RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dominion Virginia Power is alerting customers that autumn is a great time to take advantage of several programs available to help them actively manage their home energy costs before higher winter heating bills arrive. (View a video to learn more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fc6mJV_9G4A)
"This is the opportune time for customers to sign up for billing options and learn about the wide range of assistance programs that are available to help them manage their energy costs," said Gianna Clark, vice president, Customer Service Operations. "It also is important for customers to contact us if they are having difficulty paying their bill or anticipate having difficulty. We can explore all the options available to make it easier." The company's toll-free customer service phone number is 1-888-667-3000.
Dominion will contact 75,000 customers this month to provide them with information on programs offered through the Commonwealth of Virginia and Dominion to help qualifying families pay their home energy bills and weatherize their homes. This includes information on:
Qualifying and applying for the Commonwealth's fuel assistance and crisis assistance programs are available through the Virginia Department of Social Services at www.dss.virginia.gov or by calling 2-1-1 to locate the local social service agency.
The commonwealth's weatherization program is available from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development Web site at www.dhcd.virginia.gov or by calling 2-1-1 to locate a local weatherization provider. A home energy audit is performed, and energy-efficient repairs are made at no expense to the resident. The program is available to renters, as well as homeowners. A weatherized home typically uses about one-third less energy, saving a family about $350 a year on energy bills.
Dominion's EnergyShare program, which assists qualified families regardless of their heating source, is available by visiting the company's Web site at www.dom.com and searching for EnergyShare, or by calling toll-free 1-888-667-3000 to locate a local EnergyShare agency. EnergyShare applications will be accepted beginning November 2.
Dominion also encourages customers to avoid monthly fluctuations in their electric bills by signing up for budget billing. In the past 18 months, customer participation in Dominion's budget billing plan has more than doubled -- from 175,000 to 400,000 customers, or about 20 percent of Dominion's customers.
Dominion offers two additional programs designed to help friends and relatives help those who are having trouble paying their electric bill.
Dominion's gift certificate program enables relatives and clergy, for example, to help customers pay all or part of their electric bill. Certificates are available in denominations of $10, $25, $50, $75, $100 and $250. They can be personalized to include the donor's name or sent anonymously. The donor does not have to be a Dominion customer to purchase a gift certificate. Information is available online at www.dom.com, keyword "Gift Certificate."
Dominion's third-party notification program allows customers to designate a relative, friend, clergy member or social service agency to be notified in the event the customer is in jeopardy of having service disconnected for nonpayment. The third party has no obligation or responsibility for the bill but can assist with arrangements for continuing electric service without interruption. Information is available online at www.dom.com, keyword "Third Party."
Dominion continues to hold information sessions at Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) offices and other locations about these state and company energy assistance programs. Sessions will be held at the following locations.
Nov. 2 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at VEC, 13370 Minnieville Rd., Woodbridge;
Nov. 3 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at VEC, 8093 Elm Dr., Mechanicsville;
Nov. 4 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at Grace Place, 2735 Corprew Ave., Norfolk;
Nov. 5 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at Kemet House, 2139 Broadmoor Ave., Chesapeake;
Nov. 10 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) at VEC, Henrico Hall, Richmond Raceway Complex;
Nov. 16 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at VEC, 5520 Cherokee Ave. Suite 100, Alexandria;
Nov. 17 (9 a.m. to noon) at Brookhill Employment Center, 5270 Chamberlayne Road, Richmond;
Nov. 17 (8 a.m. to noon) at Employment Resource Fair, Fredericksburg;
Nov. 23 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at Goodwill of Central Va., 6301 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond;
Nov. 30 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at VEC, 5145 E. Virginia Beach Blvd., Norfolk;
Dec. 8 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at VEC, 600 Butler Farm Road, Hampton;
Dec. 14 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at VEC, 2211 Hydraulic Road, Charlottesville.
Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion (NYSE: D), one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,500 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage systems and serves retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com.