Central Delaware
Delmarva Power, Exelon merger seen as ‘win-win’ deal

DOVER — Delmarva Power customers will benefit by $17 million if a proposed merger with its parent company Pepco Holdings and Exelon Corporation is approved, officials said recently.

The merger — announced April 30 — is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of 2015, according to a news release.

“Upon closing of the merger, Exelon will provide $17 million to Delaware for a Customer Investment Fund to be used as the PSC deems appropriate for customer benefits such as bill credits, low-income assistance and other programs,” Exelon Vice President Richard G. “Dick” Webster said.

By combining the best methods of storm response, power restoration will be enhanced, Mr. Webster said. Also improved will be reliability and rates, he said.

“Exelon and PHI will maintain reliability for Delmarva Power and customers will continue to benefit from even more enhanced targets,” Mr. Webster said.

“We can accomplish this by using best practices from both companies and by having even better storm response. At the same time, both Delmarva and Exelon are committed to the ongoing work in Delaware to balance reliability investments and their impact on rates.

“Delmarva and Exelon will continue to work with the Public Service Commission to ensure we are providing the reliability service that is expected.”

No merger-related job losses at Delmarva Power will occur for at least two years, officials said, and all collective bargaining agreements will be honored.

“There’s never been a culture of job force reduction at either company and I’m very confident that will continue,” Delmarva Power President Gary R. Stockbridge said.

“With the direction both companies will experience due to this merger, a vibrant employee workforce is needed, and that’s not going to be achieved through job contraction.”

Local 1238, representing Delmarva Power employees, supports the merger, according to a letter submitted to the Delaware Public Service Commission. Representatives said they were encouraged to Exelon’s addition of 150 new full-time employees.

“We think Exelon’s commitment to reliability, customer service, a highly trained workforce and access to even more resources to help in our day-to-day operations, and restore customers and employees of Delmarva Power/PHI,” IBEW Local 1238 Business Manager Steve Newberry wrote.

Also writing letters of support were the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Delaware, and American Red Cross Delmarva Region leadership.

“As the leading advocate for business the Chamber aims to improve the business climate, protect the business community’s interests, and save tax dollars,” A. Richard Heffron wrote to the DPSC.

“The merger of Delmarva Power into Exelon will result in an even stronger community partner that will continue to invest in and help improve our local economy. We are confident this combination will benefit businesses, communities and the State of Delaware.”

The Red Cross said it had a particular stake in Delmarva Power’s future, after historically working together on community initiatives and providing financial support.

“We understand that Exelon has committed to maintain corporate giving at Delmarva Power’s highest levels, a commitment which is crucial to the Red Cross’ mission of providing aid to those who have suffered injury to their person or property as a result of a disaster,” Red Cross Delmarva Peninsula Region CEO Patrick K. Delaney said in a letter to the DPSC.

The United Way of Delaware said that mergers and acquisitions are commonplace among current business strategies, and was confident Pepco and Exelon’s agreement will benefit Delaware businesses and communities.

“Delmarva Power will become part of a larger family of utilities who are dedicated to their employees, customers, and take pride in the providing of quality service to their communities,” President and CEO Michelle Taylor said. “Exelon is widely regarded for its commitment to the environment, which will benefit the region as well.”

Exelon reported 2013 assets of $80 billion, $24.9 billion in revenues and 26,000 employees. Pepco Holdings had $15 billion in assets, $4.7 billion in revenues and 5,000 employees.

“The merger with Delmarva and Exelon is a win-win for everyone,” Mr. Stockbridge said.

“Our customers will benefit from the PSC-directed Customer Investment Fund, employees will benefit through opportunities created by being a part of the broader Exelon family of companies, and customers in Delaware will benefit as Exelon continues to build on the great service Delmarva Power has been delivering to customers for more than 100 years.”

Staff writer Craig Anderson can be reached at 741-8296 or Follow @DSNAnderson on Twitter.