Electric Vehicle FAQs

Pricing Plan Overview & Charging Options

Why is Dominion offering the EV Pricing Plan?

The pilot is designed to test whether electric vehicle owners will choose to recharge their vehicles during off-peak hours – typically overnight – in exchange for lower electricity costs.

Virginia was identified by industry experts as potentially one of the hottest markets for plug-in electric vehicles based on the state's relatively large number of first-generation hybrid vehicles. Dominion believes there could be 86,000 electric vehicles in the state – equal to 5 percent of all vehicle sales – by 2020. If charged on peak, these vehicles could lead to an increase in the amount of peak-demand electricity that the company must supply that year by about 270 megawatts, which is the equivalent of powering 67,500 homes.

What is peak demand?

Demand is the amount of electricity that is needed and being consumed at any given time.

The level of demand for electricity across Dominion’s system fluctuates constantly depending on many factors, like weather conditions and the time of day. When the level of electric demand is at its highest, it is called the peak electric demand.  Peak demand across Dominion’s service territory typically occurs on the hottest or coldest days.

At home, customers will typically have a peak demand when they are cooling their home, and using other appliances such as the dishwasher, washing machine, or charging their electric vehicle at the same time. 

Why do I need a new meter to participate?

The EV Pricing Plans have different prices for the energy you use depending on the time of day.  Standard residential meters provide Dominion with usage on a monthly basis.  Interval data recording meters measure the energy used every 30 minutes and allows Dominion to apply the price for that time period. 

How will electric vehicles impact the electrical grid?

The impact to the electric grid depends upon a number of factors, such as how quickly electric vehicle penetration develops, how fast technology changes to allow higher demand chargers, and the charging behaviors of EV owners.

One of the most important ways to minimize the impact to the electric grid will be to encourage electric vehicle owners to charge their vehicles at night, when the electric demand is lowest and power is less expensive.

During off-peak periods, such as night time hours, the grid has reserve capacity and can handle increased demand and power requirements to charge electric vehicles without significant system upgrades.  That is why Dominion is offering experimental off-peak vehicle charging rates to encourage the charging of vehicles during the night/off peak hours.

What are the different types of charging available?

The industry has three "levels" of charging for vehicles:

  • Alternating Current (“AC”) Level 1 Charging uses a standard 120-volt outlet and supply that is typical in homes and businesses.
  • AC Level 2 Charging will use a typical household service at 240 volts, similar to an electric dryer or cooking range and oven.  A plug-in vehicle recharging at Level 2 will recharge faster than one plugged into Level 1, but, for the most part, the energy required and cost of that energy to recharge the car will be the same.  Level 2 Charging may require upgrading or adding wiring or equipment in the home.
  • Level 3 Charging is also called Direct Current (“DC”) Fast Charging and requires a 480 volt AC, three-phase utility service. 

Auto dealers will work with their customers to help consider which charging level is best to serve their needs and the particular vehicle.

Can I charge my vehicle on a regular 120-volt outlet?

Most plug-in electric vehicles can charge on a typical 120-volt household outlet (also called Level 1 Charging).  If you choose to purchase an electric vehicle and charge it at 120 volts, you may not need any upgrades to your home electrical system as long as a standard outlet is available near the vehicle so that a safe connection can be made.

What is an EVSE?

EVSE stands for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment and generally includes all of the equipment used in charging plug-in electric vehicles, including a special cord set, connector and charging station.

What do I have to do to get my home ready to charge an electric vehicle?

You will want to work with a licensed electrical contractor to install your charging equipment (EVSE).  The contractor should:

  • Evaluate your current residential charging capabilities.
  • Provide an estimate for any home electrical work, including accommodating both Level 1 and Level 2 Charging technologies
  • Perform any necessary home equipment upgrades.
  • Obtain required permits for electrical work and inspection, and gain authorization from your local jurisdiction.
  • Install your charging equipment.
Who can help me install a plug-in electric charging circuit and charging equipment?

Dominion Virginia Power can only work on the utility-side of the meter, providing the necessary service to the house.  A licensed electrician should be consulted for any necessary electrical work.

Does Dominion Virginia Power have a list of recommended electricians?

Dominion Virginia Power cannot recommend a particular electrician.  You have the option of choosing to work with the electrician of your choice or contacting the vehicle manufacturer to see if they have a recommended charging infrastructure installation partner.

Pricing Details

How does the pricing work?

Prices change based on the time of day.  The EV + Home Pricing Plan varies based on time of day and season. 

What are the details of the pricing?

The EV Pricing Plans have various pricing components.

For specific information on the EV Pricing Plans, refer to the rate details.

Does the pricing change on the weekends or holidays?

