- Changes for Members With Net-Metering
Delaware Electric Cooperative is notifying members of several changes that will impact those with net-meters. First, net-metered billing cycles will change beginning in March. After listening to member feedback, Delaware Electric Cooperative will now move all net-metered accounts to the last billing cycle of each month.
Adjusting the billing cycle will allow members with solar systems to better utilize their banked excess kWh credits, which can now only be accumulated by members during a one-year annualized billing period as a result of legislation passed in 2022. The legislation requires all electric utilities in Delaware to eliminate banked kilowatt hours on an annual basis. Moving the billing cycles for net-metered accounts to the end of the month will allow members to apply the most possible banked kilowatt hours to their bills, especially when those banks are “zeroed” out at the end of the March billing cycle. March is typically when net-metered members have the lowest amount of kilowatt hours in their banks, with many being empty already. This is due to the fact that solar generation is lowest during the winter months, but electric consumption is relatively high due to the cold weather. Please note that due to this billing cycle transition, the March billing period may be longer than usual, covering between 33 and 55 days. After that, the billing cycle will return to one-month intervals. If your bill is set to be paid automatically each month, please be aware those payment dates will likely change. Our team here at DEC works hard to listen to members and to make changes that better meets the needs of those we serve. While this is a relatively small change, we hope it will benefit our members who have invested in renewable energy.
Second, to provide more detailed billing information to our net-metered members, DEC is revamping its monthly bills starting in May. Members with renewable energy systems will be able to see how much energy their home used from the electric grid, as well as the energy their solar arrays sent back onto the grid. This change was made as a direct result of feedback from members. You can see an example of the new bills HERE.
Finally, over the past several months our Co-op has been working through a comprehensive rate restructuring plan with a goal of ensuring the cost of providing reliable electricity to hundreds of thousands of Delawareans is shared equitably among those we serve. In March, our board of directors will consider a proposal that will lower the power cost adjustment (PCA) to zero while increasing the service charge (formerly known as the customer charge) from $16 to $28 per month. The changes will result in a 3-5% decrease in monthly energy costs for the average residential member. If approved, the $28 monthly service charge will accurately reflect the true fixed cost to provide basic electrical service to each member. Those fixed costs include electrical infrastructure, technology costs and labor that ensure reliable power is delivered throughout our service territory. Regardless of how much or how little energy a member consumes each month, the cost to provide basic electric service is the same, and Co-op leaders have proposed these changes to make sure those costs are shared equally among members. This is especially important given the significant increase in the cost of materials needed to maintain a stable grid, especially transformers, over the past couple of years. While this information will be shared with all members in our newsletters and on our website in February, we wanted to bring it to your attention because the change could result in some net-metered members seeing a slight increase in their monthly electric bills. For example, a net-metered member using 500 kWh per month, would see a roughly $5 per month increase under the proposal.
As a member-owned not-for-profit utility, our goal is to make decisions that are in the best interest of and fair to all our members. We also strive to be transparent about changes that impact those we serve. If you have questions about any of the changes outlined above, please reach out to us at 855-332-9090 or email [email protected]. Thank you.