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Delaware Public
Service Commission

Natural Gas Regulation


Role of the Commission


The Delaware Public Service Commission regulates only the distribution of natural gas to Delaware consumers. The delivery and administrative costs associated with natural gas distribution are determined in base rate proceedings before the Commission. The recovery of costs associated with the natural gas used by customers is determined annually as part of fuel adjustment proceedings. As a result of this process, rates for natural gas will typically change at least once a year. Fuel adjustment rates for natural gas may also change during the annual recovery period when the projected recovery of gas costs exceeds limits set for the over or under-collection of gas costs. Occasionally, natural gas distribution companies are permitted by their tariff to collect additional fees, often called ‘riders’, to recover unanticipated or extraordinary expenses. For instance, both regulated natural gas distribution companies have an ‘environmental rate rider’ to recover costs associated with the clean up of pollution from old manufactured gas sites. These rider rates are determined in separate proceedings before the Commission.

The Commission does not regulate the costs charged by propane gas providers: questions related to propane costs should be directed to the specific provider. The Commission does administer the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Program for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Pipeline Safety which relates to the operation of both propane and natural gas distribution systems.

 

Regulated Utilities


 

Consumer Information


 

Important or Pending Cases


A complete list of all natural gas related cases filed with the Commission is available on the Commission’s Regulated Utility Filings. Cases filed after July 7, 2014 are available through the DelaFile E-filing system page.

Following is a list of cases that have, or are likely to, generate a significant amount of public interest. To assist the public with participation in these matters, summaries with docket numbers are provided below along with a link to our Delafile system for related documents.

All case related documents are available for review by appointment at the Commission Office in Dover, Delaware, or at the Office of the Public Advocate in Wilmington, Delaware.

 

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation – Delaware Division


PSC Docket No. 12-292 – (Filed June 25, 2012), Archived

PSC Docket No. 13-383 – (Filed October 1, 2013), Archived

 

Delmarva Power & Light


PSC Docket No. 17-1013 – On August 29, 2017, Delmarva Power & Light Company filed an application seeking approval for modifications to its gas cost rates. The application is available through the DelaFile E-filing system.

PSC Docket No. 17-1014 – On August 29, 2017, Delmarva Power & Light Company filed an application seeking an annual update in the gas environmental surcharge rider rate. The application is available through the DelaFile E-filing system.

PSC Docket No. 17-0978 – On August 17, 2017, Delmarva Power & Light Company (“DPL”) filed an application seeking approval for increases in natural gas base rates. The application is available through the DelaFile E-filing system.

PSC Docket No. 16-0650 – On May 17, 2016, Delmarva Power & Light Company (“DPL”) filed an application seeking approval for increases in natural gas base rates. The application is available through the DelaFile E-filing system.

 

PSC Docket No. 12-546 – (filed December 7, 2012), Archived

On December 21, 2010 Order No. 7882 was approved by the Commission. The order grants Delmarva Power & Light Company’s Motion to consolidate PSC Docket No. 09-277T, the Company’s application to institute a modified fixed variable rate design for gas customers, and 10-237, its gas base rate case. Documents related to the dockets can be found below.

PSC Docket No. 10-237 – (filed July 2, 2010), Arvchived

 

Local, Regional and National Issues


  • Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”)- With the increase in natural gas prices and pressure on existing domestic supplies, the use of Liquefied Natural Gas is increasingly viewed as a viable alternative. Historically, LNG has been significantly higher in cost than natural gas, which has hampered efforts to make it available in large commercial quantities. Increasing natural gas prices have narrowed the pricing gap and new import facilities, such as Cove Point in Virginia and a proposed site at Crown Landing in New Jersey, are bringing permitting, siting, and safety issues to the forefront as pressure increases for fuel supplies. To find out more about LNG, visit the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas.
  • Natural Gas Choice – Beginning in May of 1999, a natural gas choice pilot program was initiated for a limited number of residential and general (small commercial) customers. Five third party suppliers were certified to participate in the program and approximately 7,000 customers enrolled in the program. Due to rising natural gas prices in the latter part of 2000 and the subsequent withdrawal of the third party suppliers, the Commission and Delmarva Power through a settlement agreement, terminated the program as of October 31, 2001. Interested parties continued to meet quarterly through April 2002 to review the status of natural gas choice; however, there are no proposals pending by either natural gas company.
  • The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners- (“NARUC”) has two committees dedicated to addressing issues faced by the natural gas industry: the Natural Gas Committee and the Natural Gas Subcommittee. The Delaware Public Service Commission is represented on both committees.

Natural Gas Regulation Archives


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