July 31, 2002
RICHMOND, Va. - With much of the Commonwealth enduring continued heat and drought conditions, Dominion Virginia Power customers have increased their energy usage more than 9.4 percent over the same period in 2001.
Higher-than-normal temperatures and triple-digit heat indices have forced customers indoors where they use their air conditioners, fans and other electrical appliances more frequently. As a result of increased usage, many customers may have higher-than-anticipated monthly electric bills.
"Dominion Virginia Power offers a number of ways to assist customers in paying their bills," said Edgar M. Roach Jr., president and chief executive officer of Dominion Virginia Power. "In addition, there are several steps customers can take to save money, conserve energy and still stay comfortable."
To help customers pay or reduce their electric bills, Dominion Virginia Power offers:
- Budget Billing, which allows customers the opportunity to equalize their bill payments to pay the same amount each month. The amount is adjusted once a year.
- Time-of-Use rates, which give a break on energy bills if customers shift their electricity usage to off- peak hours when other customers aren't using as much power. Customers who sign up for a time-of-use rate pay less for electricity during off-peak periods but more during peak periods.
- Electronic billing, which allows customers to view and pay bills at the company Web site - www.dom.com. This free service, which Dominion Virginia Power is calling "eBill," also provides the ability to monitor and compare energy usage from a home computer. Customers can view past bills and schedule payments for the date of their choosing.
In addition, the following tips will help customers stay comfortable, conserve energy and reduce their electric bills:
- Close drapes during the hottest times of the day to block heat from entering the home and to save energy.
- Use ceiling fans and portable floor fans to move the air around in the home. If the home does not have air conditioning, fans are essential for cooling.
- Turn off unnecessary lights during hot weather.
- Postpone activities that require hot water - such as washing dishes or clothes - to early morning or late evening.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exposure to the elements.
- Make sure pets have plenty of drinking water and have access to shady and cool areas.
- Stay where there is plenty of air space to allow your body to naturally cool itself.
- Wear comfortable clothing. Light-colored, loose-fitting clothing will help your body cool itself naturally.
For more information on billing options or energy-efficiency tips, call the Dominion Customer Service Center at 1-888-667-3000 or visit www.dom.com and click on the icon "energy-saving tips."
Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with a production capability of more than 3 trillion British thermal unit of energy per day. Dominion also serves 3.9 million-franchise natural gas and electric customers in five states.
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||Irene Cimino , (804) 771-6115