Dominion Virginia Power, CHP to Help More Customers Manage Energy Costs
Beginning Sept. 1, CHP will partner with Dominion Virginia Power as the utility company expands 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.
Weatherization services will be provided by CHP and other qualified professionals to ensure the highest standard of service. According to CHP Vice President of Energy Solutions Bill Beachy, the weatherization assessments and improvements will be performed at no cost to the customer and 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.
“There are many Virginians who struggle to pay for basic necessities, including energy, which is why programs such as EnergyShare are so important,” said Beachy. “Fortunately, the energy-saving measures that we put in place can help thousands in need reduce their energy costs.”
Two individuals who hope to benefit from the program are Annandale home owners Elmore and Bessie Jenkins. The elderly couple recently welcomed Gov. Terry McAuliffe, representatives from Dominion Virginia Power, and CHP weatherization crew members into their home for the official announcement of EnergyShare’s expansion and to find out how the program could improve their residence.
“I would sit and watch TV, and I could feel air coming through the windowsill,” said Elmore Jenkins, 68, a Vietnam War veteran who has lived in the same house his whole life. “Sometimes, rain would come through the kitchen vents.”
As a result, CHP plans to weatherproof the 75-year-old dwelling and replace the home’s aging furnace. Beachy indicated these measures could have a significant impact on the comfort, safety, and efficiency of the Jenkins’ home.
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 CHP and more than 30 other state agencies, non-profit organizations, and other experts for guidance on how to best implement the $57 million program expansion.
"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 multifamily 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.
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.
About Dominion Virginia Power:
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/.