Keeping energy affordable matters just as much as keeping it reliable.
Our electric rates compare favorably to regional and national averages. To help our customers manage costs further we offer a variety of energy-efficiency programs, as well as assistance programs to help those facing financial difficulty get back on their feet.
Value for Money/Affordability
Our electric rates in Virginia and South Carolina remain well below rates in other parts of the county, and the nation as a whole:
Residential electric rates (cents per kWh)1
Here are some of the ways we are striving to contain costs for customers:
Demand-Side Management (DSM)
Helping customers manage the energy they use helps them save money. In December 2020, Dominion Energy Virginia filed
for an additional 11 new DSM programs that will help reach the $870 million, 10-year goal set by the 2018 Grid
Transformation and Security Act and the energy efficiency goals in the VCEA. The Virginia State Corporation Commission
issued its order on the application in September, 2021. With this approval, the company will have 38 active DSM programs
when the new programs launch in early 2022. Those include a low-income solar program, which provides installation of
photovoltaic solar panels at no cost to qualifying customers. Additionally, the company launched a new time-varying-rate
program that will allow eligible residential customers to save money on their bills by shifting the time they use high-energy
appliances to more affordable, off-peak hours.
In South Carolina, total investment in DSM exceeds $143 million and cumulative energy savings add up to 925 million kilowatt-hours — equivalent to the annual power consumption of nearly 79,000 homes.
Customer Efficiency Programs
Conserving energy is one of the simplest ways consumers can save money. Dominion Energy has developed a host of programs to promote conservation and efficiency. Among them:
Rebates, bill credits, or other incentives:
- Acquiring smart thermostats, energy-efficient appliances, and other energy-efficiency improvements;
- Installing LED bulbs and lighting-control systems; and
- Upgrading to more efficient HVAC systems.
- Energy assessments and audits for both homes and businesses.
- Home energy reports and insights for efficiency recommendations.
- Free energy-saving products for qualifying customers.
- Extensive retrofitting of multifamily and manufactured housing.
In our gas service areas, programs include:
- ThermWise®, which provides home energy assessments and related services;
- Housewarming, which provides inspections and weatherization for low-income customers;
- Home Performance with EnergyStar, which provides energy-efficiency upgrades at no cost to the customer; and
- In North Carolina, the recent rate case settlement agreement increased both the number of energy efficiency programs and the annual budget for such programs (from $750,000 per year formerly to a budget that rises from $2.9 million annually in year one to $4 million annually in year 5), subject to North Carolina Utilities Commission approval.
Managing our own cost structure helps keep bills low. We constantly look for more efficient ways to do business. We also have a formal program called Buy Smart to promote sustainability and cost-cutting in procurement. In 2019, Buy Smart saved $77 million. In 2020, the company nearly doubled that performance — saving more than $150 million. For example, when our gas distribution business in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho needed high-yield steel elbows for a pipeline replacement project, it saved $85,000 by soliciting requests for proposals from manufacturers rather than distributors.
Sometimes even the best customer value proposition is not enough to help those who are struggling financially. For such customers, Dominion Energy offers energy assistance until they can get back on their feet.
The need for help was particularly great in 2020, as the nation struggled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Dominion Energy stepped up to meet it, making 331 grants, totaling more than $4 million, for COVID-19 relief. We also provided bill assistance to 102 small businesses. In Ohio and West Virginia, we offered flexible payment options and increased financial support — supplementing $550,000 worth of assistance through EnergyShare with another $150,000 for heating assistance specifically for COVID-19 relief. Those measures complemented others we took, such as voluntarily suspending disconnections for nonpayment and reconnecting customers whose service had previously been disconnected.
EnergyShare began four decades ago as a Virginia heating-assistance program. Today it helps defray the
cost of cooling and provides weatherization as well, and has expanded to include North Carolina, Ohio,
and — in May, 2020 — South Carolina. In 2020, EnergyShare assistance grew to $18.3 million — more
than double the program’s size in 2016, even after accounting for inflation.
During the 2019–2020 program year*, EnergyShare helped more than 21,200 individuals and families — bringing the total number of those who have benefitted from the program over its lifetime to more than 848,800.
For additional details, please refer to our annual EnergyShare report .
In addition to our EnergyShare efforts, the company’s regulated DSM program to provide assistance for low-income customers program has made improvements at more than 24,000 homes since 2015.
Our Western-state business provides energy efficiency help, including home energy assessments,
weatherization, and home retrofits, through ThermWise®.
In 2020, ThermWise® enabled customers to save more than 1.15 million dekatherms – the equivalent of the total gas consumption of more than 14,000 homes over the course of a year.