Dominion unveils energy conservation plan

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - Dominion Virginia Power unveiled an energy conservation plan aimed at cutting emissions, reducing energy consumption and saving customers more than $1 billion over the next 15 years.

The energy provider said the plan would avoid the need for two future power stations and delay the need for two others. Dominion hopes to implement the plan next year, pending approval from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

"This plan will provide a jump-start toward meeting the 10 percent electricity conservation goals enacted last year by the Virginia General Assembly and the governor, getting the commonwealth more than one-third of the way there within the next five years," David A. Heacock, president of Dominion Virginia Power, said at a news conference.

"It will provide significant environmental benefits in a cost-effective manner that translates into very real financial savings for our customers."

Under the proposal, energy savings could reach 2.

6 million megawatt-hours per year by 2013, equal to the amount of electricity used by 216,000 average homes. It also is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 12 million tons over 15 years, equivalent to removing more than 130,000 cars from the road. The company also anticipates reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury.

"In the 21st century we must seek creative solutions that meet our energy needs, protect our bank accounts and preserve our natural environment," Heacock said.

Dominion says the plan's key component will be the installation of new electric meters to help the company and its customers better monitor and control energy usage. The $600 million cost of replacing existing meters is expected to be offset by the resulting fuel savings.

Heacock said the new meters will allow customers to save money without necessarily doing anything differently.

The Richmond company also said the plan includes incentives for the construction of homes that meet federal EnergyStar standards, making the homes at least 15 percent more efficient than regular ones.

The program also includes incentives for installing energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling. Customers can also receive incentives for voluntarily allowing Dominion to cycle air conditioners and heat pumps during peak demand periods.

Dominion plans to file the proposal with the SCC later this year or early next year.



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