Lewes


BPW


Electric, Water, and Sewer Utility

  Have a Utility Emergency? Call our Emergency 24 Hour Hotline - (302) 645-6228

FAQs

The FAQs have been updated as of June 2017

 

Who should I call if I have a Utility Emergency, a Power Outage or a Street Light that is burned out or blinking?
Call the Lewes BPW at 302-645-6228


What if it is after business hours during the week or a weekend or a holiday?
Call the Lewes BPW at 302-645-6228 and a representative from our Message Service Center will be available to assist you and will contact the BPW Employee on call.


How do the BPW electric rates compare to other municipalities in Delaware?
The BPW electric rates were the lowest in the State of Delaware (July 1, 2012). This rate comparison included the Lewes BPW “Ready to Serve” charge and associated tariffs for the other utility providers. See the attached chart: All Delaware rate 2017-Winter   All Delaware rates 2017-Summer
We at the BPW are always working to provide fair rates to our customers. A word of caution is appropriate when attempting to compare Lewes BPW rates with other cities: the comparison made between the Lewes BPW and any other utility will always be an apple-to-oranges comparison since no two utilities are identical in all business factors (population served, debt, seasonality of customer usage, age of infrastructure, etc.).


What should I know about BPW tree trimming?
The BPW has a responsibility to maintain the equipment used to service its customers. The BPW typically does tree-trimming in the late fall/winter months so that the branches in need of trimming are most visible. Vegetation removal is done year round on an as needed basis. When conducting these trimming operations, the BPW works hard to strike a balance between respecting private property and public safety. For more information on tree trimming and vegetation removal, read our information paper: tree-trimming


Why do I pay a Storm Water Charge?
The BPW has determined that funds are required to maintain the stormwater system and plan for future improvements and public safety. The Storm Water Fee covers maintenance to keep the storm water pipes open throughout the service area and ensures that major road arteries are kept open in time of rain events for the “greater good of the community”. This fee only meets current operational and maintenance needs for the backbone system. For more information on Storm Water Charges, read our information paper: storm-water-charge


Why do I pay a Storm Water Charge if I do not have catch basin in front of my home?
The BPW charges its customers a Storm Water charge to maintain the storm water infrastructure and manage its effects for the greater good of the community. The Stormwater Fee is charged to every customer of the BPW to pay for the stormwater system that protects us all during precipitation events. For more information on Storm Water Charges, read our information paper: storm-water-charge-catch-basin


What is the purpose of Hydrant Flushing and how often should it be done?
Not only is hydrant flushing one of the most important maintenance practices that can be performed on a water distribution system, it allows us to check for any leaks as well as the condition of the valves.  Also, it helps to flush out corrosion and rust.  This important practice is done in the Fall and Spring, which is posted on the BPW’s website.  For more information on fire hydrants flushing, read our information paper: fire-hydrant-flushing


Why do I pay a “Ready to Serve” charge?
The “Ready to Serve” fee is charged whether or not electric, water or sewer is used by the resident to cover maintenance of the systems supporting customers and fixed business costs associated with management of the utility. For more information on the “Ready to Serve Charge”, read our information paper: ready-to-serve-charge


How can I obtain an irrigation meter?
BPW Customers can arrange to have a water meter installed on their property for irrigation. There is a charge for the installation of the meter and a monthly “Ready to Serve” charge applies to the new meter. Savings are realized by avoiding sewer charges on the irrigation consumption. For more information on the irrigation meters, read our information paper: irrigation-meter-updated-2017

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What is the impact of the University of Delaware Turbine on the BPW?
The operation of the University of Delaware wind turbine has a negligible effect on BPW customer electric utility rates. For more information on the the University of Delaware Turbine, read our information paper: university-of-delaware-turbine


Where is our wastewater treated?
The BPW processes all wastewater at the Howard Seymour Water Reclamation Plant of the City of Lewes. For more information on the Howard Seymour Water Reclamation Plant, read our information paper: wastewater-treatment-plant


Who are the Lewes BPW Board members and when are the Board meetings held?

C. Wendell Alfred, President; D. Preston Lee, Vice President; Jack Lesher, Treasurer; Robert J. Kennedy, III, Assistant Treasurer; A. Thomas Owen, Secretary.  The monthly Board meetigns are held the 4th Wednesday of each month at City Hall council chambers 114 E. Third Street.  To leave a message for the Board Members please contact the business office at 302-645-6228.


Does the City of Lewes receive any monies from the BPW?
Yes, the City of Lewes currently receives 5% of the gross revenues from the BPW in the form of “payment in lieu of franchise fees”. In 2010 the Delaware State Legislature approved “AN ACT TO REINCORPORATE THE CHARTER OF THE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS OF THE CITY OF LEWES” It states: The BPW shall pay to the City a minimum of two percent (2%) to a maximum of five percent (5%) of the monthly adjusted revenues for utility services (gross revenues for utility services less adjustments made to customer accounts), in lieu of franchise fees, no later than thirty (30) days after the utility bills are mailed to customers each month. The City shall pay monthly out of the general fund of the City to the BPW for utility services, including street lighting, such sum as the BPW may prescribe by tariff.


How much does the City of Lewes receive from the BPW in the form of “payment in lieu of franchise fees”?
In fiscal year 2016/2017, the BPW paid the City of Lewes $695,413 in “payment in lieu of franchise fees”.


Does the City of Lewes pay the BPW for the utility services it uses?
Yes, the City of Lewes, per the enactment of the BPW Charter approved in 2010 pays for all utility services.


What are the responsibilities of the City of Lewes and what is their phone number?
City Taxes, Building Permits, Business Licenses, Parking Meters, Trash Cans and Trash Removal, Recycling and Yard Waste, Street Cleaning, City Sidewalks and Road Repairs/Maintenance and Snow Removal.  The phone number for the City of Lewes is 302-645-7777.


Do you have a question not answered here?
Call the Lewes BPW at: 302-645-6228 or email us: Contact us