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DELMARVA POWER PROPOSES RATE INCREASE AS NEW POWER PLANT NEARS COMPLETION

 DELMARVA POWER PROPOSES RATE INCREASE
 AS NEW POWER PLANT NEARS COMPLETION
 WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Delmarva Power & Light Company (NYSE: DEW) today filed proposals with the Maryland Public Service Commission which would have the effect of increasing the price of electricity by about 7.2 percent, starting June of next year.
 The principal reason for the request is to include in rates the cost of a new, fuel-efficient power plant which is scheduled to begin commercial operation on or about May 31, 1993. This new plant is a combined cycle unit and is known as Hay Road 4. It uses the exhaust heat from three existing combustion turbine generating units to make electricity.
 Since the waste heat can be used to make the steam needed to make electricity, the fuel charges contained in the price of electricity can be reduced when the plant begins operating. A proposed reduction in fuel charges in conjunction with the plant start-up is reflected in this filing.
 In addition, the company proposes an increase in base rates to reflect a mandated change in accounting regulations involving health and welfare benefits for retired employees and to reflect inflation in the approximate year-and-a-half period between rate changes.
 The net effect of these proposals on a residential non-space heating customer using 750 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month would be to increase winter monthly bills by $5.39 from $64.61 to $70 and summer monthly bills by $5.36 from $65.87 to $71.23.
 "Delmarva Power has worked hard over the last decade to keep rates stable. The monthly price of electricity for this same customer in June 1985 was $72.77. With the full amount of rate relief sought in this proceeding, rates will still be about 2 percent less than in 1985 and, when adjusted for inflation, about 30 percent less than in 1985," said James R. Wittine, general manager of regulatory practice.
 "We understand that raising rates especially in this economy, is difficult," Wittine said. "However, the combined cycle power plant is needed as an important part of our Challenge 2000 strategy to provide clean energy now and in the future."
 The Delmarva Peninsula's growth in demand for electricity in the mid to late 1980s was about 1.5 times the national average. While this growth has slowed, it is still projected to be about 2 percent a year. The company's flexible and balanced Challenge 2000 plan consists of a variety of programs to develop new sources of energy along with programs to save energy.
 Similar versions of this rate increase proposal were also filed today with the Delaware Public Service Commission and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission which regulates Delmarva Power's wholesale business to cooperatives and municipalities.
 /delval/
 -0- 10/30/92
 /CONTACT: Wallace C. Judd Jr., manager of media relations of Delmarva Power, 302-429-3595/
 (DEW) CO: Delmarva Power and Light Company ST: Delaware IN: UTI SU:


CC-JS -- PH041 -- 7332 10/30/92 17:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 30, 1992
Words:494
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