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For Immediate Release


Reliability Investments, Smart-Infrastructure Technology, Gas Main Replacement

NEWARK, DE (May 17, 2016) - Delmarva Power (DPL) today filed a petition with the Delaware Public Service Commission (DE PSC) to authorize an electric base rate adjustment of $62.8 million, to recover the costs of reliability and smart-infrastructure investments that have reduced the frequency and duration of power outages, and a gas base rate adjustment of $21.5 million to improve service and ensure the integrity and safety of the gas system.

Improvements in the electric system include upgrading four substations with advanced automation equipment that allows DPL to pinpoint outages and send crews directly to the specific source of the damage, which allows the company to restore outages faster. Improvements also include replacing hundreds of miles of wire with sturdier, more weather-resilient wire to help prevent power outages.  

"In today's technology-driven society, dependence upon a reliable electric grid has never been greater. A reliable and modern energy system is what Delaware needs to continue to attract and retain healthy businesses in the state," said Gary Stockbridge, president of Delmarva Power. "Our customers are seeing better performance as a result of the reliability improvements and smart infrastructure investments we have made to our system. With cost-efficiency in mind, we have made practical decisions to invest in the areas that needed to be upgraded the most."  

If the request is approved as filed, the bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kWh will increase by $10.23 per month to a total bill of $151.34. The rate request will undergo a thorough DE PSC review process that could take nine to 12 months. It has been more than three years since Delmarva Power requested an electric or gas rate increase.  

DPL has invested $222 million into its electric system since 2013, and customers are benefiting from those investments. These investments have produced a 17 percent drop in the number of outages and a 44 percent increase in the speed in which outages are restored. 

The natural gas rate adjustment is also subject to the DE PSC approval. If approved as filed, the typical residential customer using 120 ccfs would see an increase of $13.55 per month for a total bill of $143.22.  

DPL has invested over $120.9 million in upgrades to the gas system since 2013. Delmarva Power has modernized the gas-delivery system by replacing approximately five miles of old steel mains, two miles of plastic mains, approximately 20 miles of cast and ductile-iron mains, and 38 miles of (3,500) worn steel and copper services to residences and businesses.   Additional gas-related capital expenditures are primarily the result of planned equipment replacements and upgrades to improve operational performance and safety systems.

"Replacing old gas main and worn services ensures the safety and integrity of our gas system," Stockbridge added.

To offset the electric rate increases, customers can take advantage of the energy-savings programs that Delmarva Power offers. For example, since the Peak Energy Savings program started in 2012, DPL participating customers have saved more than $7 million on their energy bills. In addition, customers can take a variety of  energy-savings steps to save money, such as raising or lowering thermostats two or three degrees, turning off lights in unoccupied rooms and using compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs.  

DPL also has available information on agency partners that can help customers most in need. For more information about DPL's energy-savings plans, billing or rates, contact Delmarva Power's Customer Care Center at: 1-800-375-7117. Customers should also know that from 2011 to 2015, electric energy prices have dropped by about $11, and natural gas prices have fallen by about $40.

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