Dr. Rajnish Barua named Executive Director of the Delaware PSC

DOVER – Dr. Rajnish (Raj) Barua has been selected to serve as the new executive director of the Delaware Public Service Commission (PSC), filling the position to be vacated by Robert Howatt this month. Dr. Barua will begin his tenure as executive director on June 1.

“Raj brings an amazing depth and breadth of regulatory policy experience to the DEPSC. In addition to management experience, he has taught energy policy at the University of Delaware, served on the operating committee of NERC, and has extensively trained energy regulators internationally,” said PSC Chairman, Dallas Winslow.

Dr. Barua, a resident of Newark, has nearly three decades of experience in regulatory policy, restructuring of the electric industry, regional energy markets, and other related matters. Most recently he served as executive director of the National Regulatory Research Institute. Prior to that he was executive director of the Organization of PJM States Inc., energy advisor to the chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, director of the Integrated Resource Planning Division of the Maryland Public Service Commission, a regulatory policy administrator with the Delaware Public Service Commission, and deputy principal assistant to the Delaware Division of the Public Advocate. Dr. Barua holds a PhD from the University of Delaware, specializing in energy policy.

Mr. Howatt retires from the executive director post after fifteen years with the PSC, serving in a variety of roles. While serving as director, he led several important initiatives involving the PSC staff, including the $6.8 billion Exelon-Pepco Holdings Inc. merger proceeding, which was a significant win for Delaware utility ratepayers.

“I’d like to commend Bob Howatt for a job well done serving the people of Delaware and working to ensure fairness and predictability in our utility market,” said Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock. “I also welcome Dr. Raj Barua back to service with the PSC. I know we will benefit greatly from his wealth of experience in our regional energy sector.”

The Delaware Public Service 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.

The executive director is responsible for the planning, management and overall operation of the Delaware Public Service Commission and ensuring just and reasonable regulation of Delaware’s public utility service companies.

MEDIA CONTACT: Samantha Hemphill, PSC Ombudsman,  302-505-2741

 


Governor Carney, Governor Hogan Urge FERC to Expedite Review of Artificial Island Cost Allocation

As currently funded, $278 million project would unfairly burden electric ratepayers on Delmarva

WILMINGTON, Del. – Delaware Governor John Carney and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday sent a letter to members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, urging commissioners to expedite their review of the $278 million Artificial Island transmission line project and consider a financing model that does not unfairly burden electric ratepayers on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Governors Carney and Hogan urged FERC to consider alternative cost methodologies presented in June by PJM’s Board of Managers. Under PJM’s alternative methods for cost allocation, Delmarva ratepayers would fund approximately 7-10 percent of the project costs.

As currently financed, residential and commercial electric ratepayers on Delmarva would fund more than 90 percent of the cost of the project through higher electric bills, while receiving few of the project’s direct benefits. Governors Carney and Hogan previously appealed the cost allocation to FERC, and urged PJM to support a more equitable solution for ratepayers on Delmarva.

“We remain optimistic that FERC will consider a financing plan for this project that will not unfairly burden businesses and families on the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Governor Carney. “As we’ve said all along, as currently financed, this is a bad deal for Delaware ratepayers, who would be asked to finance this project, while receiving few direct benefits. Thank you to FERC commissioners for considering our request to expedite their review. And thank you to Governor Hogan for his continued partnership and leadership on this issue.”

“Our administration has expressed our repeated opposition to any proposal that unfairly and inequitably allocates the costs associated with this project,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland will continue to stand with Delaware to protect our citizens from disproportionately paying hundreds millions of dollars in rate increases, and we will continue to work with all stakeholders to reach a speedy, reasonable, and equitable solution to this process.”

 

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Related news:
Governor Carney and Governor Hogan React to PJM’s Alternative Financing Methods for Artificial Island Project
Governor John Carney and Governor Larry Hogan Respond to PJM Reevaluation of Artificial Island Cost Allocation
Governor Carney and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Continue Fight Against Artificial Island Cost Allocation, Unfair Rate Hikes
Governor Carney’s Statement on Artificial Island Project Recommendations


Governor Carney and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan Continue Fight Against Artificial Island Cost Allocation, Unfair Rate Hikes

Maryland, Delaware Governors Call on PJM to Support Request for FERC Rehearing

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor Carney on Thursday released a joint letter with Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to the Chair of PJM Interconnection’s Board of Managers, opposing the cost allocation of the $279 million Artificial Island transmission line project, which would continue to unfairly burden electric ratepayers in Delaware and across the Delmarva Peninsula.

