RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – The state of Virginia and Dominion Energy are expanding a program that could save you money on your energy bill.
The “Off-Peak Plan” was originally approved by the State Corporation Commission in 2021. It used a “Time Of Use” rate that charged 10,000 participating customers more for electricity during peak hours while saving them money during times when people don’t traditionally use energy.
“We want to encourage our customers to take the time that they use some of these higher energy appliances, your dishwasher, your washer/dryer, and use those during the off-peak, or the super off-peak periods,” Dominion Spokesperson Jeremy Slayton said.
Soon, the program will expand from 10,000 participants to 20,000 customers.
According to a report presented to the State Corporation Commission, the 10,000 customer pilot program saved customers on average $17 a year. In addition, customers used 9.4% less energy during peak times in the summer and 2.9% less during the winter.
However, the report also found that “high-baseline” customers, or those who must reduce energy during peak times to save money, saw bill increases. Meanwhile, “structural winners,” or those who simply benefit from the rate changes without having to alter their habits, enjoyed savings.
“That may prove to be an unsustainable feature, whereby only structural winners overwhelmingly participate in a TOU rate offering, while those customers with the greatest potential for load shifting abstain,” the Attorney General’s Office wrote in a letter to the commission.
Dominion says there is no timetable as to when they will rollout the expanded program, but interested customers can add their name to a waitlist.