Corporate

Frequently Asked Questions for Governmental Customers

About Dominion Green Power

Why is Dominion offering a voluntary renewable energy program?

Dominion is responding to customer interest and our own commitment to renewable resources. Plus, we think it is the right thing to do.

When did this program begin?

Dominion 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 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 Green Power enrollment options:

100% Option

  • 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.

Block Option

  • 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. Dominion does not make a profit on your Dominion Green Power purchase.

What are the benefits of participating in the Dominion Green Power Program?

Dominion 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 expand America’s renewable energy resources
Will renewable energy sold in the Dominion Green Power Program count towards the Virginia Renewable Energy Goal/Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)?

No. Dominion Green Power is a voluntary program that gives customers 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 Virginia Power may purchase.

Here's more information about Dominion's renewable generation. The company has a growing portfolio of renewable energy, which now totals nearly 1,300 megawatts in operation, construction or under development in the Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Southeast regions.

How does Dominion Green Power buy Renewable Energy Certificates for its customers?

Dominion purchases and retires only Green-e Energy® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from renewable energy generators. The amount purchased during each Program year will be determined by the level of customer demand.

Dominion Green Power provides customers with a voluntary means of supporting the production and development of renewable energy sources in a convenient and affordable way. Dominion will make periodic reports to Program 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 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 makes a difference in the environment.

Do Renewable Energy Certificates purchased by a customer in the Dominion Green Power program directly reduce the amount of other traditional sources of energy generated by Dominion?

No. Dominion is pursuing other sources of renewable electric generation to increase the amount of electrical energy generated by Dominion from renewable sources. Here's more information about the company's plans for powering Virginia.

The Dominion Green Power program is designed for customers who want to make an l investment in renewable energy in addition to what Dominion is doing to meet Virginia's Renewable Energy Goal. Through participation in this program, Dominion 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 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 Green Power RECs are retired on behalf of participating customers in the amount equivalent to the total amount purchased by Dominion 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 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 Green Power program and the RECs purchased for the program are Green-e Energy certified. These certifications mean that:

  • Dominion 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.

You can learn more about Green-e certification at www.green-e.org.

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 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.

Minimium Purchase Requirements for U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership

If your annual electricity use in kilowatt-hours is . . .

You must, at a minimum, purchase this much green power each year

greater than or equal to 100,000,001 kWh

3% of your use

10,000,001-100,000,000 kWh

5% of your use

1,000,001 - 10,000,000 kWh

10% of your use

less than or equal to 1,000,000 kWh

20% of your use

To learn more about the U.S. EPA Green Power Partnership visit www.epa.gov/grnpower.

Who is the Dominion Green Power program's Renewable Energy Certificate provider?

Dominion'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 I for an unprecedented five years in a row (2007-2011). 

For more information, visit 3Degrees at www.3degreesinc.com.

What role does 3Degrees play?

3Degrees will purchase and retire Green-e Energy® certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) in the amount specified by Dominion Virginia Power 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.

Eligibility and Cost

How do I enroll?

Contact your Key Account Manager, call the Business Service Center at 1-888-BSC-8085 or email greenpower@dom.com.

Who is eligible to participate?

Counties and Municipalities
A Dominion 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 1-888-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 122: TOU Service
  • Schedule 131: Thermal Storage
  • Schedule 132: Large Misc. Light & Power Service - Variable Pricing

Commonwealth of Virginia Accounts
A Dominion Green Power option is available to Commonwealth of Virginia (COV) accounts. . Call 1-888-BSC-8085 or contact your designated Key Account Manager for more information.

The following COV rate schedules are eligible to enroll:

  • 5VA
  • 6VA
  • 6TSVA

Large Federal Accounts
A Dominion Green Power option is available to eligible Federal accounts. . Call 1-888-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
  • GS-3
  • GS-4
Is there a cancellation fee if I decide to discontinue my participation?

No. There is no cancellation fee and you may cancel anytime. Dominion 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 Green Power?

When you sign up for the Dominion 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. Dominion does not make a profit from the Dominion Green Power program.

