RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Dominion Energy says customers will get a one-time credit on their bills in January.
According to a release, the $13 credit is due to the Grid Transformation and Security Act of 2018 that passed the Virginia General Assembly last year.
“No customer should have to be cold this winter because they can't afford to pay their electric bill,” said Corynne Arnett, the vice president of Customer Service. “The credit customers will see on their January bills from the Grid Transformation and Security Act will help ease the strain when many customers are feeling the stress of holiday spending and experiencing higher bills due to cold weather. Additional, customers can take small steps toward reducing their energy use to help keep bills low. We also encourage those who may be facing financial hardship, including those impacted by the federal government shutdown, to learn more about special payment arrangements and take advantage of our energy assistance programs.”
Dominion says there are several small changes people can make for a big difference on their energy bills.
Suggestions include lowing the thermostat inside the home to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, sealing air leaks around pipes and wires that come into the living space, sealing ductwork, and changing the furnace filter each month.
Weather-stripping on doors, windows and entryways with caulking or weather-stripping can insulate and prevent air leaks.
For customers facing problems with higher winter bills, Dominion says it has options so they can make arrangements, such as budget billing and flexible payment plans.
Some people may also qualify for government programs through the Virginia Department of Social Services.
Dominion also has an energy assistance program called EnergyShare, through which qualified customers can get help paying their bills and free weatherization and energy-saving upgrades.
This program is aimed at low-income and elderly residents as well as people with disabilities and veterans dealing with financial challenges.
There is also the energy conservation program, which helps low-income and elderly customers reduce their energy usage.
An energy expert will do a home visit and pinpoint ways the customer can save energy, as well as possibly installing selected energy-saving products.
Dominion is also working on creating more energy-efficiency programs, with it having submitted 11 more programs for approval.
Under the Grid Transformation and Security Act, Dominion needs to propose at least $870 million in energy efficiency programs in the next ten years.
With the proposed programs that are awaiting approval, the total proposed energy efficiency spending would be more than $260 million.
For more information on programs, click on the link in the Related Links box.