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Public Advocate’s Petition to Reduce Tidewater’s Rates Granted

The logo of the Delaware Division of the Public Advocate

On August 10, 2022, the Public Service Commission granted the Division of the Public Advocate’s (“DPA”) petition to reduce Tidewater Utilities, Inc.’s (“Tidewater”) rates to a just and reasonable level pending further review.

“No regulated utility should be allowed to earn above its authorized rate of return. While Tidewater opposed our petition, I’m delighted the Commission agreed with our position to reduce rates to a just and reasonable level for Tidewater’s customers. On behalf of Tidewater’s 47,000 customers, I want to thank the Commission for its decision,” said Delaware Public Advocate Andrew Slater.

The petition, filed by the Public Advocate on June 22, 2022, (PSC Docket 22-0528) called for a reduction in rates due to Tidewater earning more than its Commission-approved rate of return of 7.92 percent. Tidewater has been overearning since at least 2017, and previous measures to alleviate its overearning were not successful.

Tidewater customers will see a temporary reduction in their rates of up to 6 percent amounting to more than $2.2 million. The projected reduction per customer is estimated to be more than $10 per quarter.

Tidewater serves approximately 47,000 customers in parts of New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties.

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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.