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An Increasing Number of Delmarva Power Customers Opt for Budget Billing to help Cope with Higher Energy Prices

Thursday, January 05, 2006

An Increasing Number of Delmarva Power Customers Opt for Budget Billing to help Cope with Higher Energy Prices

Delmarva Power has seen a 20% increase in just the past twelve months in the number of its Delaware customers who have made the decision to sign up for Budget Billing, the payment option which allows the utility’s customers to average out their monthly energy payments and avoid the seasonal peaks in their electric and/or natural gas bills.

“Budget Billing is one tool that can help every customer manage their energy bill,” said Delmarva Power President Gary Stockbridge. “By averaging out the annual energy bill, a customer can avoid the seasonal usage peaks, heading off a large air conditioning bill in the summer, just as you’re ready to head out on vacation or a large heating bill in January just as the holiday bills start arriving,” Stockbridge added.

Delmarva Power customers can sign up for budget billing at any time during the year. It’s free. The program reviews a customer’s annual energy usage and divides that by 12 months to get a monthly average. Budget Billing has 11 ‘budget’ months and one “settlement” month each year. The amount a customer owes in the settlement month will include the actual energy usage for that month as well as any difference, plus or minus, in what the customer has used during the previous 11 months, and what that customer has paid.

“When you are on Budget Billing the budget summary portion of your bill is a great way to monitor your usage from month to month,” said Stockbridge.

“If one month your usage is higher than what you’ve been billed for, than you can immediately make adjustments, maybe turning down the thermostat, or adding some weather stripping, or changing out light bulbs to the more energy efficient CFL bulb, which will help to balance future bills,” Stockbridge explained.

To take advantage of this free budgeting tool customers can call Delmarva Power at 1-800-375-7117 Monday-Friday, 7AM-7PM to sign up for Budget Billing. Customers may also register on line at www.delmarva.com.

Delmarva Power’s Budget Billing program can help every customer better plan and monitor energy use. Eligible customers may enroll at any time, and if they find that budget billing is not working for them, they can also withdraw from the program.

Delmarva Power has some 285 thousand residential customers in Delaware . Of those, 17,200 of them have signed up for Budget Billing compared to just over 14,500 this same time last year. While that is a significant increase, many more customers could benefit from the program.

“Budget Billing is not going to reduce your overall energy bill, but it will spread out your annual energy expenses so you can manage your budget. And in a time when energy costs continue to increase, Budget Billing is an important tool for customers,” said Stockbridge.

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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 .