RICHMOND, Va., July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning Sept. 1, Dominion Virginia Power will expand its EnergyShare program in both funding and scope to provide financial assistance, weatherization services and educational outreach to more qualifying customers, including people living with disabilities and military veterans facing financial hardships.
"As a provider of an essential service, we know that many of our customers struggle to pay for basic necessities, including energy," said Thomas F. Farrell II, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power. "We're making a commitment to invest $57 million through 2019 to help more people get help with energy bills. In addition, we will be offering free weatherization services and outreach to help our customers reduce energy costs going forward."
The initiative to reduce energy costs for Virginia's most vulnerable residents came out of legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly and an executive directive by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in February 2015. Since then, Dominion has worked hand-in-hand with more than 30 state agencies, non-profit organizations and other experts for guidance on how to best implement the program.
"I am pleased to see the result of this cooperative effort between legislators, private companies and state agencies to provide help to many deserving individuals and families across the Commonwealth," Gov. McAuliffe said. "In particular, it's fulfilling to extend this important service to multi-family residences and to brave veterans who, in many cases, return stateside to face unemployment and homelessness."
EnergyShare will remain a program of last resort to help eligible residents pay heating or cooling bills when all other forms of assistance have been exhausted. Under the expanded program, funding and participation are expected to double, and a new weatherization and outreach component will help recipients make lasting changes to reduce energy costs for the long term.
Free weatherization assessments and improvements may include attic insulation, LED lighting, low-flow showerheads, pipe wrap installation, faucet aerators, furnace fan motors, heat pump and/or AC tune-ups, and air sealing or duct sealing. Weatherization services will be provided by the state's weatherization network to ensure the highest standard of service.
Since EnergyShare's inception in 1982, Dominion Virginia Power and its customers, employees, retirees and business partners have contributed more than $67 million and have helped more than 300,000 individuals and families. With this newly expanded program, Dominion hopes to reach 10,000 participants a year with energy assistance and provide weatherization to 2,600-5,300 dwellings each year, including single-family homes, mobile homes and multi-family units.
Under the new program, donations will still be accepted and used to help elderly and low-income residents who face financial hardship and need assistance with energy bills. Because Dominion covers 100 percent of the program's administrative costs, every cent donated by customers, employees or others goes directly to helping those in need.
Virginia residents can call 2-1-1 for EnergyShare assistance or referrals to health and human services resources. For more information about weatherization, call 1-888-366-8280.
For details on how to donate or apply for EnergyShare, as well as a list of participating agencies, visit www.dom.com and search: EnergyShare.
Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy with operations in 14 states. Dominion has a portfolio of approximately 20,400 megawatts of generation and 6,455 miles of electric transmission lines, and operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com/.
SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power