Seaford electric customers warned of pending increase

By Tony E. Windsor

City of Seaford officials are warning electric customers that a rate increase may be imminent. During the Tuesday, May 27, meeting of Seaford City Council, City Manager Dolores Slatcher announced that the city had received a letter from the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC) recently which indicated that wholesale electric supply rates were going to increase. Slatcher said the city's Electric Committee is meeting immediately to determine how this increase will affect municipal electric customers. "I think customers will most likely see an adjustment in the Purchase of Power portion of their electric bill in the July billing," she said. "Then shortly thereafter that will be tweaked down into a basic rate increase." Slatcher said the last time the city had a rate adjustment some customers complained that they knew nothing about the increase until the saw it in their bill. "In fairness to the customers we want to give as much forewarning as possible that there will be a rate adjustment coming. I would also say that given what we all are seeing as

rising energy costs, this will most likely not be the last one," she said. Slatcher could not say with any certainly just how much this wholesale cost increase will impact Seaford's municipal customers, and said this is why the Electric Committee is meeting quickly to determine how the city will react to the wholesale increase. The DEMEC is a public corporation formed in 1997 to help assure that municipalities with their own electric utilities can get the best rates when purchasing wholesale electric. Along with the City of Seaford, there are eight other members: Smyrna, Newark, New Castle, Middletown, Dover, Lewes, Clayton and Milford. DEMEC, is one of 29 "Joint Action Agencies" across the United States. It was developed through an act of the Delaware General Assembly in June of 1978 to act as a Joint Action Agency and a wholesale electric utility. The nine municipal utilities combined serve about 50,000 end use meters and a population of about 100,000, with a combined load of 400 mega-watts.

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