The Delaware Public Service Commission has approved Delmarva Power’s regulatory rate review settlement that passes along federal tax savings to customers and funds Delmarva Power’s efforts to enhance the local energy grid and maintain safe and reliable service for its customers. The settlement passes along the full amount of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act tax benefits to Delmarva Power’s natural gas customers in Delaware, resulting in an approximate $3.5 million decrease to natural gas bills.
“Ongoing maintenance and investments are critical to safely maintaining our 3,460 miles of natural gas infrastructure across northern Delaware,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power. “We appreciate the hard work and cooperation of all involved to reach a settlement that lowers bills for our customers and helps us continue the excellent progress we are making in modernizing our natural gas delivery system.”
Based on the settlement, a residential customer, using an average of 83 CCF in a winter month, will see a total monthly bill decrease of $4.36 or 4.6 percent during the heating season. Customers also will see a variety of one-time and ongoing credits and refunds on their natural gas bill that reflect the tax savings, as well as other agreements from the settlement. New rates will go into effect within 30 days of the settlement approval date.
Delmarva Power initially filed its natural gas delivery rate request in August 2017 to help recover money spent to maintain and enhance the local natural gas delivery system and other costs, such as technology upgrades and operational improvements. Natural gas delivery rates pay for the company’s ongoing programs to inspect, maintain, replace, and install natural gas infrastructure throughout New Castle County.
In 2018, Delmarva Power will invest $50 million in natural gas infrastructure in northern Delaware. This includes modernizing more than five miles of natural gas mains each year, replacing existing natural gas mains with new plastic pipe, which is now the principal material used for natural gas systems because it is more durable and flexible to ground movement. The money spent on modernization and maintenance efforts continues to enhance efficiency, reliability, and safety for customers. Last winter, these efforts helped Delmarva Power meet record-breaking customer demand for natural gas in January.
The settlement provides customers the benefits of the federal tax reduction and efficiently resolves the pending request by more than offsetting the adjusted natural gas delivery rate. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law late last year, reduced tax costs for energy delivery companies and created an opportunity for Delmarva Power to lower bills for its customers.
Source: Delmarva Power