How / When will I be billed?

Charges for Dominion 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 Green Power.  We recognize that each organization may have their own unique reporting requirements.  Whether your organization is using EPA's 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 the Business Service Center at 1-888-BSC-8085 or contact your designated Key Account Manager for program and pricing information.

Does Dominion profit from this program?

No, Dominion does not profit from this program.

About Renewable Energy

What is renewable energy?

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:

  • Wind
  • Sunlight (Solar)
  • 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 Green Power Program and where does the renewable energy come from?

The governmental product of the Dominion Green Power program purchases RECs on behalf of program participants from national renewable energy facilities.

Per Green-e Energy® standards, the Dominion Green Power Program is required to provide a Product Content Label (PCL) that details the product mix.  Here's the PCL for the Dominion 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 doing to support renewable energy?

Dominion is committed to doing its part to reach the Commonwealth of Virginia's goal of 15% electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The company is expanding its renewable generation portfolio to help achieve this goal.  In addition, Dominion operates a large wind farm in West Virginia, expanding the amount of electricity we make from biomass, and examining other opportunities to increase the amount of electricity produced from renewable sources.

What are Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)?

Each Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) verifies that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy was 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.

To learn more about RECs, visit 3Degrees, the EPA, or Green-e Energy®.

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.

According to the World Resources Institute:

"Carbon offsets allow [customers] to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions liability by purchasing the emission reductions made by another entity. Each carbon offset purchased represents the equivalent of one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions avoided.

RECs allow [customers] to meet renewable energy goals, support renewable power projects, and demonstrate a commitment to clean, renewable electricity. Each REC represents one MWh of electricity produced from renewable energy resources."

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’s Green Power program. Nationwide, approximately 570,000 customers subscribe to voluntary utility green pricing programs.

This voluntary renewable energy market as a whole has supported approximately 40 million megawatt-hours (MWhs) of green energy in 2011, a 90% increase over 2010.*

*National Renewable Energy Laboratory Market Brief 2011

Are there different ways I can support renewable energy through my utility?

In general, there are two types of "utility green pricing programs." The most common type of program allows customers to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). The second type allows customers to purchase renewable electricity.

The Dominion Green Power program is an example of a utility green pricing program which allows customers to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). One REC is issued each time one megawatt-hour of renewable energy is produced. The purchase of RECs guarantees that additional renewable energy has been delivered to the power pool in which the renewable energy facility is located and creates environmental benefits such as reduced carbon dioxide emissions due to displacing the need for conventional energy over time. RECs may be sold separately from the electricity; once the REC component is separated from the energy component, neither the generator nor the end user of that energy can claim they use green power - the right to claim the use of green power now belongs to the person who purchased the REC. In this way, participants in the Dominion Green Power program guarantee that renewable energy is delivered to the regional power pool while also providing an additional economic incentive to make renewable energy generators more competitive and ultimately increase the amount of renewable energy generation over time. Customer purchases through the Dominion Green Power program are above and beyond the renewable generation that Dominion provides. This program is designed for customers who want to make their own investment in renewable energy.

A utility green pricing program that allows customers to purchase renewable electricity may include a contract between the utility and a renewable energy generator. Participating customers pay a premium to ensure that renewable energy from that specific renewable facility is generated. This type of program ensures that customer funds were used to purchase renewable energy from a renewable facility. However, participating customers do not receive the actual "green electrons" in their home or business because the electricity from that facility is fed into the power pool along with other sources of power. The only way to guarantee the receipt of "green electrons" from a specific renewable facility is to have a renewable generator - such as a wind turbine or solar panels - directly wired to a home or business.

The Dominion Green Power program lets you buy renewable energy certificates to support renewable energy.  When available, Virginia electric customers may choose to meet their electric needs by purchasing 100% renewable electricity from a competitive supplier.  Currently, the company is not aware of such an option.

Where can I read more about the voluntary market for renewable energy?

There are several national and independent sources for statistics and further information on the voluntary renewable energy market including:

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