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February 24, 2006     Cape Gazette
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February 24, 2006

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16 - CAPE GAZETTE - Friday, Feb. 24 - Monday, Feb. 27, delay on the rate hike," Markell Continued from page 1 electricity just to fill the local demand. As part of his reform package, Markell called for the absolute need to mandate transparency in the bidding process for power purchases in Delaware, so con- sumers can have confidence that the bids themselves are credible. "I understand that the bidders are hesitant to have their bids made public for competitive rea- sons," Markell stated in a letter to to Bob Burcat, executive director of the Public Utilities Commission. "The public's right to know should come first, particularly related to finding out the extent to which Pepco Holding's Delaware utility, Delmarva Power, is relying on its unregulated subsidiary, Conectiv Energy, to generate power supply for state customers. "Beyond transparency in bid- &ng, the PSC should consider the advantages and disadvantages of said. "Our deregulation law has seri- ous flaws in it. That, coupled with the fact that oil and gas prices may never come back down, raises long-term issues that must be addressed. "The flaws must be fixed. The world did not turn out the way those who wanted deregulation in 1999 expected it would," Markeli said. ' To the extent that the increases axe likely long term, and if there seems to be little movement [by electricity generators] toward investments in additional capacity and lower prices, then there seems to be little compelling rationale for Delaware to stay with deregu- lation ." Develop renewable energy Incentives would play a big role in Markell's plan to attract renew- able-energy sources. In order to develop renewable- energy sources here, Markell said the state should quickly set a new energy plan that includes ensuring that rates are allowed to Delaware-based development of rise only to a level consistent with the increase in input costs, and not to the clearing price," Markell stated. "One of the major changes initi- ated by deregulation is that, even the lowest cost energy producers are paid the much higher 'clearing price,' which is paid to highest cost producer. In Delaware, pro- ducers of low cost power are reap- ing huge financial returns ." Stay rate hikes On Feb. 10, Markell-said Delaware should impose a stay on the May 1 rate hike until comple- tion of a full investigation that could connect the dots between the huge rate hike and Delmarva Power's parent company, Pepco Holding's swelling profits, its div- idend increases to shareholders just days before the rate hike announcement and the lack of electricity competition in the Delaware marketplace, as was promised when deregulation passed in 1999. "There absolutely must be a wind resources, solar and biomass renewable-energy Sources. He said California and Texas have been successful in carefully crafting regulatory rules and incentives to attract major wind power developers and enable them to install significant capaci- ty. "It would be of value for the PSC to make recommendations about ~ incentives and other utility-based programs that could be put in place to encourage the development of renewable-energy sources," Markell stated in the let- ter to Burcat. "It would also be helpful to know whether there is a difference in tax treatment in Delaware for conventional power generation as compared to renewable energy sources," the letter says. Incentives would also play a role in Markell's plan to promote conservation. Some of his specific ideas for that include: a reward program for conser- vation efforts for residential, and potentially, businesses. Such a OFF 20O6 reward could give consumers a 20-percent credit on their elec~c bill if they reduce their energy use by 20 percent, as compared to the same month in the previous year. reducing energy use in major state buildings by 20 percent compared to the previous year and challenging counties, munici- palities and other public bodies to do the same. building on the governor's encouragement of using Energy Star appliances by directing utili- ties to provide rebates to con- sumers who buy them. implementing "time-of-day" changes so that customers can Continued from page 14 Delaware beaches. "They've moved mountains to make it happen. Everyone I've talked to said they've never seen a cooperation like that," said Rehoboth Beach Mayor Sam Cooper. He referred to an effort among local, state and federal officials to it's just opened up," said Cooper. Overhead telephone cables and lines were buried underneath the street, creating better ocean views and more efficient connections for downtown Rehoboth Beach. By March, said JMT vice-pres- ident Mike Rothenheber, all the sidewalks are expected to be fin- ished. In April, most of the road- ways will be complete, he said, and by Memorial Day, officials anticipate the pavilion to be tom- ensure the city's streetscape pleted. improvement project remained on A covered pavilion will ensure track, performances can go on regard- Carper helped secure $6.75 less of weather conditions, and in million funds for the f'mal phase its basement will be a dressing benefit from lower prices by of using electricity at off-peak times. enacting energy-efficiency building standards, which would involve minor tweaks to existing building codes and could cut down on energy use and energy bills. and implementing a massive public education campaign about energy efficiency to arm people with simple things they can do to reduce their energy bills. "For any public education pro- gram to work," said Markell, "it must be very public and repeated tirelessly until it is effective." the Rehoboth Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project. "This pavilion reflects a gen- uine partnership between the town of Rehoboth, the state and the federal government," said Carper, as he strolled the Boardwalk with Cooper and offi- cials from Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson (JMT), the engineer- ing firm overseeing the project. Carper, Cooper and other offi- cials discussed the technical work needed to complete the down- town beautification project. "I was just amazed that every phase, as we took the poles down, Susan Office" (302) 644-6077 Cunnin ham Cen. (302) 381.1117 Loan 34382 Carpenters Way Officer Lewes, DE 19958 susan'cunningham@americanhm'c m ~unorloan Homo Mott0a~ Conveniently Located at ROUTE 1 & ROUTE 24 next to the Wawa in Rehoboth Beach Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm Saturday 9am - 4pro Sunday 11am - 3pm Closed Wednesday room for performers. And unlike the old Bandstand, guests will look eastward at the new pavilion, watching entertainers with the ocean as a backdrop. 'TK Steve Malcom WATCH OUT FOR THE CREDIT iSARD TRAP It is not unusual for first-time buyers to be free of debt. They have been saving for their first home for many months or even years. Soon after they moved into their new home, they are deluded with pre- approved credit card applications from banks and stores they have never heard of. Before they realize what is happening, some new i homeowners can get over their heads in debt. The consumer credit agencies know that mortgage companies do thorough checks before approving a loan, and those who have passed through that process are considered good credit risks. They also know that new homeowners often need to make major purchases of furniture and appliances at a time when they have depleted most of their savings accounts. After years of disciplined savings, new owners may be faced with a tremendous temptation to just say "charge it" for the things they need. If you have just purchased a home, be aware--and wary--when those applications start pouring in! For professional advice on all aspects of buying or selling real estate, consult "The Res~|ts Team" at Lon$ and Foster.Call Steve at (302) 542-7473 or (800) 462-$224 (ext. 473) or email