Delmarva homeowners and businesses would see their electric bills rise to cover 90 percent of the cost of the project, while receiving little in the way of a direct benefit.

“This is a bad deal for electric ratepayers in Delaware and across Delmarva,” said Governor Carney. “I’m proud to stand with Governor Hogan to oppose the current cost allocation for this project, which would unfairly raise costs for businesses and families in Delaware and across our region. We will continue to work with the Public Service Commission, Delaware’s Public Advocate, members of the General Assembly and our congressional delegation to protect Delmarva ratepayers.”

“Since the beginning of this process, our administration has expressed our opposition, frustration, and disappointment about the burdensome costs associated with this project,” said Governor Hogan. “Delmarva Peninsula taxpayers should not have to disproportionately pay hundreds of millions of dollars in rate increases, especially given the majority of the benefits will go to other states.”

Delaware and Maryland have appealed the current cost allocation to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Governor Carney and Governor Hogan urged PJM to support a rehearing in their letter. According to the most recent cost estimates, Delmarva ratepayers would still pay approximately $250 million of the $279 million in the project’s total costs, while receiving little direct benefit.

“As a result, the average residential and commercial customer will pay significantly higher rates,” Governor Carney and Governor Hogan wrote in their letter. “For many families this simply will be unaffordable and for many businesses it could mean closures and job losses. This economic burden to Delmarva is unacceptable.”

Delaware’s Public Service Commission and Public Advocate also have urged the PJM Board to support a rehearing on the cost allocation.

For additional details:

Governor Carney and Governor Hogan’s Letter
Delaware Public Service Commission Letter to PJM Board
Delaware Public Advocate Letter

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Governor Carney’s Statement on Artificial Island Project Recommendations

WILMINGTON, Del.Governor John Carney issued the following statement on recommendations Friday from the PJM Transmission Expansion Advisory Committee:

“This project, as currently financed, would place an unjust burden on Delaware residential and industrial ratepayers. Delaware businesses and families would see higher monthly electric bills, and receive next to nothing in return in the way of a direct benefit. I intend to work with members of Delaware’s federal delegation, the Public Service Commission, our Public Advocate, and the General Assembly to oppose the current cost allocation as set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This is not a good deal for Delaware.”


Direct Energy Announces Special Electricity Supply Offer

DOVER – Delaware offers customer choice to Delmarva Power and Delaware Electric Cooperative customers when it comes to purchasing their energy supply. Among the over 50 suppliers certified by the Public Service Commission, Direct Energy Services has announced several new energy supply products with special multi-year fixed price offers and other customer benefits. The new offers are the result of recent efforts by the Delaware General Assembly and the Department of State to seek longer term contracts that can help save money for consumers.

direct energyLegislation passed in 2015 created a state Electricity Affordability Committee and tasked the committee to evaluate options for residential and small-business customers, including multi-year, fixed-price offers and other products and services that could help them manage their energy bills.

Pursuant to this legislation, the state issued a Request for Proposals seeking an energy provider that could meet these requirements. After reviewing all of the proposals, the Electricity Affordability Committee determined that Direct Energy submitted the best offers for consumers. The Secretary of State then entered into a contract with Direct Energy Services to move forward with offering these products.

Direct Energy Services is the only electric supplier contracted with the state to provide a designated fixed-rate offer and services to residential and small commercial customers for two years. The Direct Energy offering is one more tool that customers can use to manage their electric utility bills through the use of a third-party electric supplier. As innovation continues in the utility industry, customers are encouraged to research what options are available to reduce energy use and manage costs.

Delmarva Power and Delaware Electric Cooperative customers can still purchase their electricity from any PSC-certified suppliers making offers. A full list of Certified Electric Suppliers can be found here. Customers may choose to use a certified supplier or remain with their utility’s standard supply rate. Any customer receiving electricity from a third-party supplier will continue to receive a bill from their local utility (Delmarva Power or Delaware Electric Cooperative.) Customers experiencing power outages or emergencies should call their local utilities.