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Dominion Energy

Innovation Award to Dominion team

(From left) Nathan Worcester, Adam Flowers, Alan Bradshaw, Alison Kaufmann, Annette Martin and Andy Thomas win the Chairman’s Excellence Award for their mobile app solution that directly helps customers.

RICHMOND, Va. (Oct. 3, 2018) – A mobile app solution to enhance collaboration with customers won top recognition at Dominion Energy’s inaugural Innovation Expo. The app uses augmented reality to communicate with customers one-on-one before overhead power lines are converted to underground power lines on their property.  

An employee-led team from the Power Delivery business unit and the Information Technology group won the “Chairman’s Excellence Award” at a ceremony held today at the Science Museum of Virginia. CEO Thomas F. Farrell presented the honors to that team, as well as 11 other finalists voted among the best by their colleagues across the company.

The awards, which recognize the most creative ideas to emerge from employees in the past year, make up just one part of the company’s much broader innovation strategy that is moving forward.

“Our customers want choices and improvements in how to power their homes, businesses and vehicles,” Farrell said. “They want their energy company to be a leader in modernizing electric and natural gas infrastructure, and developing clean energy solutions.”

Innovation at Dominion Energy means using new technology and improving existing business processes to bring the future closer, and creating an environment in which employees are encouraged to experiment. Because new business models are being explored every day to anticipate the major shifts happening in the energy sector, the company has put in place a dedicated innovation team led by Chief Innovation Officer Mark Webb, to work across all business units to consistently apply an innovation strategy.

The mobile app that won the highest honor was developed by employees Andy Thomas, Alison Kaufmann, Adam Flowers, Annette Martin and Nathan Worcester. Currently being used in the company’s Strategic Underground Program, the app enables an employee to use an iPad camera to add a virtual image of equipment that is overlaid on a customer’s property configuration. The employee can review the layout with the customer and adjust it until the customer is satisfied with the placement. It is another way to partner and collaborate with customers when installing equipment on their property.

“We are not simply trying to react to customer expectations, we are creating new experiences,” Farrell added. “The achievements of these colleagues and those to come will ensure our future success.”

Dominion Energy, Ørsted Advance Offshore Wind Development

"Today's announcement further affirms our commitment to a new era of clean, renewable energy for the Commonwealth," said Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We are truly excited to bring offshore wind to Virginians for the first time."

NORFOLK, Va., Aug. 3, 2018/PRNewswire/ - Dominion Energy Virginia and Denmark-based energy company Ørsted took significant steps forward today in the development of Virginia's first offshore wind facility. Dominion Energy filed with Virginia's State Corporation Commission (SCC) for approval to build the two 6-megawatt turbines and grid infrastructure needed to connect the facility to the coast.

Ørsted, hired by Dominion Energy to build the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Project (CVOW), announced that a research vessel will conduct the final ocean floor mapping needed before construction can begin.

"Today's announcement further affirms our commitment to a new era of clean, renewable energy for the Commonwealth," said Thomas F. Farrell, II, Dominion Energy's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "We are truly excited to bring offshore wind to Virginians for the first time."

Farrell made the announcement Friday while in Norfolk with Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Thomas Brostrøm, president of Ørsted North America. In addition to the announced filing, business and government leaders toured the ocean-mapping vessel, temporarily docked at the maritime museum Nauticus.

"The announcement today represents a significant step toward harnessing Virginia's offshore wind energy resource and the many important economic benefits that this industry will bring to our Commonwealth," said Governor Ralph Northam. "The offshore wind demonstration project will provide critical information to stakeholders and will position Virginia as a leader as we work to attract job opportunities in the offshore wind supply chain and service industries."

Ørsted is a premier offshore wind power developer with over 1,000 offshore wind turbines installed and operating around the world.