The times for the pricing apply every day of the year, regardless of weekends or holidays. 

How much energy do I use now, and when do I use it?

Your energy use depends on your lifestyle.  Many factors impact your energy use, including your cooling and heating, water heating, refrigerators, and when you decide to charge your electric vehicle.  To better understand what uses electricity in your home, refer to Dominion’s on-line energy calculators.

How much will my monthly electric bill go up?

The incremental cost for charging an electric vehicle will be different for everyone.  The size of the increase will depend on the size of the battery in the electric vehicle, your electricity rate plan, current monthly electrical use, and the amount that you drive.

How does paying for kilowatt hours compare to buying gasoline?
Electric Vehicle $0.11 / kWh * 10 kWh $1.10 for 40 miles
Gas Vehicle $3 / gallon * 22 mpg $5.44 for 40 miles

Participation & Eligibility

What types of vehicles qualify?

A customer who owns or leases a new qualified plug-in electric drive motor vehicle can participate in the EV Pricing Plans.  The vehicle must have at least 4 wheels and manufactured for use on public roads, streets and highways. 

Who can participate in the EV Pricing Plans?

The EV Pricing Plans are available for Dominion residential customers in Virginia that have an electric vehicle. 

Customers who enroll in the EV + Home Pricing Plan are not eligible to also participate in Dominion’s water heater control program.  To unenroll from this program, call 1-866-566-6436 and ask to be removed from the water heater control program.  This will make a customer eligible, provided the appropriate meter is installed at the home.

Additionally, customers who enroll in the EV + Home Pricing Plan are not eligible to participate in Smart Cooling Rewards.  In order to be able to participate in the EV + Home Pricing Plan, the customer would have to decide which program they prefer.  To unenroll from the Smart Cooling Rewards program, call 1-888-366-8280 and asked to be removed from that program.  This will make a customer eligible to call Dominion at 1-866-566-6436 and enroll in the EV + Home Pricing Plan. 

How can I enroll in the EV Pricing Plans?

Customers can call 1-866-566-6436 to enroll.

Is this a limited offer?

Yes, the EVs Pricing Plans are pilot programs.  Dominion wants to learn about the pilot participant’s ability to adapt to the changing prices each day and their willingness to shift electricity consumption to off-peak periods.

Dominion will evaluate and determine if a program similar to the EV Pricing Plans will be beneficial to additional customers in the future.

As of November 25, 2013, the enrollment and program participation periods have been extended.  Enrollment will end on December 1, 2015 with the pilot concluding November 30, 2016. 

The pilot is limited to 750 participants in the EV Pricing Plan and 750 participants in the EV + Home Pricing Plan.

What do I get for participating?

The EV Pricing Plans are an additional pricing option that rewards you for charging your electric vehicle during off-peak periods.  By using energy during off-peak periods rather than during on-peak periods, you can better manage your energy costs. 

How much money will I save on the EV Pricing Plans?

The EV Pricing Plans provide you with an incentive to change when and how you charge your electric vehicle.  You should not expect money savings as a new appliance (your electric vehicle) has been added to your home.  Money savings can be realized if your charging times and behavior change to off-peak periods. 

Can I participate if I’m on Budget Billing?

Yes.  You can continue your participation in Budget Billing. Remember that Budget Billing is a budgeting tool that helps avoid seasonal fluctuations in your bill.  The budget amount is based on the average of the previous bills for the past 12 months at your address and then adjusted for current rates. Your account is reviewed periodically and your budget amounts may increase or decrease based on changes in usage or rates.

If I have an EV do I have to participate in one of the EV Pricing Plans?

No. The pilot is entirely voluntary.

I’m on a time-of-use rate now, is this similar? Can I go back to a time-of-use plan when the pilot is over?

The EV Pricing Plans are similar to a time-of-use plan in that both vary based on the time of day.  If you are currently on a time-of-use rate and are interested in going on an EV Pricing Plan call 1-866-566-6436.  The EV Pricing Plans are a pilot, and after the pilot concludes you will return to your original pricing plan, unless those rates have been closed.  Review a listing of Dominion's residential rates that are available.

How will I know when I am participating in the program?

Your participation in the EV Pricing Plan or the EV + Home Pricing Plan will coincide with your next billing period. 

How long do I have to participate?

Once enrolled, you will remain in the pilot until November 30, 2016, unless you contact us to be removed.

I’m moving, what do I do?

When you are moving out of your home, we will automatically unenroll you from the EV Pricing Plan.  You are responsible for removing all charging equipment from your home.

I have a question, who do I call?

Call 1-866-566-6436 Monday thru Friday from 7am to 7pm to speak to a representative about the EV Pricing Plans. 

NYSE : (April 24, 2014) D 71.52 0.46