Delaware Electric rate restructuring draws fire from members with solar systems


Delaware Electric Cooperative announced a rate restructuring plan that has led to pushback from customers with solar systems.

A release stated that some businesses will see lower rates, while others will see an increase. Winter and summer rates were combined. Specifics about changes to all rate classes and a full copy of the release can be found HERE.

“The overwhelming majority of our members will see a rate decrease if the plan is approved, the release stated, adding that this is the first extensive rate restructuring process the Co-op has undertaken in decades. The cooperative also noted that customers typically pay $500 a year less than their counterparts at other Delaware utilities.

According to the cooperative, homes and businesses using net metering for solar and wind systems will see a small increase.

The changes brought criticism from solar users, one of whom wrote in a letter to the Cape Gazette, noting that the rate hike would increase the payback time for his system and amounted to a 57% increase.


Net metering, payment for electricity that goes back into the grid, is controversial since it amounts to a subsidy denied to those who cannot afford or do not have a way to install a solar system. Solar users facing higher rates view the change as a broken promise in their efforts to consume and produce clean power.

The release also stated, “The changes proposed by DEC leaders are meant to ensure the Cooperative is covering the fixed costs associated with providing basic electric service to members and to ensure our various rate classes are not subsidizing others. In other words, we want to make sure rates are fair to all members. The rate decrease for most members comes as other electric companies serving Delaware have announced significant rate increases.”

The board of directors will vote on the proposal at a special virtual hearing on March 20. If approved, the rate structure will go into effect on April 1.

Delaware Electric Cooperative serves members in Kent and Sussex counties that are not in the territories of Delmarva Power or municipal utilities.