Electric rates will drop some

By Lynn R. Parks

Electricity costs for residents of the city of Seaford are going down. The city council Tuesday night approved new rates that Mayor Bill Bennett said will mean an average drop in power bills of 4.4 percent.

The new costs will be effective with this month's bills.

Combined with a decrease in rates that the city council approved last April, the city has lowered its electricity costs by more than 10 percent. This meets the requirements of a memorandum of understanding between the city and the governor's office, signed last year and designed to spur economic development by lowering the costs of doing business.

City manager Dolores Slatcher said that the lower costs were made possible by lower wholesale power costs that the city's electricity provider, the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, was able to get. Seaford is one of eight municipalities that make up the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation. Other cities in the corporation are Newark, Milford, Middletown, Smyrna, New Castle, Lewes and Clayton.

The city is also putting in place a monthly customer charge of $4. This will ensure that all residents are paying toward the upkeep of the electrical system's infrastructure, even if they don't use buy any of the city's power, Bennett said.

Even with that monthly charge, residents should see a drop in their monthly bills. During Tuesday night's city council meeting, Bennett presented three examples of residential power bills, all of which will see decreases under the new rate schedule.

Two of the homes, based on previous usage, will see savings of about $5 a month. The third will see savings of about $8 a month.

"This means a complete reduction of electric bills, across the city and in all rate classes," Bennett said. "I believe that every resident and business will be happy to receive that."

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