Customers Will Save Nearly $275 Million in Energy Costs with Bulbs Purchased Through Dominion's CFL Discount Program

- Customers have bought approximately 6 million CFL bulbs since 2007
- More than 100 million kilowatt-hours of Green Power certificates purchased
- About 25 percent of customers enrolled in paperless billing programs

RICHMOND, Va., Jan. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power customers will save nearly $275 million in energy costs on compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) they purchased with discounts provided through Dominion's programs since 2007.  The cost savings estimate is based on calculations made with information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Through the end of 2010, Dominion's programs have resulted in sales of approximately 6 million CFLs. Anticipated sales of 2 million CFLs this year will produce additional energy and cost savings for customers over the estimated 10-year life of the bulbs.

In addition, customers participating in the Dominion Green Power(SM) program have purchased more than 100 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy certificates.  According to calculations based on EPA information, this represents enough electricity to power nearly 8,500 homes for a year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking 13,700 cars off the road for a year.

The CFL and Green Power programs are among the most popular of the initiatives Dominion customers are embracing to save money and energy and to improve the environment.

"Our energy conservation and renewable energy initiatives are very popular with our customers, resulting in savings for our customers and benefits for the environment," said Ken Barker, Dominion vice president of customer solutions and energy conservation. "The range of these initiatives is broad and the benefits they provide are substantial."

The most visible and widely known of Dominion's energy conservation programs offers instant discounts at participating stores for the purchase of CFLs.  In 2010, customers purchased about 2 million CFLs and received instant discounts of approximately $1.8 million.  A list of retailers and products is available on the Dominion website at www.dom.com/LightingProgram.

CFLs use about 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.  According to the EPA, replacing a standard incandescent bulb with a CFL can save a customer $69 or more in total costs over the bulb's lifetime -- much more than the extra up-front cost.  Actual energy savings may vary based on use and other factors.

An educational aspect of the lighting program is proving to be especially popular with children.  Dominion is conducting programs on CFLs and other energy conservation techniques at certain Lowe's stores in Virginia.  Events at Lowe's stores in Richmond will be held on Jan. 22 at 9490 W. Broad St. and on Feb. 5 at 1640 W. Broad St.  Similar events are being planned for other parts of the state.

In the Green Power program, more than 12,000 customers voluntarily pay a little extra each month to support renewable energy.  Choices range from as little as $2 a month to the 100 percent option of 1.5 cents extra per kilowatt hour. Information on the Green Power program is available at http://www.dom.com/VAGreenPowerClick here to watch a short video on the program.

"Our customers have made Dominion's Green Power program among the fastest-growing programs of its type in the country," Barker said.  "Their support of renewable energy is helping to reduce the environmental impact of producing electricity from other fuels."

Online initiatives -- electronic billing and the company's energy conservation blog -- similarly are well received.

Dominion offers several paperless billing programs.  More than 570,000 Virginia accounts, or approximately 25 percent of customers, receive an email each month with information on how to view and pay their bill through Dominion's website or links to online financial services.

A set of energy conservation tips, including instructional videos, is available at www.dom.com, keyword Energy Saving Tips.  Customers may exchange information, tips and questions with other customers on how best to save energy through Dominion's energy conservation blog at http://e-conserve.blogspot.com.  

Three other initiatives, which were approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission last year, met their goals for 2010 and will continue in 2011.

  • The HVAC Rewards and Lighting Rewards programs for commercial customers resulted in rebates of more than $1 million, which some customers utilized to make additional energy-saving improvements.  In these programs, customers upgraded or installed new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems and replaced lighting systems with more energy-efficient models.
  • The Home Energy Improvement program provided no-cost energy audits and energy-efficiency improvements for 1,400 income-qualifying families, along with energy saving tips to help the families further reduce their energy bills.  The program will be expanded to reach 3,800 families in 2011.
  • The Smart Cooling Rewards program has over 10,000 customers participating since its rollout in May.  Dominion cycled their air conditioning and heat pump compressors off and on during 15 of the hottest afternoons last summer.  This year's goal for the program is to reach an additional 25,000 customers, continuing to reduce demand during peak periods.

Information on Dominion's programs is available on the company's website at www.dom.com

Dominion (NYSE: D) is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of more than 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 13 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com

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SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power