• Frequently Asked Questions

  • Delaware Standard Offer Service

  • We deliver electricity, but we do not generate it. We purchase the electricity needed for our customers from unregulated wholesale suppliers, who own power plants and produce electricity or who buy and sell it on the wholesale market. Delaware law requires us to use a competitive bidding process to buy electricity for customers who do not choose an alternative electricity supplier. Customers are charged for this service – called Standard Offer Service (SOS) – under rates approved by the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC).

    Competitive bidding occurs each year. Delmarva Power purchases the electricity it needs for its SOS customers from unregulated wholesale suppliers, who own power plants and produce electricity or who buy and sell it on the wholesale market. Contracts are awarded based on lowest price.

    New SOS rates are effective for the Summer on June 1 and for Winter on October 1. Each year, we offer about one-third (33 1/3 percent) of the total residential SOS peak load for bids. The bids are for three-year contracts. The bidding combination of load, contract term and bidding frequency has been approved by the PSC. This approach has a dampening effect on price swings.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is Standard Offer Service (SOS)?

    In order for the retail electric industry to become competitive in Delaware per the Electric Utility Restructuring Act of 1999, we no longer have an exclusive franchise to serve retail electric utility customers. That means third-party suppliers can compete for customers within the our service territory in Delaware.  Under the Restructuring Act, those customers who do not choose an alternative electric supplier will default to Standard Offer Service (SOS), which we provide throughout our Delaware service territory.

    How does Delmarva Power purchase supplies for its SOS customers?

    Delmarva Power follows a PSC designed and approved competitive bid process, Each year Delmarva Power offers about one-third of the total residential SOS peak load for bids. The bids are for three-year contracts. This approach has a dampening effect on price swings. 

    When did Delmarva Power begin the competitive bid process?

    Delmarva Power began offering Delaware SOS customers market-base rates on May 1, 2006 when caps were lifted on the Standard Offer Service rate.

    How often do customer SOS rates change?

    New SOS rates are effective for the Summer on June 1 and for Winter on October 1.

    What power plant is my electricity coming from?

    It is hard to say. Two suppliers were publicly announced as winning a piece of the SOS load during this year’s competitive bid process, and a total of five suppliers serve all of the SOS load. The suppliers buy and trade the energy in the PJM marketplace so tracking its origin is difficult. The bid process simply ensures that we’ll get the needed reliable and competitive supply of electricity for delivery to our customers.

    Will my bill look the same or will it contain new information?

    Your bill will essentially look the same.  The new rates for Standard Offer Service will be reflected in the Supply Charges portion of your bill. 

    When will the Delmarva Power rates be available?

    The new rates are already available in the Tariff section.

    Will I still have a different rate in the summer than in the winter?

    Yes. The SOS rates that will take effect on June 1, 2014 will be your summer rate. Winter rates will take effect on October 1, 2014.

    How is my SOS supply rate going to change from year to year?

    Nobody can say what the energy markets will do from year to year. SOS supply rates will be set annually based on a competitive bidding process in the wholesale electricity market. In the fall of 2014, we, under the supervision of the Delaware Public Service Commission, will conduct another bidding process that will result in new SOS supply rates that will take effect on June 1, 2015.