Sustainable Communities

Communities

Sustainability is about meeting needs and fostering long-term growth — not just for Dominion Energy, but also for the communities where we live and serve.

Overview

Our core value of Ethics guides us. Helping others is an integral part of our culture as a company with a vital public mission — one reinforced by our long history of supporting our communities. We use a variety of vehicles to strengthen our communities, including energy-assistance programs, grants, matching gifts, event sponsorships, signature programs, and employee volunteerism.

Investing in Communities

In 2021, we contributed $48.6 million to social betterment, including

  • $14.5 million for energy assistance;
  • $22.2 million from the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation for human needs, environmental stewardship, education, community vitality, and social justice; and
  • $5.8 million for the HBCU PromiseSM and the Dominion Energy Educational Equity Scholarship program.

In addition, through these and other efforts, our total giving to organizations supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion exceeded $11.3 million in 2021.

Philanthropic contributions like these are an important part of our community support, and are coupled with a robust engagement strategy. Investing in communities is more than a simple monetary matter. It is also about taking the time and making the effort to ensure everyone has a seat at the table when our projects are proposed and considered. It is about engaging with partners both to maximize the economic benefits of our operations and to take care that those benefits are distributed equitably. It is about optimizing our infrastructure to ensure the greatest good for the greatest number of stakeholders. And it is about taking time out of our own lives to help improve the lives of others. The following sections discuss these priorities in detail.

Environmental Justice

Dominion Energy is committed to hearing, learning from, fully considering, and responding to the concerns of all our stakeholders regardless of race, color, national origin, or income as we pursue our infrastructure-development initiatives. We seek to build partnerships and engage with local communities, stakeholders, and customers on environmental issues important to them.

To affirm our commitment, four years ago, we adopted a formal environmental justice (EJ) policy, which ensures that historically marginalized communities are neither disproportionately harmed by our infrastructure development initiatives, nor excluded from our projects’ benefits, such as contributing to the local economy and expanding access to high-speed broadband. With the implementation of this policy, we developed rigorous internal processes to ensure accountability and follow-through. We employ a dedicated environmental justice staff and provide comprehensive training for company employees. More than 1,000 employees have been trained on environmental justice, and all major construction projects are reviewed for environmental justice considerations. In 2021, that totaled more than 75 projects.

At Dominion Energy, our values also recognize that environmental justice considerations must be a part of our everyday decisions, community outreach, and evaluations as we move forward with projects to modernize the generation and delivery of energy. We actively engage with low-income communities, communities of color, Tribal communities, and others who have not always had a seat at the table. We believe all communities should have ready access to accurate information and a meaningful voice in the development process. We also work to ensure that all communities have the chance to benefit from infrastructure enhancements, such as undergrounding distribution lines and middle-mile broadband, as well as the economic opportunities presented by our investments, to the greatest extent possible.

In cases where a community meets the definition of an Environmental Justice community, our process requires us to consider proactive and intentional communication and engagement to ensure understanding and involvement; that concerns are heard and appropriately responded to and addressed; and that we work to mitigate any undue project impacts.

75+

major projects

reviewed for environmental justice in 2021.

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Offshore Wind Chimes In

Stakeholder engagement is critical to the permitting and execution of the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind commercial project. This innovative clean-energy project has been a decade in the making and would not be possible without important partnerships with environmental organizations, public officials, community leaders, and community members. Outreach began in the collaborative stages over a decade ago, with an advisory group that participated in the CVOW pilot project. Many stakeholders remain engaged today. Engagement efforts intensified and expanded in 2021 in the lead-up to federal and state regulatory filings. Through May 2022, this massive effort included 1,505 outreach encounters reaching 19,768 people, 10 mailings totaling more than 175,000 pieces, hosting 11 virtual and in-person public meetings, producing materials in Spanish and Tagalog, and utilizing an online tool, GeoVoice, which allows the public to view project maps and leave geo-referenced comments. We engaged early and often with Native American Tribes and met directly with leaders and individuals from EJ communities. The company is committed to continuing outreach with these communities through the regulatory and construction phases of the project.

Tribal Engagement

A variety of different statutes, regulations, and policies dictate the legal requirements for formal Tribal government-to-government consultation with federally recognized Tribes. Dominion Energy respects and complies with these well-established procedures. But we do not stop there. Our aim is to engage with Tribes — regardless of recognition status — to achieve meaningful and long-lasting relationships with Tribal stakeholders. This includes supporting Tribal communities in areas of need. In 2021, we supported Virginia and South Carolina Tribes with volunteer projects supporting Tribal elders and students. We are also continuing to support Native American vendor and employment opportunities in the communities where we operate. The company has a designated manager role — a full-time employee — responsible for leading and facilitating engagement and support of Native American Tribes.

