Delmarva Power files Annual Natural Gas Cost Rate Adjustment
Thursday, August 25, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bridget Shelton (302) 283-5808
Company plans aggressive campaign to help customers with impact of higher heating bills
WILMINGTON, Del. - Delmarva Power today filed its annual gas cost rate adjustment with the Delaware Public Service Commission. The proposed increase is a direct result of significant recent increases in the cost of purchasing natural gas in the wholesale market, driven largely by the impacts of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on natural gas production facilities.
Delmarva Power is seeking an increase in the fuel rate portion of the bill, from $0.859 to $1.18 per centi-cubic foot (ccf is the unit used to measure residential usage). The total bill for a typical household using 120 ccf in a winter month will increase by $38.96 a month, from $150.90 to $189.86 or approximately 25.9 percent. The increase range for commercial and industrial customers is from 16.7 percent and up to 38.7 percent. For all customers, the bill impact will vary according to usage, meaning the more gas one uses, the greater the bill impact.
The new rate, which will affect the company''s 118,000 gas customers in New Castle County, will take effect November 1. It is subject to refund, pending the Commission''s final approval.
Delmarva Power purchases natural gas in the wholesale market on behalf of its customers and passes what it pays for the gas through to the customer without adding any profit.
"Unfortunately, natural disasters have further tightened natural gas supplies and resulted in higher prices in the wholesale market," said Gary Stockbridge, president of Delmarva Power. "We are, however, working hard to lessen the impact on our customers."
Stockbridge said Delmarva Power will consider several new initiatives in the coming months aimed at helping its customers with rising energy costs. "We know that these are tough times for many of our customers so we plan to help in any way we can," he said.
To help offset the increase in natural gas rates, Delmarva Power recommends consumers do the following:
- Sign up for Budget Billing Program. Eligible customers can spread out their heating costs over a 12-month period. That way they avoid wide variations in their monthly bills. For more information, call Customer Care at 800-375-7117.
- Use Energy More Efficiently - Clearly, the best option for controlling energy costs is through controlling energy usage. Insulating doors and windows, purchasing energy-efficient appliances and lowering the thermostat for at least 8 hours a day are among the actions consumers can take. For additional energy-saving tips, see the company''s web site, www.delmarva.com.
- Apply for Energy Assistance - Delmarva Power supports the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, which is administered by the Salvation Army. Please contact the Salvation Army at 302-472-0750 for application details. Also, the state of Delaware partners with Catholic Charities to administer a variety of energy assistance programs. For more information, call the Catholic Charities office in New Castle County at 302-654-9295.
In addition to the fuel rate adjustment, Delmarva Power also filed a change in the natural gas Environmental Surcharge, from $0.000830 to $0.001380 per centi-cubic feet of gas used. The combined effect of these two rate changes will result in an overall monthly bill increase of $39.03 a month for the typical residential customer using 120 ccf of natural gas during the heating season.
The rate changes will take effect November 1 and are subject to the approval of the Public Service Commission.
Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric and natural gas delivery services to more than 500,000 customers in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.