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    September 22, 2022 - States News Service


      The following information was released by the State of Delaware:

      Natural gas prices have continued to increase this year and are up nearly 60 percent year to date. This is largely due to increased U.S. demand and the ongoing energy crisis in Europe.

      According to the Energy Information Administration, about 42 percent of Delaware households rely on natural gas for home heating.

      Delmarva Power recently filed changes to its Gas Cost Rate (GCR), PSC Docket No. 22-0726, reflecting an increase in costs for residential customers of more than 48 percent. According to its filing, a typical residential customer using 83 CCF in a winter month would see an increase of more than $25. These rates become effective November 1, 2022, subject to refund, while the rates are reviewed by both the Division of the Public Advocate and Public Service Commission Staff.

      According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating accounts for the biggest portion of consumers' utility bills. Savings tips include turning your thermostat down a few degrees, replacing dirty furnace filters, weather stripping doors and windows, opening shades on sunny days, and closing vents and doors of unoccupied areas.

      Delawareans can contact Energize Delaware about its Home Performance with Energy Star, Home Energy Counseling and Check-Up programs. These programs are designed to find areas that may need weatherization and could potentially produce savings.

      Additionally, low-income Delawareans who are in need of financial assistance to meet their home energy costs may be eligible for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a program administered jointly by the Delaware Division of State Service Centers (DSCC) and Catholic Charities, Inc. Beginning October 1st through March 31st, eligible households can apply to receive grants to help pay for fuel assistance for home heating, which includes electricity, natural gas, kerosene, propane, coal, or wood. Grants are made to both homeowners and renters.

      There is also crisis assistance funding available to help households in crisis during the winter months. Income eligibility for LIHEAP is defined as 200% of the federal poverty level. For more information on LIHEAP or to apply, click here.

      If you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delaware Housing Assistance Program (DEHAP) may be able to assist you with Utility Bill Relief Funding available for utility and fuel bill payments. Potential clients should contact the Delaware State Housing Authority for more information once the program reopens in October.

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

      The Delaware Public Service Commission was established to provide oversight of investor-owned public utilities in the State of Delaware. The Commission works to ensure safe, reliable, and reasonably priced electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater services. The Commission also has limited regulatory authority over telephone and cable television rates and services.


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