The State of Delaware Green Energy Program was enacted by House Bill 10 in 1999 as part the deregulation of Delaware’s electric utilities. The Delaware Energy Act established the Green Energy Fund. The Delaware Energy Office and the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) were initially responsible for management of the original program. The program is for only Delmarva Power customers, because under House Bill 10 only Delmarva Power customers were required to contribute to the fund. Contributions to the Delmarva Power customer fund were and still are collected each month from electric bills. Customers are assessed a charge for each kilowatt-hour (kwh) purchased from Delmarva Power. The exact charge is $0.000356 per kwh. From 1999 to 2005 the only Green Energy Program in the State of Delaware was the State Green Energy Program for Delmarva customers.
Over its life, Delmarva’s Green Energy Program has provided grant funding to homeowners, local businesses, fire departments, churches, and farmers for more than1,000 renewable energy projects that have been installed in Delaware. Green Energy Program funds are collected through a public benefits fund charge that is collected monthly by Delaware’s electricity providers. The program has awarded over $20 million for renewable energy projects installed in Delaware since 1999.
In 2005, Senate Bill 74 established Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Title 26 of the Delaware Code outlines the requirements for the RPS. The RPS was intended to apply to the state’s investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities, and rural electric cooperatives. However, municipal utilities and rural electric cooperative were given the opportunity to exclude themselves from the RPS requirements if they established a voluntary green power program and created their own version of the State Green Energy Fund.
Following approval of this bill, the Delaware Electric Cooperative (DEC) and Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation (DEMEC), which represents the nine municipal utilities, chose to opt out of the RPS and created their own individual ”Green Energy” Programs with the same collection method as Delmarva Power. The state completes technical review of the grant applications on behalf of DEMEC and DEC. However, grant payments and program regulations are under the full authority of DEMEC and DEC.
The State does not issue any grant payments for the DEMEC or DEC programs. The state also does not set incentive levels or program rules for these programs. The DEC calls their program the “Renewable Resource Program” and DEMEC’s program is called the “Municipal Green Energy Program”.