"Ørsted is the energy supplier in Europe that has come the farthest in the transition to renewable energy, and we are excited to bring our expertise to Virginia," said Thomas Brostrøm, Ørsted's North American President.  "This project will provide us vital experience in constructing an offshore wind project in the United States and serve as a stepping stone to a larger commercial-scale partnership between our companies in the future. We see the tremendous potential in the Mid-Atlantic for emission-free, renewable wind generation and we are excited to help the Commonwealth in reaping the benefits of wind power."

The offshore wind project will be located about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach on 2,135 acres of federal waters leased by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy. The two six-megawatt turbines will sit in about 80 feet of water and rise over 550 feet above the ocean's surface – but will not be visible from the Virginia Beach shoreline. The facility is expected to begin generating emissions-free energy for customers by December 2020.

While officially a demonstration project, it would be the first constructed in federal waters through the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) approval process. It will be the nation's second commercial-scale offshore installation, following one off the coast of Block Island, RI, operational since 2015.

The project will provide critical permitting, construction and operational experience, and could pave the way for 2,000 more megawatts of carbon-free generation in the adjacent 112,000 acre wind energy lease area – enough energy to power about half a million homes. Dominion Energy currently leases the massive acreage that would be needed for this facility from BOEM.

The $300 million project will be funded through existing base rates, enabled by the Grid Transformation & Security Act. Contingent on various regulatory approvals, onshore construction would start in 2019, followed by turbine installation and operation in 2020.

In July 2018, the Grid Transformation & Security Act became law, declaring offshore wind to be in the public interest. Passed overwhelmingly by the Virginia General Assembly, the comprehensive energy reform legislation paves the way for a smarter, stronger and greener energy grid.

In conjunction with Dominion Energy's filing for regulatory approval of the first phase of its Grid Transformation Plan in Virginia, the company committed last month to have 3,000 megawatts of new solar and wind, enough to power 750,000 homes, under development or in operation in Virginia by the beginning of 2022.

Dominion Energy's solar fleet is the sixth largest in the nation. And with more than 3,300 megawatts of renewable energy resources either operational or under development across 10 states, the company is an industry leader in renewable energy.

For more information about today's filing with the SCC, please visit: www.dominionenergy.com/CVOW.

Dominion Energy Launches Grid Transformation Program, Paving Way for Virginia’s Energy Future With 3,000 Megawatts of New Solar and Wind Planned by 2022

  • New law saves Dominion Energy Virginia customers hundreds of millions of dollars

  • Calls for unprecedented expansion of solar and wind energy to be in public interest

  • Provides significant boost to energy efficiency and EnergyShare programs

  • Reduces outages, speeds restoration and improves service through new technology

RICHMOND, Va. – Dominion Energy Virginia customers stand to benefit from a smarter, stronger and greener energy grid in the first set of plans filed today under the Grid Transformation & Security Act (GTSA). The landmark legislation, signed by Gov. Ralph Northam, became effective July 1 and provides a roadmap for Virginia’s energy future.  Dominion Energy is committing to having 3,000 megawatts of new solar and wind -- enough to power 750,000 homes -- under development or in operation by the beginning of 2022.

“Thanks to the Grid Transformation & Security Act, Dominion Energy plans to develop a system that meets the increasingly complex demands and expectations of our customers,” said Ed Baine, Senior Vice President – Power Delivery. “And we are doing it with more renewable energy.”

The law paves the way for expanded investments in renewable energy, smart grid technology, a stronger, more secure grid and energy efficiency programs, all while keeping rates affordable. It provides hundreds of millions of dollars in bill credits and rate reductions for customers, and expands the EnergyShare program to help Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens.

The Grid Transformation & Security Act includes provisions for:

  • $200 million in bill credits to customers, and $125 million in annual rate cuts due to tax relief

  • Modernizing the energy grid to improve reliability, resiliency and the ability to integrate more renewable energy and emerging technology

  • Significantly expanding the company’s renewable energy fleet in Virginia

  • Future testing of wind turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach

In today’s regulatory filing, the company asked the State Corporation Commission (SCC) to approve the programs, investments and costs included in the first three years of the 10-year grid transformation program. The company will update the plan and request approval of additional programs and spending in later filings with the SCC.

