Delmarva Power is studying a Public Service Commission ruling involving rates charged to a Millsboro business using solar power.
The Associated Press reported the December decision came in the case of Richard Spinks, who owns an early learning center in Millsboro.
Spinks told the AP he found he was being charged under an unpublished provision for an energy “draw” at night, even though his overall consumption was less than the amount of electricity generated from solar panels and sent back into the Delmarva grid.
The draw was triggered by consuming a higher amount of electricity over two months that pushed the business into a higher rate category. The result was an extra $500 a month in charges.
Spinks appealed the matter to the PSC, which ruled in his favor and adopted the finding of the hearing examiners.
Delmarva spokesman Jacob Sneeden issued the following statement regarding the PSC decision.
“We are reviewing the Public Service Commission’s decision, which adopts the hearing examiner’s report on classification of customers based on net energy usage vs. demand. The company is in the process of assessing the revenue impacts this change will have, and how this may impact all customers as Delmarva Power works to ensure the local energy grid meets the demands of all customers moving forward. Delmarva Power has traditionally classified customers based on peak demand. This helps the company secure the revenue necessary to ensure the local energy grid is built to meet the energy demands of all customers, including those who have solar or other forms of distributed energy, and particularly when those distributed energy sources are not in operation.“
Delaware is seeing a rapid rise in the amount of electricity generated by solar power, with utilities coping with issues ranging from beefing up the grid to deal with a surge in solar power during the daylight hours and a drop off at night.
Businesses are a big potential source for the form of power, due to large rooftops and in some cases acreage than can accommodate arrays of solar panels.
The state is under a mandate that calls for 25 percent of electricity coming from alternative sources, such as solar.
One solution, the storage of solar-generated power, comes with added costs for batteries and a suitable location.