By: Contributed Report | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: June 3, 2020 | 4:30 p.m.
VIRGINIA – Dominion Energy Virginia is expanding assistance to Virginia customers facing hardship, offering a more generous payment plan and new direct assistance, while asking permission from regulators for an additional four-month extension of the “no disconnection” policy. The efforts come as the pandemic continues to impact millions of Americans across the country.
“We recognize the challenges that many are facing and want customers to know we are here to help, as we continue to navigate this pandemic together,” said Robert Blue, co-chief operating officer and executive vice president, Dominion Energy Virginia. “Our mission of supporting our customers and the communities they live in has never been more important.”
On March 12, Dominion Energy voluntarily suspended disconnections for customers falling behind on their bills, while offering a range of assistance to help them.
Virginia’s disconnection policy, implemented after the company’s voluntary suspension, is due to expire June 15. The State Corporation Commission is accepting comments on next steps. To create certainty for customers, we are requesting the SCC allow the company a four-month extension of the disconnection policy, through October 14. We are also requesting to continue waiving late fees through that period.
During that time, we will encourage customers to work with us to develop payment plans for their unique circumstances. At the end of the proposed extension, we will re-evaluate next steps based on a range of factors, including the needs of our customers and economic conditions at that time.
Payment Plans: We have long offered both short-term payment extensions and long-term payment plans to help customers manage balances. Starting June 15, we will expand our long-term payment plans and offer customers up to 12 months to pay past due amounts, with no minimum down payment required. Customers are encouraged to contact us, so we can begin working toward solutions. They can access options through their online account at www.dominionenergy.com, which is available at any time, or by calling (866) 366-4357.
Payment Assistance: We’re increasing the benefits made available through EnergyShare, our year-round assistance program for individuals and families facing financial hardship. The Virginia program, supported currently with $13 million in annual corporate contributions, is implemented in partnership with relief and community support agencies. Planned changes include:
- Effective June 1, the maximum benefit is increased to $1,200 for this year, up from $900.
Customers under the age of 60 are now eligible to receive funds without a disconnect notice, similar to customers 60 and over.
- We are preparing to increase EnergyShare funding to help meet the needs of our Virginia customers and intend to implement a temporary program to help small business customers. We will share details when they are available.
- To learn more about EnergyShare, please visit www.DominionEnergy.com/EnergyShareor call 2-1-1.
- Save on Energy: For some customers, additional time at home and higher energy usage could result in increased bills. We’ve put together a series of tips to help you be mindful of your energy use. Visit www.DominionEnergy.com/WaysToSave.
Protect Yourself from Scams: As the pandemic spread, we saw a spike in scams. Remember that Dominion Energy will never call and demand immediate payment or ask for payment on a pre-paid debit or gift card. If you are unsure if a call is valid, even if our number shows on the caller ID, don’t provide information. Verify what you’re being told. Sign into your online account to confirm payment status or call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).
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