Keeping Energy Affordable

Customers will continue to see affordable energy prices even as the company makes critical investments in grid transformation. Through the provisions of the new law, Dominion Energy customers will see significant savings, starting with the $133 million bill credit this month, another $67 million credit in January, and $125 million annually in rate cuts due to recent federal tax reform.

Additionally, customers who need assistance will benefit from the significant expansion of EnergyShare. The law directs Dominion Energy to commit at least $13 million in shareholder funds each year through 2028 for bill assistance and weatherization services for seniors, veterans, low-income customers and people with disabilities.

Expanding Virginia’s Renewable Resources

The Grid Transformation & Security Act set Virginia’s energy policy on a course for a massive expansion in new wind and solar energy -- 3,000 megawatts of which Dominion Energy is committed to having in operation or under development by the beginning of 2022. The projects will be a combination of assets developed and procured by the company.

In a related filing with the SCC today, Dominion Energy will seek to specifically add 240 megawatts of solar energy in Virginia. The proposed projects will continue to grow the company’s solar fleet, which is already the sixth largest in the nation. Dominion Energy is also working this summer to gather input from stakeholders before announcing the next phase in its solar strategy later this year.

Later this summer, the company will seek SCC approval for its proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project. The 12-megawatt facility would be the first of its kind in the Mid-Atlantic, located in a federal lease area about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The two-turbine test project is being developed through a partnership with Ørsted Energy of Denmark, a global leader in wind generation. It will provide valuable information that could lead to more extensive wind development.

Smart Grid Technology and Grid Security

Customers can expect better service under the grid transformation initiative, which includes the installation of approximately 2.1 million smart meters in homes and businesses. If approved by the SCC, these smart meters in conjunction with a new customer information platform will give customers more information and tools to better manage their energy use and bills. The approximately $450 million investment in smart meters and the customer information platform during the first three years of the initiative will be funded without any rate increase by using the reinvestment model enabled by the GTSA.

Smart meters and other grid transformation investments will help integrate new technologies like private solar and electric vehicle charging stations into the grid. Investments in intelligent grid devices, smart meters, and automated control systems will enable a “self-healing” grid which will speed the restoration process by quickly identifying and isolating outages.

New construction and material standards will improve grid resiliency and reduce outages caused by weather and other events. Additional measures will be taken to protect the grid against the growing threat of both physical and cyber-attacks. These measures include hardening substations serving critical facilities and the deployment of new intelligent devices and control systems which help energy companies detect and recover from events more quickly.

Other provisions of the GTSA reinforce efforts by Dominion Energy to place more vulnerable and outage-prone distribution lines underground. The latest expansion of the company’s Strategic Underground Program (SUP) is now under review by the SCC.

Energy Efficiency

The GTSA directs Dominion Energy to propose at least $870 million in energy efficiency programs over the next decade, designed to help customers save energy and manage the demand on Virginia’s electric system. The new law designates that at least five percent of energy efficiency programs must benefit low income, elderly or disabled individuals, most likely through residential weatherization upgrades.

Dominion Energy will file its initial proposals for new energy efficiency projects with the SCC for approval later this year following input provided by stakeholders.

“The GTSA lays out a very clear path for Virginia to reach a clean energy future that includes greater reliability, more security and grid resiliency,” Baine said. “And it does this while ensuring prices remain reasonable and competitive. Virginia will make great strides in the coming years, because of the new law.”

For more information visit: http://www.dominionenergy.com/next.

Customers and developers interested in learning more about the company’s wind and solar expansion plans can contact renewableenergy@dominionenergy.com.

