Why is Dominion Energy offering a voluntary renewable energy program?
We are responding to the desires of our customers and our own commitment to renewable resources. Plus, we think it is the right thing to do.
When did this program begin?
Dominion (Energy) Green Power was first offered to eligible governmental accounts in 2010.
How does the program work?
When you enroll your governmental organization in Dominion Green Power, Dominion Energy buys and retires Green-e Energy® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from renewable energy facilities on your behalf to guarantee that renewable energy is generated and delivered to the regional power pool in the amount specified.
There are two Dominion Energy Green Power enrollment options:
Pricing Details: This option allows you to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) equal to the entire monthly electricity use of your facility. Actual cost will vary from month to month according to your actual electricity use.
Pricing Details: This option allows your organization to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in any $2 fixed increment - as much as you wish. You can choose to add as much as you want per month ($2, $4, $6, $8, $10, $20… you choose!) to your monthly electricity bill to support renewable energy. The amount is up to you, and will be the same fixed amount on your bill each month.
When you enroll in either option, your monthly electricity bill will display a separate line item with the additional charge for Dominion Green Power. We do not make a profit on your Dominion Energy Green Power purchase.
What are the benefits of participating in the Dominion Energy Green Power Program?
Dominion Energy Green Power is an easy and affordable solution for governmental organizations to meet their environmental, sustainability and/or greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Other benefits of supporting Green Power include:
Supporting the creation of “green” jobs in the US
Reducing your organization's carbon footprint
Helping to expand America’s renewable energy resources
Will renewable energy sold in the program count towards the Virginia Renewable Energy Goal?
No. Dominion Energy Green Power is a voluntary program that provides customers with the option to be leaders in the growth of renewable energy above and beyond other government goals or requirements. Your purchase really makes a difference. The RECs purchased for the Dominion Green Power program are retired on behalf of Program participants and are completely separate from any other RECs Dominion Energy Virginia may purchase.
The renewable energy supported through this program is above and beyond Dominion Energy's commitment to achieving Virginia's voluntary Renewable Energy Goal of 15 percent of base year electricity energy sales coming from renewable energy sources by 2025. Therefore, renewable energy certificates purchased on behalf of customers participating in this program complement Dominion Energy's expansion of its renewable generation portfolio by supporting additional development and generation of renewable power in a variety of locations in Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, and Midwest states.
How does Dominion Energy Green Power buy Renewable Energy Certificates for its customers?
Under both options, Dominion Energy will purchase and retire Green-e Energy® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from renewable energy generators. The amount purchased will be determined by the level of customer demand.
This program provides customers with a voluntary means of supporting the future growth and development of renewable energy sources in an easy and affordable way. We will make annual reports to participants on the type and total amount of renewable energy purchased in the form of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through the program. To learn more about RECs, please visit 3Degrees, the Department of Energy, and Green-e Energy®.
Will I receive an actual certificate when I purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) through Dominion Energy Green Power?
No. You will not receive an actual paper certificate in the mail when you purchase RECs though this program. In a utility green power program like ours, it is not typical to receive a certificate when you purchase RECs because the utility purchases these RECs in aggregate on behalf of all participating customers.
Nonetheless, your purchase means you get to claim the environmental benefits (such as decreased carbon dioxide) of the RECs you purchase, and your purchase still makes a difference in the environment. The fact that you don’t receive a paper certificate in the mail does not diminish this fact.
To keep you informed of the environmental benefits you have personally created with your participation, we will send you a customized Participation Summary each year.
Do Renewable Energy Certificates purchased by a customer in the Dominion Energy Green Power program directly reduce the amount of other traditional sources of energy generated by Dominion Energy?
No. We are pursuing other sources of renewable electric generation to increase the amount of electrical energy generated by Dominion Energy from renewable sources.
The Dominion Energy Green Power program is designed for customers who want to support renewable energy in addition to what Dominion Energy is doing to meet Virginia's Renewable Energy Goal. Through participation in this program, we will purchase Green-e Energy® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in the amount specified by participating customers. RECs are now purchased by governmental organizations across the country in order to help these organizations achieve their environmental, sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction goals.
How can I be sure my purchase is making a difference and supporting renewable energy?
Dominion Energy has gone to great lengths to ensure that this program provides customers with a renewable energy product that is of high quality and is thoroughly verified and documented. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) delivery attestations and third party Green-e verification, ensure that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation and that the origin of the renewable energy is documented. Once purchased, all Dominion Energy Green Power RECs are retired on behalf of participating customers in the amount equivalent to the total amount purchased by Dominion Energy customers.
