Lewes Board of Public Works (BPW) has served the Lewes community for over 120 years and continues to strive to bring our consumers the lowest rates possible. With that said, there are many factors that influence how the rates are structured. When customers pay their electric bill, they’re not just paying for the electricity itself. They also pay for the amount of electricity available and for the costs to get the energy from where it’s made to where it’s used. Unfortunately, prices are continuing to rise, including parts of a customer’s electric that the BPW does not decide.

As a member of Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC), a local joint action agency, Lewes BPW advocates at the state and federal levels for affordable rates. It is important to note that local utilities do not have the final decision when it comes to rules, regulations, and charges imposed at these levels.
The regional electric grid operator (PJM) is responsible for ensuring there is enough energy supply to meet demand, the amount of electricity customers need. The market incentivizes energy to be generated as close as possible to where people use it. When reliability is at risk, the market responds with price signals that raise a red flag where energy is needed most.

Ongoing state and federal energy policies aimed towards a quick transition to cleaner energy have led to increased costs. For example, in 2022 the Indian River power plant announced it was going to close. Electric customers on the Delmarva peninsula are being charged $350 million over 4.5 years for them to remain on standby mode due to the large gap in how much energy is needed and how much is generated in this area.

Starting June 1st, the current energy availability issue on the peninsula will cost an estimated $177 million over a 12-month period. All electric customers on the Delmarva peninsula will share this cost with Lewes BPW seeing about a $925,000 increase from June 2024-May 2025. This will result in a 10.14% increase in your commodity rates. In the table below, we have calculated an estimated monthly increase for the average user of each rate class. This rate increase will be reflected on your June 2024 bill.

Average Use Customer per MonthApproximate Increase per month
Residential (850 kWh)$11.00
Commercial (2000 kWh)$28.00
Industrial (89,000 kWh)$700.00

It is the utility’s job to make sure the lights stay on and ensure homes, businesses, and hospitals have the power they need to keep people safe and healthy. Unfortunately, costs are going to rise over the next several years. It is vital that we work together to achieve policy goals and reduce price impacts. The price of energy impacts everything, even the price of food at the grocery store.

As we approach a typically high-energy use season this summer, customers are encouraged to lower their energy usage where possible. For resources that will help customers save energy and money, please visit Lewes BPW’s Energy Resource Center.
Moving forward Lewes BPW will continue to search for ways to keep these costs down. As always, Lewes BPW is available to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to reach out to us at (302)645-6228.
Lewes Board of Public Works