NEWARK, Del. - Delmarva Power has proposed a program that combines traditional energy efficiency with innovative technologies to help customers manage their energy use and reduce the total cost of energy.

"Energy efficiency is the lowest cost and the cleanest way to address future energy needs," said Dennis Wraase, chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer, Pepco Holdings Inc., the parent company of Delmarva Power.

"If we can provide tools for PHI's nearly two million customers to reduce their electricity usage, we can make a measurable contribution to meeting the nation's environmental challenges and at the same time help customers keep their electric bills affordable," Wraase said.

Delmarva Power’s proposals include demand side management efforts, such as rebates or other incentives for residential customers to update inefficient appliances with Energy Star replacements. Customers could also receive credits on their bills for allowing Delmarva Power to "cycle," or intermittently turn off, their central air conditioning or heat pumps when wholesale electricity prices are high.

Business customers would receive financial incentives for using energy efficient equipment such as peak performing lighting and HVAC systems, and would be rewarded for reducing use during periods of peak demand.

Last year Delmarva Power invested in Web-based energy auditing software. That investment is already paying off for Delmarva customers who may monitor their own energy use and learn what changes might lower their costs.

Delmarva Power also proposed to install "smart meters" in the first phase of an effort designed to improve reliability and, ultimately, give customers options for lowering usage and cost. The smart meters, which the company proposes to install in the homes of all Delaware customers over the next three to four years, would give Delmarva Power the ability to remotely identify the location of outages without customers calling in. When combined with additional investments in technologies planned by the company, smart meters can give customers the information and options they need to manage their demand when electricity prices are high.

Delmarva Power's plan enables customers who generate their own electricity through renewable sources, such as solar or wind, to sell back more of the electricity they generate but don't use.

The Delaware Public Service Commission will review Delmarva Power's proposals and will decide whether they will be implemented. PHI plans to make similar proposals in other jurisdictions it serves.

Delmarva Power, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings Inc., provides energy to more than 500,000 electric delivery customers in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia and over 118,000 natural gas delivery customers in northern Delaware.

Publication date:02/12/2007