One REC validates that one Megawatt-hour (MWh) of power from a renewable resource has been both generated and delivered to the regional power pool. A purchased REC also documents ownership of the environmental attributes associated with that specific MWh of renewable energy. The firm 3Degrees Group, Inc. has been selected to purchase and verify the certificates through independent third parties. 3Degrees is a nationally recognized provider of Green-e Energy® certified renewable energy. The firm has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy with Green Power Leadership Awards.
3Degrees' role is to provide program support services for Dominion Energy and to purchase and deliver RECs that meet the Green-e Energy® standard. Green-e Energy® certification of the RECs provides the customer with added value through application of its rigorous standards for transparency and quality assurance, consumer confidence and support for consumer education.
What is Green-e Energy® certification?
Green-e Energy® is the nation's leading voluntary certification program for renewable energy. Green-e Energy is a program of the Center for Resource Solutions, a national nonprofit organization working to build policies and consumer-protection mechanisms in renewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions and energy efficiency.
For over a decade, Green-e Energy has been certifying renewable energy that meets the environmental and consumer protection standards identified in the Green-e National Standard. The Green-e National Standard was developed in conjunction with leading environmental, energy and policy organizations such as; the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The Dominion Energy Green Power program and the RECs purchased for the program are Green-e Energy certified. These certifications mean that:
Dominion Energy purchases and retires RECs in the exact quantity to meet participating customer demand;
The RECs purchased for this program come from renewable energy facilities that meet Green-e standards;
The customer education and program marketing materials provided by this program are accurate and disclose relevant program details, terms, and conditions.
As a governmental organization, will my green power purchase qualify my organization for recognition in the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership?
Your organization can join the voluntary U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership with a qualifying purchase through Dominion Energy Green Power. The EPA Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power. To qualify for the Green Power Partnership, potential Partner organizations must meet or exceed a minimum percentage of green power (see table below) that corresponds to the organization's annual purchased electricity use.
Minimum Purchase Requirements for U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership
If your annual electricity use in kilowatt-hours is . . .
greater than or equal to 100,000,001 kWh, you must, at a minimum, purchase this 3% green power each year
10,000,001-100,000,000 kWh, you must, at a minimum, purchase this 5% green power each year
1,000,001 - 10,000,000 kWh, you must, at a minimum, purchase this 10% green power each year
less than or equal to 1,000,000 kWh, you must, at a minimum, purchase this 20% green power each year
Who is the Dominion Energy Green Power program's Renewable Energy Certificate provider?
Dominion Energy's renewable energy provider is 3Degrees Group, Inc. 3Degrees is a nationally recognized provider of renewable energy. The firm has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy with Green Power Leadership Awards for an unprecedented five years in a row (2007-2011).
3Degrees will purchase and retire Green-e Energy® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in the amount specified by Dominion Energy Virginia customers through this program. 3Degrees is also responsible for verifying and tracking renewable energy certificates used to support the program and for customer service center support, consumer education, and program reporting.
You can enroll online, call 888-BSC-8085, or contact your Key Account Manager.
Who is eligible to participate?
Counties and Municipalities
A Dominion Energy Green Power option is available to Counties and Municipalities. This voluntary option to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) is a tariff rate negotiated by the Virginia Energy Purchasing Governmental Association (VEPGA). Contact your Key Account Manager or call 888-BSC-8085 for more information.
The following County and Municipality rate schedules are eligible to enroll:
Schedule 100: ML&P / Traffic Control Service
Schedule 110: All Electric Building Service / Dual Fuel
Schedule 120: Water & Sewage Pumping
Schedule 130: Large ML&P
Schedule 131: Thermal Storage
Schedule 132: Large Misc. Light & Power Service - Variable Pricing
Schedule 134: Large Misc. Light & Power Service- Transmission or Primary Voltage
Commonwealth of Virginia Accounts
A Dominion Energy Green Power option is available to Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) accounts. Call 888-BSC-8085 or contact your designated Key Account Manager for more information.
The following COV rate schedules are eligible to enroll:
Large Federal Accounts
A Dominion Energy Green Power option is available to eligible Federal accounts. Call 888-BSC-8085 or contact your designated Key Account Manager for program and pricing information.
The following Federal rate schedules over 1,500kW are eligible to enroll:
Rate Schedule 10
Is there a cancellation fee if I decide to discontinue my participation?
No. There is no cancellation fee and you may cancel anytime. We will make the change to your account within 30 days of receiving your request to cancel.
Where does my money go when I sign up for Dominion Energy Green Power?
When you sign up for the Dominion Energy Green Power program, your monthly Green Power payment is used to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). In addition, a small fraction of the cost covers Program tracking and verification in order to ensure that the Program complies with the Green-e National Standard. We do not make a profit from the Dominion Energy Green Power program.
How / When will I be billed?
