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2013 AARP Survey of Delaware Residents Age 50+ on Electric Utilities

AARP’s Delaware State Office, in response to its commitment to ensure affordable electric rates and consumer protections for all residents, commissioned this telephone survey to explore the views of residents age 50+ on their electric utilities.

Key findings include:

Nearly four in five Delaware residents age 50+ are concerned about the rising costs of electricity in their homes and the majority believes their elected officials are not doing enough to lower these costs.

  • 53 percent say they are extremely or very concerned about the costs of their electricity going up and another 24 percent say they are somewhat concerned.  
  • 63 percent say their state elected officials are not doing enough to lower the costs of their electricity bills while only 16 percent say elected officials are doing enough to lower these costs. 
  • 15 percent say they do not learn about electric rate increases until after the rates have already been raised.  About a third reports that they learn about these rate increases through notices in the newspaper (34%) or in their monthly electric bill (31%) and nearly a quarter learns about them through radio or television announcements (24%).  

Approximately three-quarters of Delaware residents age 50+ oppose Delmarva’s proposed electric rate increase of $42 million.

  • 58 percent strongly oppose the $42 million electric rate increase proposed by Delmarva in March 2013 and another 15 percent somewhat oppose this proposal.  
  • 66 percent do not believe that the interests of residential electric utility customers are taken into consideration when rate increases are proposed.   

Nearly seven in ten Delaware residents age 50+ are not aware that there is a Public Advocate Office in Delaware that represents residential electric utility customers and nearly nine in ten say it is important that this office have enough funds to be able to represent the interests of residential customers when rate increases are proposed.  

  • 67 percent are not aware of the Delaware Public Advocate Office while 33 percent are aware of this office.
  • 89 percent say it is extremely (33%), very (34%) or somewhat important (23%) that the Delaware Public Advocate Office has sufficient funds to fully represent the interests of residential electric utility customers.   

Over four in five Delaware residents age 50+ support continuing to require electricity providers to offer a Standard Plan at the lowest reasonable cost with rates that are adjusted no more than annually.

  • 62 percent strongly support continuing to require electricity providers in Delaware to offer the Standard Plan at the lowest reasonable cost with only annual adjustments and another 20 percent somewhat support this action. 

These results are based on a telephone survey fielded April 12 to April 19, 2013 with Delaware residents age 50 and older. A total of 800 interviews were completed. The data in this report have been weighted to reflect the age and gender of the population age 50+ in Delaware. For more information, contact Joanne Binette at 202-434-6303.


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