On March 24, 2010, Dominion received approval from the Virginia SCC of an energy efficiency plan that can result in savings for our customers. In April 2010, Dominion officially launched the programs for customers to enroll and start saving!
This portfolio of five energy efficiency and peak-shaving programs is designed to meet the needs of our customers and move us towards meeting the state's 10 percent voluntary energy conservation goal enacted by the Virginia General Assembly and the governor. It provides environmental benefits in a cost-effective manner that translates into very real financial savings to customers.
Over the past decade, demand for electricity has seen a strong growth in Virginia while the supply has not kept pace. As a result, Virginia is second behind only California in the amount of power that is imported from outside the state. Dominion Virginia Power recognizes that meeting future demand will require all of us to manage our resources wisely. We are committed to help achieve the Commonwealth's 10 percent conservation goal by 2022.
Dominion Virginia Power has been approved to offer energy audits and energy-conservation improvements for homes of low-income customers to save them money on an ongoing basis after the improvements are installed. The improvements are expected to be worth on average about $1,100. We will continue to offer EnergyShare assistance to qualifying customers.
No. These programs are an important part of our overall strategy for meeting growing demand for electricity in Virginia. According to an independent study by the PJM power pool, electric demand is expected to grow by 5,600 megawatts by 2020. For Virginia to become more energy independent and better prepared to meet future energy needs, we plan to build a diverse mix of new generating facilities and the power lines to take the electricity from our facilities to our customers.
The recession has slowed down Virginia's economy last year and this year, but the level of energy-intensive data center activity continues to grow rapidly in northern Virginia. Our past experience indicates that when the recession ends, electricity demand growth is greater than average due to pent-up demand.
We are coordinating our efforts to help our customers manage their energy use wisely. Here are some examples in addition to the approved programs:
"Uprates," the process of increasing the efficiency of our generating units to produce more electricity while using roughly the same amount of fuel, is good business. It is good for our customers and good for the environment. Uprates provide additional generation capacity without building costly new power stations.
That is good for our customers because it helps keep their rates lower, and it is good for the environment because we are producing more electricity but not producing significantly more emissions. From 2008 to 2013, the company will increase the generating capabilities of its existing units by more than 600 megawatts. That is enough electricity to power 150,000 homes in Virginia.
More information can be found here.