Electricity Bills Going Down While Transmission Rates and Fuel Surcharges Likely Increase

Our first stretch of hot temperatures may have some Dominion Energy Virginia residential customers thinking about summer energy bills. Savings from legislation passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Ralph Northam will soon offer relief.

Customers will see savings in two ways: $133 million in bill credits and $125 million in rate reductions, both taking effect when the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018 becomes law on July 1.

The typical residential customer will receive a one-time credit of approximately $24.50 on their bill and approximately $2.50 per month in an ongoing reduction to our base rates, based on filings currently being prepared for submission to the State Corporation Commission later this month.

On average, our typical residential customer bill will remain largely unchanged in 2018. Our long record of offering rates below the state, regional and national averages continues, as shown by statistics released by the Edison Electric Institute this week.

The costs to support our high-voltage transmission system and to recover fuel expenses incurred to run our power stations would go up later this year under a pair of proposed rate changes filed today with the State Corporation Commission. If approved by the SCC, transmission costs will increase the typical residential monthly bill by $4.18 in September. We continue to make major and needed investments in the transmission network to ensure reliability and increase security.

The fuel rate change will increase the typical bill by $3.36 in July, if approved by the SCC, largely because of this January’s frigid temperatures. Constraints on the pipeline that supplies most of Virginia’s natural gas sent prices soaring from $3 per dekatherm in late December to an all-time record high of $175 in early January. The fuel rate is a straight pass-through of our fuel costs; the company makes no profit on it.

Dominion Energy Virginia is working to keep fuel costs low in several ways. Our parent company, Dominion Energy, is part of a partnership developing the proposed 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline from West Virginia to North Carolina. Construction of the pipeline would improve Virginia’s access to natural gas and hold down that fuel cost.

We also continue to expand our solar fleet and will open the nation’s largest and most efficient natural gas power station opening in Greensville County later this year.

Looking to the future, the proposed transmission and fuel cost increases will be mitigated by other savings on the horizon. Dominion Energy Virginia will provide another $67 million credit to customers in January 2019, through the Grid Transformation & Security Act of 2018. Plus, further savings from federal tax reform will be passed along to customers as they are calculated.

Weather has a strong impact on energy bills and we encourage our customers to save energy. For example, in these hot temperatures set your thermostat to 78 degrees, use ceiling fans and check and clean your air-conditioning filters. While extreme temperatures can drive up your bill, our goal is to continue our record of stable, low rates and help you keep your overall costs affordable.

To learn more go to http://www.dominionenergy.com/varates

Dominion Energy to Restore All Customers by 5:00 p.m. Friday; 90 Percent Customers to be Restored Late Today

♦More than 75 percent of customers impacted by the storm have been restored

90 percent restored by 11:00 p.m. today

Restoration workers from around the state concentrated on hardest-hit areas

RICHMOND, Va. – Dominion Energy Virginia and North Carolina restoration workers and contractors from across the state are out in force today to restore power by 5:00 p.m. Friday to all customers impacted by the high winds and snow impacting customers through Thursday morning, primarily in the eastern part of Virginia and North Carolina.

90 percent of customers impacted by this event will have power restored by 11:00 p.m. tonight. Customers in Virginia Beach and a few customers in Outer Banks, North Carolina where coastal flooding has limited crew accessibility will be restored tomorrow.

As of 4:00 p.m., more than 75 percent of the nearly 90,000 customers impacted across our system have been restored after crews performed repairs at 550 damage locations. Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Norfolk in Virginia and Outer Banks and Elizabeth City in North Carolina were the hardest hit areas.

Crews continue to work around the clock to complete repairs. 

“Being without power during this extreme cold weather can be an exceptional hardship for our customers and we are intensely focused on getting the lights back on as safely and quickly as possible,” said Ed Baine, senior vice president-Distribution, Dominion Energy. “Please stay clear of downed lines which may be partially buried by snow and use extra caution on the slippery roads and to be on the alert for crews working near roadways.” 

