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CONSUMER NEWS: VIRGINIA POWER TO BEGIN ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR NEW ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAMS

 RICHMOND, Va., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Virginia Power will begin accepting applications on Thursday, Sept. 16, for two new pilot programs to help thousands of customers save energy through low-interest financing and payments for technologically-advanced, energy-saving equipment.
 The two programs were approved in August by the State Corporation Commission. They are among the company's ConserVision initiatives, which help Virginia Power's customers use energy as efficiently as possible. Customers may obtain applications for the programs by calling Virginia Power's Energy Efficiency Department offices in each of the company's five divisions.
 The pilot Financing for Energy Efficiency Measures program will be offered through the end of 1994 and will provide loans with annual interest rates as low as 6 percent to as many as 3,000 Virginia Power residential customers. Among the improvements covered by the residential portion of the program are upgrading of existing heating and cooling systems to high-efficiency heat pumps or air conditioners, ductwork improvements, increased building insulation, programmable thermostats, home energy management systems and systems using waste heat to produce hot water.
 The interest rate for residential loans will be tied to the efficiency of the equipment installed, with loans for systems of the highest efficiency carrying the lowest rates. Loans of up to $10,000 will be offered to residential customers.
 The commercial/industrial portion of the initiative will help as many as 550 business customers obtain reduced-interest bank loans of up to $100,000 for energy efficiency improvements. Virginia Power will pay participating banks a fee, effectively lowering the interest rate on such loans by 2 percent. Some of the covered improvements will include installation of high-efficiency electric heating and cooling systems, permanent conversion to energy-efficient indoor lighting and installation of high-efficiency motors and electro-technologies.
 The second pilot program, Field Studies of New Energy-Efficient technologies, will provide a total of $1 million in direct payments to qualifying residential customers for installation of advanced energy- saving systems in as many as 335 new homes. The payments will help cover the differences in cost between the higher-efficiency equipment and the systems that would otherwise be installed. Among the eligible improvements will be geothermal heat pumps, advanced air-to-air heat pumps and thermal storage systems.
 The program will also provide a total of $1 million in payments to as many as 145 commercial and industrial customers to help cover the additional cost of installing qualifying advanced heating, cooling and water heating systems, as well as high-efficiency electro-technologies for commercial and industrial processes. The allowance program will conclude by June 30, 1995.
 "These new programs are valuable new tools to help our customers save money and energy and are an important step forward in our ConserVision initiatives to promote the efficient use of energy," said Thomas J. O'Neil, vice president-Energy Efficiency.
 Also beginning Thursday, smaller versions of the loan and allowance programs will be offered in the company's North Carolina service area, where it does business as North Carolina Power.
 -0- 9/15/93
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Residential customers may call the following Virginia Power Energy Efficiency Department numbers to apply for the new programs:
 -- Northern Virginia: 800-676-0217 or local Virginia Power district
 office
 -- Richmond area: 800-998-2606
 -- Hampton Roads area: 800-955-8279
 -- Western Virginia/Charlottesville area: 800-775-9276
 -- Southern Virginia: 800-827-7796
 Commercial and industrial customers in all areas may call 800-275-9387 to apply.
 To make faster service possible, customers should have their account numbers ready when calling./
 -0- 9/15/93
 /CONTACT: William H. Byrd of Virginia Power, 804-771-6115/


CO: Virginia Power ST: Virginia IN: UTI OIL SU: PDT

KD-IH -- DC013 -- 2171 09/15/93 10:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1993
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