Jul 6, 2010
RICHMOND, Va., July 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- With the hottest June on record causing Virginia homeowners to use as much as 76 percent more energy for cooling than in an average June, Dominion Virginia Power is encouraging customers to take steps to save energy and money.
The impact of hot weather on June bills could seem magnified because bills in April and May reflected mild weather as well as rebates from a rate settlement agreement. Dominion Virginia Power's fuel rate went down slightly July 1 but that will not affect previous bills. For rate information: www.dom.com/varates.
"Outdoor temperatures drive home energy usage more than any other single factor," said Ken Barker, vice president of customer solutions and energy conservation. "The extremely hot weather in recent weeks is sending just about everyone's energy bills higher, but there are steps you can take to control your energy use." View Dominion's video on tips for saving energy in the summer at: www.dom.com/about/conservation/summer-tips.jsp.
Some of the lowest-cost, most effective measures include:
More tips and videos on conserving energy are available on-line at: www.dom.com/about/conservation/index.jsp.
Weather impact on cooling needs
Summer temperatures in Virginia thus far have been significantly higher than normal. As a result, the amount of energy needed to cool a typical single-family home also has increased significantly. Compared with last year, cooling energy needs for June 2010 increased by the following amounts compared with an average June:
Many other uses of electricity -- such as lighting, cooking, washing and drying clothes, and computers -- are not affected by the weather.
Customers with online access to their bills can see their usage history for the past 18 months under the tab "Account Management." Under "Energy Conservation," customers can compare and analyze changes in their energy usage, including access to information about the impact of weather, changes in rates and more.
Any customer having trouble paying an electric bill should call Dominion Virginia Power's toll-free customer service number, 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). The company is committed to working with customers and will explore all options available.
To qualify for EnergyShare cooling assistance, an individual must have received a disconnection notice (not required for those over 60 years of age) and meet at least one of the following criteria:
A qualified individual can receive a one-time maximum payment of up to $300. The program runs through Oct. 29. Local health and human service agencies administer the program. For more information, individuals should contact Dominion's Customer Service Center at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
Fan Care, now in its 20th year, also assists seniors in Virginia with cooling their homes. Dominion is again partnering with the Virginia Department for the Aging to provide free fans to qualified individuals who live in the company's service area. Fan Care is funded by an annual grant of $50,000 from Dominion.
Local Area Agencies on Aging administer Fan Care by screening applicants and distributing the fans. Those eligible can receive one fan per cooling season. The program will run through Sept. 30. To inquire about eligibility, contact the Virginia Department for the Aging at 1-800-552-3402.
Dominion also offers two additional programs designed to help friends and relatives help those who are having trouble paying an electric bill:
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage systems and serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com
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SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power