Travel by crews has been impacted by ice and snow, but crews are concentrated in the hardest-hit areas to speed restoration.

The highest priority for power restoration is always given to public safety and critical facilities such as hospitals, emergency 911 call centers, and municipal water pumping stations; 90 percent of those have been restored.

We continue to work closely with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, local officials and the Virginia Department of Transportation to ensure an efficient restoration.

If you lost power:

  • Do not rely on your neighbors to report your outage. Contact us from any mobile device and report outages at dom.com/outages or call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
  • Additional storm restoration information is available online at https://www.dominionenergy.com/outage-center/report-and-check-outages. Information also is available on the Dominion Energy Facebookpage.
  • When reporting an outage, whether online or via phone, enter a phone number where you can best be reached in case we need more information or to provide an update.
  • Leave a light on so you will know when power is restored.
  • Also, leave a porch light on. This will help our crews patrolling your neighborhood know if your electricity has been restored.

Safety first:

  • Stay at least 30’ away from downed wires and debris—they could be energized and dangerous. Call 1-866-DOM-HELP to report downed wires.
  • If you are using portable or camp-type stoves or lanterns for cooking and lighting, make sure the area is adequately ventilated.
  • Follow safe operating procedures for generators. Never operate one inside your home, in crawl spaces or in an enclosed space, such as a garage. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can be deadly, so run your generator outside with proper ventilation. Store the fuel for your generator safely.
  • Do not hook portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward onto Dominion Energy’s power lines and endanger lives. Either have a qualified electrician perform the work or plug appliances directly into the generator with the proper-sized extension cords.
  • Visually inspect the area around your electric meter. If you detect or suspect any damage, call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

Scams on the Rise, Dominion Energy Helping Customers Fight Back

  • Scams reports from customers rose 49 percent over last year
  • Customer education and awareness are best tactics to beat scammers
  • Dominion Energy offers tips to recognize scams and stay safe

RICHMOND, Va. – Utility scams are on the rise again in Virginia and across the country. Reports of scammers calling Dominion Energy customers threatening disconnection in exchange for immediate payment has increased by 49 percent since last year.

“Customers report that the caller ID on their phone says ‘Dominion’ when they are actually being contacted by a scammer,” said Marc Gaudette, director-Corporate Security, Safety & Healthat Dominion Energy. “They are told the power to their home or business will be cut within minutes if payment (usually via a pre-paid debit card or credit card) is not provided immediately. Customers are given a fake number to call for payment, and the recording is a copy of Dominion Energy’s own phone greeting.”

Dominion Energy reminds customers that it doesn’t do business this way.

“We never threaten customers with immediate disconnection when they are behind on their bills,” said Charlene Whitfield, vice-president-Customer Service at Dominion Energy. “We contact customers by phone or in writing multiple times to work out a payment plan before disconnection occurs. The payment plan never requires payment within an hour or less.”

Dominion Energy is working with local and federal law enforcement as well as other energy companies and utilities to monitor these scams. The best defense against scams is education and awareness. This year alone, nationwide scams awareness and education has resulted in the shutdown of more than 500 bogus phone numbers.

Dominion Energy does not:

  • Use aggressive threats to disconnect service (usually within an hour or less)
  • Insist on immediate payment, over the phone
  • Request a pre-paid card to be used for payment over the phone

But customers can protect themselves and their community by remembering:

  • Never purchase a pre-paid card to avoid shut off— we will not insist on just one type of payment. You can pay in-person at a designated payment center (locations listed here) or through your online account. All payment options available are listed here.
  • Verify what you’re being told about your account.Hang up and call us at 866-DOM-HELP to confirm whether or not a payment is due, not any other number.
  • Collect information from the scammer, such as phone numbers or names, to help us and law enforcement track and spread the word to customers. 

For more information about protecting yourself against scams, visit https://www.dominionenergy.com/scams.

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