergency plan and emergency kit. A plan may include identifying responsibilities for each family member in the event of an emergency and identifying a place to meet in case your family is separated during an emergency. An emergency kit should include a flashlight, battery operated radio, bottled water, non-perishable food and a basic first aid kit. For more information on emergency plans and kits, visit the American Red Cross .
August 11, 2015 – The Delaware Public Service Commission joins in recognizing “National 811 Day” on August 11. This day, 8/11, is a reminder to call 811 before you dig, no matter the size of the project. When you call 811, you are connected to the Miss Utility of Delmarva call center. After telling them where you plan to dig, they will contact the appropriate utility companies, and professional locators will be sent to the area to mark the location of underground lines before you dig. Hitting an underground utility line can cause injury, death, and outages, and it can cause the excavator to incur repair costs for the damaged line. Calling 811 before digging is required by law. For more information, visit missutilitydelmarva.com.
July 29, 2015 – Mediacom Delaware Public Comment Session
The Public Service Commission will conduct a public comment session on August 10, 2015 at 7pm at the Bethany Beach Town Hall August 10, 2015 at 7pm at the Bethany Beach Town Hall regarding Mediacom Delaware’s franchise renewal application. Mediacom provides cable television service to several communities in Sussex County, Delaware and the PSC is seeking comment from customers regarding Mediacom Delaware’s application. Additional information can be found on the Public Service Commission’s electronic filing website, DelaFile, by referencing Docket 13-431.
June 22, 2015 – Delaware PSC To Review Delmarva Power Reliability Standards
On June 2, 2015 the Delaware Public Service Commission issued Order 8750 reopening PSC Regulation Docket No. 50 to revise Delmarva Power & Light Company’s reliability standards. As part of the amended settlement agreement in Docket 14-193 (Exelon/PHI merger), the parties agreed to review the reliability and quality performance benchmarks and to solicit public input regarding the proposed changes.
June 22, 2015 – Delaware PSC Celebrates One Year Anniversary of Electronic Filing System
The Delaware Public Service Commission is marking the one year anniversary of its electronic filing system, DelaFile . The system increases efficiency and transparency by allowing utilities to file rate applications and reports on-line, and facilitates easy access to a myriad of documents for consumers. DelaFile also offers a subscription service to allow interested parties to be alerted to filings by industry, company, or docket number.
May 21, 2015 – Delaware PSC Welcomes Two New Commissioners
The Delaware General Assembly unanimously approved two new members of the Delaware Public Service Commission in May – Kim Drexler and Manubhai (Mike) Karia.
Commissioner Drexler is a Vice President with Wilmington Trust Company’s Private Banking Division and serves on several nonprofit boards in Wilmington, Delaware.
Commissioner Karia is the former Finance Director for the City of Dover, Delaware and is currently an Adjunct Professor in the College of Business at Wilmington University in Dover, Delaware.
Biographies are available on the Commissioners Page.
May 19, 2015 – Delaware PSC Approves Exelon/PHI Merger
The Delaware Public Service Commission voted 3-0 to approve the merger between Exelon and Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI). PHI is the parent of Delmarva Power.
A final Order will be issued at a later date after all parties involved in the Delaware case review agreements from other jurisdictions and amend the proposed Delaware settlement accordingly. Further information regarding this matter can be found on the PSC website by referencing Docket 14- 193, or contacting Matt Hartigan.
April 8, 2015 – United Water Monthly Billing Update
United Water Delaware will begin transitioning from quarterly billing to monthly billing over a four month period, beginning in April, 2015. Billing on a monthly basis aligns with most other household bills and allows customers to monitor their water usage and detect leaks that otherwise may have gone unnoticed for longer period of time. The Delaware Public Service Commission approved Order 8712 on March 3, 2015 to allow United Water Delaware to begin the transition to monthly billing. Further information can be found on the PSC website by referencing Docket 14-0526..
April 8, 2015 – PSC Approves Chesapeake Utilities Pricing Changes for Natural Gas Vehicle Service
On April 7, 2015, the Delaware Public Service Commission approved Chesapeake Utilities Corporation request to modify its natural gas tariff to change how the company charges for compressed natural gas in the Natural Gas Vehicle Service rate schedule. Additional information can be found in Order 8725, or by referencing Docket 15-0708 on the PSC website.
April 7, 2015 – Delaware Public Service Commission Exelon/PHI Merger Hearing Update
On April 7, 2015, the Delaware Public Service Commission heard testimony from all parties involved in the Exelon/PHI merger issue involving Delmarva Power & Light. An amended settlement agreement was submitted to the Commission for consideration. The Commission will vote on the matter at a later date, pending the merger negotiation discussions in Maryland and the District of Columbia.