January 18, 2005
RICHMOND, Va. – Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation's largest energy companies, met an unofficial record winter one-hour peak demand Tuesday from its Virginia and North Carolina electricity customers.
As heating systems kicked in to ward off the arctic cold, demand from the company’s 2.2 million electric customers in Virginia and northeastern North Carolina reached an estimated 16,689 megawatts from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Tuesday. The old mark of 16,448 megawatts was set just one month ago, on Dec. 20, 2004. Further tabulations may adjust the final amount of megawatts generated and consumed by customers.
The Dominion all-time record peak demand is 17,084 megawatts set July 29, 2002.
Dominion encourages its customers to use smart energy practices to keep homes warm and heating systems working at peak efficiencies. Heating costs can account for 25 percent to 50 percent of a home’s total energy expense, so efficiency experts offer these tips to control heating costs:
- Have a qualified heating contractor inspect and service your system to ensure it is safe and working at peak efficiency.
- If you have a forced-air heating system, clean or replace the filter monthly and keep heat vents open and unobstructed by furniture.
- Make sure that all ductwork is sealed at joints and intersections with duct sealer or silicone caulk. Otherwise, supply ductwork can leak heated air into the attic or crawl space, and outside air can be drawn into the return ductwork, increasing costs and reducing comfort dramatically.
- Set the thermostat at 68 degrees or the lowest temperature you find comfortable. For every degree you lower the setting, you can see a difference of up to 3 percent in energy costs. Setting it lower at night will produce savings with gas and oil systems, but is not recommended for heat pump systems unless you have a programmable thermostat specifically designed for that system.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with an energy portfolio of about 28,340 megawatts of generation. Dominion also serves retail energy customers in eight states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com.
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