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For power, businesses could have been overcharged

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

More than 5,000 commercial customers of Delmarva Power may have been overcharged for electricity.

The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate and the Delaware Public Service Commission are urging medium and large businesses that get electricity from Delmarva Power to contact the utility immediately and ask if they qualify for lower rates.

A recent investigation conducted by the Public Advocate and staff of the Public Service Commission revealed that commercial customers with Medium General Service or Large General Service from Delmarva Power could be misclassified. It was first identified in a formal complaint to the PSC filed by a Sussex County business owner last year. The PSC ruled in favor of the customer in December.

“Delmarva Power’s commercial customers who qualify for a lower rate are entitled to that rate. Until there is a long-term solution in place, it is extremely important that customers contact Delmarva Power to find out if they are eligible,” said Public Advocate Drew Slater. 

The Public Advocate and PSC staff are working with Delmarva on a plan to resolve this issue. It is recommended that all commercial customers receiving Medium General Service or Large General Service from Delmarva Power call the utility at 1-800-375-7117.

When speaking with a customer service representative, customers should be sure to ask, “Do I qualify for a lower rate?” Rate classifications typically can be found on page two of a customer’s electric bill, under “Details of Your Electric Charges.”

“This issue came to light a few months ago and has the potential to affect businesses of all sizes throughout Delaware. We look forward to working collaboratively with Delmarva Power to resolve this issue as soon as practicably possible,” said Matt Hartigan, deputy director of the PSC.

The ruling generated news coverage from the Associated Press and additional customer complaints were received by the Public Advocate and PSC staff in recent months.

Upon further investigation, the Public Advocate and PSC staff learned that as many as 5,200 businesses served by Delmarva – more than 35 percent of all the utility’s MGS and LGS customers – may be eligible for lower rates. It is estimated that these commercial customers may be entitled to hundreds of dollars in savings on their electric bills each month.

The Delaware Public Service Commission regulates investor-owned public utilities and works to ensure safe, reliable and reasonably priced service.

The Delaware Division of the Public Advocate advocates for the lowest reasonable utility rates, principally on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers, consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and an equitable distribution of rates among all classes of consumers.

WHERE TO CALL

Commercial Medium General Service or Large General Service customers of Delmarva Power should call 1-800-375-7117.