Charges for Dominion Energy Green Power will appear on your organization’s monthly bill as soon as enrollment is confirmed. The first bill will be prorated based on when (during your billing cycle) your enrollment is confirmed.
If you choose the 100% Option, you will see the "Green Power (Rider G 100% Usage)" charge on your bill as a separate line item . The amount you pay will vary according to your energy use.
If you choose the Block Option, you will see "Green Power" as a separate line item on your bill for the fixed amount you specified when you enrolled.
What information will be made available to my organization for reporting purposes?
We have worked with numerous governmental organizations to help them meet their environmental, sustainability or greenhouse gas reduction goals by purchasing RECs through Dominion Energy Green Power. We recognize that each organization may have their own unique reporting requirements. Whether your organization is using EPAs Energy Star Reporting, greenhouse gas accounting software or organization-specific reporting techniques, we can work with you to provide the information you need to meet your reporting goals.
How can I learn more about the cost to participate?
Call 888-BSC-8085 or contact your designated Key Account Manager for program and pricing information.
Renewable energy is electricity produced from sources that replenish themselves naturally, never run out, and are cleaner for the environment, including but not limited to:
Landfill and agricultural waste (biomass and biogas)
Heat of the earth (geothermal)
Water (some low-impact hydroelectric facilities)
What kind of renewable energy is supported by the Dominion Energy Green Power Program and where does the renewable energy come from?
The governmental product of the Dominion Energy Green Power program purchases RECs on behalf of program participants from national renewable energy facilities.
Per Green-e Energy® standards, the Dominion Energy Green Power Program is required to provide a Product Content Label (PCL) that details the product mix. Here's the PCL for the Dominion Energy Green Power governmental product.
Does the renewable electricity come directly to my organization or facility?
No. If you wanted to receive the specific electrons generated by a specific renewable facility, you would have to string power lines from that facility directly to your organization, which is expensive and impractical. In fact, the electric power grid was created to prevent such a situation. Or, you could install a renewable energy generator, such as solar panels or a wind turbine, on your property and connect your facility to that generator. However, this type of equipment can also be prohibitively expensive and potentially not feasible depending on where you live.
The Green Power program is a way for customers to support the production and development of renewable energy through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) for a relatively low premium compared to the other two options mentioned above.
When you buy RECs through the Green Power program, you are buying the claim to the production of the renewable energy and the associated environmental benefits. This means that you will be able to legitimately and verifiably claim that the power (and emissions associated with it) for your organization is being matched by renewable energy that is generated and transmitted to the regional electrical grid.
What else is Dominion Energy doing to support renewable energy?
We are committed to doing its part to reach the Commonwealth of Virginia's voluntary goal of 15% electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The company is expanding its renewable generation portfolio to help achieve this goal.
Voluntary customer purchases through the Dominion Energy Green Power program will be above and beyond the renewable generation that Dominion Energy provides. The program is designed for customers who want to make their own investment in renewable energy in addition to Dominion Energy's investment.
What are Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)?
Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) are issued when 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy is generated and delivered to the electric power pool. RECs represent the environmental attributes of the power produced from renewable energy generation. RECs are increasingly seen as the "currency" of renewable electricity and green power markets. They can be bought and sold between multiple parties, and they allow their owners to claim that renewable electricity was produced to meet the electricity demand they create.
For every quantity of renewable energy generated and delivered to the regional power pool, an equivalent amount of RECs are created. This process creates a tracking mechanism which ensures that no two customers pay for the same unit of renewable energy generation. When a customer enrolls in the Dominion Energy Green Power program, We purchase RECs to match the equivalent of enrolled customers' purchases. Thus, the more RECs that are sold, the more demand is created for renewable power. As renewable facilities sell their RECs, demand shifts to bring more renewable energy sources online.
Is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) the same thing as a carbon offset?
No. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) are different from carbon offsets. Although each has environmental benefits, they are different mechanisms that accomplish different goals.
Carbon offsets represent a quantity of greenhouse gas emissions reductions that occur as a result of a specific carbon-reducing project, such as methane capture, energy conservation initiatives, or forestry projects. The University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute defines a carbon offset as “[a] mechanism whereby individuals and corporations pay for reductions elsewhere in order to offset their own emissions.”
RECs are used to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with electricity use, while representing the environmental benefits of renewable energy generation.
Do other utilities offer renewable energy?
More than 850 utilities, or more than 25% of utilities nationally, offer green power programs to their customers, similar to Dominion Energy’s Green Power program. Nationwide, more than 1.9 million customers subscribe to voluntary utility green pricing programs.
The voluntary renewable energy market as a whole supported approximately 48 million megawatt-hours (MWhs) of green energy in 2012.*