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DELMARVA POWER: PRICE OF ELECTRICITY TO INCREASE ON JAN. 1

 DELMARVA POWER: PRICE OF ELECTRICITY TO INCREASE ON JAN. 1
 WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its ongoing rate case originally filed in May, Delmarva Power & Light Company (NYSE: DEW) today informed the Delaware Public Utility Service Commission that it intends to increase electric base rates as of Jan. 1.
 Coupled with a decrease in the fuel adjustment charge already scheduled for that date, the combined effect on a residential customer would be about a 3.7 percent increase.
 The price of electricity consists of two components: a base rate and a fuel charge.
 On May 31, Delmarva Power asked for its first increase in base rates since 1982 to recover the costs of new power plants and equipment, inflation, and new environmental regulations since then and to reverse a deterioration in earnings caused by the growing expenses. The case is proceeding and a final resolution is expected in early 1992. Under Delaware law, once seven months lapse from the date of an initial filing, utilities are permitted to increase their rates with the provision that they refund with interest any amount not eventually granted as a part of the commission's final decision.
 "We've chosen to exercise this option because the need for rate relief, which was cited in May, continues to exist," said James R. Wittine, general manager of regulatory practice.
 On Nov. 1, the company proposed to reduce the fuel adjustment portion of customers' bills as part of its annual review of the price of fuel used to generate electricity. The commission authorized reduction to go into effect Jan. 1, also pending a more formal review.
 The effect of these combined changes on a residential customer using 750 kilowatt hours of electricity per month would be to increase the winter bill from $66.21 to $68.69, or 3.7 percent.
 With these changes, the price of electricity would still be 9.1 percent lower for this customer than it was in 1983 when the monthly price was $75.57.
 During the past nine years, several factors have worked to reduce rates, including economic growth, lower interest rates, tax law changes, and cost cutting by Delmarva Power.
 "Nobody enjoys increasing rates. I believe that in the nine years since our last rate increase request, Delmarva Power employees have worked hard to manage growth and cut costs. Nevertheless, to continue to serve customers reliably in the future, we need to increase rates now," Wittine said.
 -0- 12/6/91
 /CONTACT: Wallace C. Judd Jr. of Delmarva Power, 302-429-3595/
 (DEW) CO: Delmarva Power and Light Company ST: Delaware IN: UTI SU:


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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 6, 1991
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