Energy Prices In Delaware: What You Need To Know, And What You Can Do
We struggle to get companies to come to Delaware, and we struggle even more to get companies to stay in Delaware. Repeatedly, the State has bent over backwards and handed over limited taxpayer dollars just to “stay competitive” with neighboring states. For this and other reasons, Delawareans cannot afford yet another rate hike by Delmarva Power, a highly profitable company. In 2015, Pepco Holdings, Delmarva Power’s parent company, made $1.74 billion dollars in profit (1). Now, to recoup normal business expenses and avoid dipping into their massive profits, Delmarva Power wants to raise utility bills an average of $120 per year for most consumers, according to Delaware Online (2). This is simply unacceptable.
This would be yet another rate hike from Delmarva Power, impacting struggling Delaware families and individuals. Delmarva Power increased electricity bills in 2014 as well (3). Further, taxpayers already will be paying for the failed job creator Bloom Energy through 2033, although the promised jobs intended to be created by this surcharge never panned out (4).
We cannot allow Delmarva Power to increase prices simply to cover the cost of regular maintenance. Companies make profits to cover operational costs. These rate hikes hurt Delawareans struggling the most, including seniors on a fixed income and low-income individuals and families. Additionally, these hikes actually impede our ability to create jobs. One of the factors employers use to determine where they will locate their businesses is the cost of utilities, since they contribute to overhead expenses. Furthermore, our small businesses and startups already struggle to maintain their current level of employment in the face of high healthcare and utilities costs. Another Delmarva Power rate hike represents one more strike against doing business in the First State–fewer opportunities for workers to earn a decent living, more roadblocks to increasing wages.
Additionally, on a State level, we need to invest in renewable energy to help ensure more affordable and sustainable utility rates.
European Union countries that have transitioned to relying more heavily on renewable energy have recorded more consistently affordable utility rates, even when oil prices increase (5). If we want to create jobs, help preserve our planet and our State, and ensure that people can afford to pay their bills, then we need to become serious about transitioning to renewable energy.
Please tell our legislators that these rate hikes should not be allowed to continue. There are three opportunities for public comment on these rate hikes, and we encourage everyone to attend at least one meeting. See below for details. As additional information becomes available, we will continue to post on this thread.
Monday 6:00pm (Electric Public Comment Session)
October 23, 2017 Gilliam Building
77 Reads Way, New Castle, DE 19720
8:00pm (Gas Public Comment Session)
Tuesday 6:00pm Delaware Public Service Commission
October 24, 2017 861 Silver Lake Blvd. Dover, DE 19904
Wednesday 6:00pm Indian River Senior Center
October 25, 2017 214 Irons Ave. Millsboro, DE 19966
Finally, to help transition to clean energy and possibly save ourselves some money, we can all consider changing our energy supplier–different than our utility company, which is always Delmarva Power–to a renewable energy supplier. Watch this video to learn how:
5 Krozer, Y. (2013). Cost and benefit of renewable energy in the European Union. Renewable Energy: An International Journal, 5068-73. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2012.06.014