City Reduces Electric Rates for Commercial, Residential Users

At the last City Council Meeting of 2011 members of City Council voted to amend the code of the City of Milford, Electric Tariff, Chapter 119, that establishes electric standards and rates for the City of Milford. The outcome of this overall amendment resulted in a decrease in residential and commercial electric rates for residents and business owners that use City of Milford electric.

The City of Milford electric rates has been a contentious issue for years with business and home owners alike complaining about the cost of utilities. City officials point to three factors that allowed City Council to vote to amend the electric tariff during the Council Meeting on December 29, 2011: The results of a business survey sent out by the Economic Development Advisory Panel, the utility incentives that led to the expansion of jobs at Sea Watch International and the reduction of overall fees from the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC).

Last year the Economic Development Advisory Panel mailed approximately 600 surveys to the City’s electric utility consumers in an attempt to understand what obstacles businesses face while operating in the City of Milford. According to the respondents of the survey, utility rates was among the highest deterrents to the expansion of businesses, with 54% of respondents confirming that belief. The recommendations made by the Economic Development Advisory Panel to the City of Milford from the business survey included reducing electric rates.

Last summer the City of Milford worked with the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) and the Sussex County government to help the expansion of Sea Watch International by offering incentives that allowed the company to increase their workforce in the form of a second processing shift. The incentives that began through the City of Milford’s Economic Development Committee set the tone for future partnerships between private businesses and the City of Milford that encourage prosperity.

Recently the City of Milford has also seen a decrease in rates that they receive as a member of the Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation; DEMEC supplies nine city electric distribution utilities located in the state of Delaware.

According to City Manager Richard Carmean residential user should see a 2% reduction in their utility bill where commercial entities could see as much as an 18% reduction based on their usage and demand.

“The bulk of the savings will go to large and mid-size users which includes small businesses,” stated Mr. Carmean. “We are looking in the near future to have better purchasing power for electric which will allow the City to become more competitive.”

The reduction in utility rates are based on variables that include billing months, energy use and the size of the utility user. The new rates went into effect with the December 2011 consumption and are reflected in the monthly bills mailed in January 2012. The new rates that were accepted by City Council can be found in the December 29, 2011 City Council Packet under Ordinance 2011-30, Chapter 119, Electric Tariff. The newly established electric standards and rates for the City of Milford can be viewed at http://cityofmilford.com/archives/43/122911%20Packet%202.pdf.

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