For us, engagement means more than simply listening to what someone has to say. We work directly with Tribal communities to fully understand their members’ concerns and determine appropriate measures to avoid or minimize our impacts. To help ensure effective engagement and relationship building, in 2021 we hired a third-party consultant, with existing relationships with three Native American Tribes, to assist in discussions regarding the Snowflake RNG project in Snowflake, Arizona. That led to effective and meaningful engagement with the Tribes.

Partnerships

Families, companies, governments, and more depend on the energy we provide. Dominion Energy depends on many others to help us provide that energy. While the partnerships we have formed are mutually beneficial, they also enhance the communities we serve.

Offshore Wind

As an example of one of these partnerships, in 2020, Dominion Energy selected Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) as the preferred turbine supplier for our CVOW commercial project. The next year SGRE announced that it would lease more than 80 acres of the Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Hampton Roads for a facility that would produce offshore wind turbine blades — the first such project in the U.S. The $200 million project is expected to create more than 300 jobs, including 50 to support CVOW.

Those benefits represent just a fraction of the economic opportunities likely to be created by CVOW. An independent economic-impact analysisopens in a new window of CVOW estimated that it would support 900 jobs and $143 million in economic output during construction, and 1,100 jobs and $210 million in economic output once complete.

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“Green energy opportunity”

The wind energy project taking shape off Virginia’s coast may be more than a game-changer for how the commonwealth generates electricity. If projections are accurate, it might also mean an employment boom for the region.

Building, operating and maintaining wind turbines is incredibly technical work requiring highly skilled workers. Many are also high-paying jobs that can be lucrative careers for the men and women who fill them.

As Hampton Roads looks to expand its employment base beyond its three traditional sectors — defense, tourism and the Port of Virginia — the expansion of wind energy, along with other green-energy projects, could be just what the region needs to grow the regional economy....

[I]f Hampton Roads can build that sector of the economy and become a hub for wind turbine construction and green energy jobs, the future looks very bright indeed. Demand for this machinery will only increase as more wind projects win approval, and the region could well be known for this work as much as shipbuilding or our beaches.

At least one major company is considering a $200 million turbine blade manufacturing facility in Hampton Roads, what could be the first of many employers who view the region as ideally situated for the coming green energy boom.

Climate change will force some difficult choices on our communities. There’s no denying that now. But the region can do its part to reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels while also expanding our employment base and economy if we can establish this as the place for wind energy manufacturing.

What is a crisis could well be an opportunity, and that would change the landscape of Coastal Virginia in more ways than one.

— The Virginian-Pilot & Daily Press, August 11, 2021

Rural Broadband

As the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated, broadband internet access is a necessity for families, businesses, education, health care, public safety, and more. That holds just as true for rural communities as for urban and suburban ones. However, population densities and the long distances separating rural residents often make broadband service uneconomical for internet service providers (ISPs).

Dominion Energy has a duty to provide electricity to everyone within our service area, which puts us in a unique position to help solve the problem of the digital divide. As we transform the electric grid, we are installing fiber-optic cable to enhance grid operations. In unserved and underserved rural areas, excess fiber capacity can be leased to internet service providers, which then build the last mile of service to customers’ homes at a much lower overall cost.

In 2021, we announced several additional rural-broadband projects in Virginia, including a fiber-to-the-home agreement serving the Pamunkey Indian Reservation in King William County, Virginia. We filed Phase II of the Grid Transformation Plan with the Virginia SCC, which approved the plan in January 2022, incorporating additional telecommunications investments to support the rural-broadband initiative. As of early 2022, we have developed partnerships with more than 25 counties and numerous ISPs and electric cooperatives.

In South Carolina, we executed master contracts with electric cooperatives to expand broadband access and commenced several projects in the Midlands and Lowcountry regions.

Making essential services available to more people and closing part of the digital divide serves the interest of equity and, by doing so, furthers Dominion Energy’s corporate purpose.

Volunteering

As governments and the private sector eased the most stringent restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dominion Energy employees found more ways to serve their neighbors. In 2021, company employees contributed over 81,000 hours of their time to worthy causes — the equivalent of more than a full year’s worth of work by 40 people.

Among other activities, company employees helped revitalize a community garden for soldiers and their families at Fort Hood in Texas; planted pollinator-friendly species and cleaned up litter in 32 cities across six states; delivered more than 550 food baskets and hundreds of toys across the South Carolina Midlands to families facing hardship during the Christmas holiday season; and helped to beautify a veterans’ nursing facility in West Virginia.

Read more about our employees’ volunteer efforts in our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Reportopens in a new window.