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VIRGINIA POWER UNVEILS CONSERVISION NAME, LAUNCHES NEW ENERGY EFFICIENCY INITIATIVES

 RICHMOND, Va., April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Under a new theme called ConserVision, Virginia Power today unveiled a package of new energy efficiency initiatives for customers, including a proposal for up to $60 million in low-interest loans for residential energy conservation improvements.
 The programs, which also include $2 million in payments for extensive testing of advanced electro-technologies, are designed to help customers conserve energy and hold down costs. The initiatives will also limit environmental impacts by reducing emissions resulting from unnecessary energy use.
 The pilot financing initiative and several other programs must be approved by the State Corporation Commission before they can be implemented.
 Under the financing plan, Virginia Power would provide loans of up to $10,000 for as many as 6,000 residential customers by the end of 1994. The loans would cover qualifying energy conservation measures, including new equipment and insulation. During the same period, the company would help as many as 1,100 commercial and industrial customers obtain reduced-interest bank loans of up to $100,000 each for conservation measures.
 At a news conference at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia Power also unveiled the name "ConserVision" for its approach to promoting energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts. The new initiatives, as well as the company's existing demand-side management and conservation programs, are part of the ConserVision effort.
 "Our company has offered our customers cost-effective programs to help them use energy more efficiently for more than a decade. As the next century approaches, such efforts are more important then ever. The ConserVision name is a symbol of Virginia Power's continuing commitment to holding customers' energy costs down and protecting our environment by finding new and better ways to save energy," said James T. Rhodes, president and chief executive officer.
 "The new programs we announce today provide us with exciting new opportunities to put our ConserVision approach into action," Rhodes said. "The initiatives are cost-effective ways we can help all types of customers improve the energy efficiency of their homes, offices, stores and factories. These new programs are also not our final word on conservation. We are constantly reevaluating our efforts, and during the next few years we plan to launch other programs to help our customers use energy wisely."
 Another major initiative unveiled by Virginia Power today is a program to pay up to $2 million in allowances from 1993 through 1995 to customers who wish to test advanced energy-saving electric heating, cooling and water heating equipment in their businesses and residences. Other new programs would help commercial customers install permanent energy-efficient lighting; promote the use of advanced industrial electro-technologies that reduce overall energy use; and pay allowances to as many as 10,000 homeowners for the inspection of their heat pumps.
 The new ConserVision efforts also include programs to set commercial building efficiency standards and evaluate electric vehicle technologies. Another experimental initiative would set up a rate schedule to help homeowners save money by shifting electricity usage away from days of high demand.
 The company today asked for SCC approval of the pilot low-interest loan and advanced technology testing initiatives. Later this week Virginia Power will request SCC approval of the experimental residential rate program. The company will seek commission approval of the pilot heat pump payment initiative this summer. The other new programs made public today are included in the company's 1993 demand-side management plan and do not require approval in advance by the commission.
 The new efforts join several energy efficiency initiatives already offered by Virginia Power, including the Energy Saver Home and Comfort Assured Heat Pump Dealer programs; the residential water heater control program; and programs to shift commercial and industrial electricity usage away from periods of high demand.
 Earlier this year Virginia Power estimated that its energy efficiency efforts would reduce the summer peak demand for electricity by 814 megawatts in the year 2000. The forecast did not take into account all of the initiatives announced today. These efforts, and additional ones developed in the future, may enable the company to reduce summer peak demand by almost 1,000 megawatts in 2000. such a reduction would eliminate the need for generating capacity greater than the output of two large coal-fired units.
 The conservation measures in the company's energy efficiency package are expected to reduce participating customers' usage of electricity by a total of 3.1 million megawatt hours from 1993 through 2000. The reductions will continue past 2000 but are projected to be offset eventually by off-peak sales designed to hold down customer energy costs.
 By the end of 1993, almost 391,000 Virginia Power customers -- more than one-fifth of those served by the company -- are expected to be enrolled in at least one of the company's energy efficiency programs. That number is projected to rise to more then 629,000 by 2002. Virginia Power plans energy-efficiency expenditures averaging $44.4 million annually from 1993 through 2000, with expenditures rising each year.
 "Our programs are well-planned efforts to achieve significant long- term improvements in energy efficiency throughout the area served by Virginia Power," Rhodes said. "We have tried to avoid quick-fix solutions that may make a difference in energy consumption over the short term but have no lasting impact. Our commitment is to intelligent programs that will have lasting results.
 "And we have also worked hard to develop a set of initiatives that will provide real savings for participants while not driving up electricity costs for customers who are not able to participate in them."
 The company this year also committed $3.5 million to cutting internal energy usage by joining the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Lights program. The company will survey its facilities and install energy-efficient lighting wherever feasible.
 -0- 4/20/93
 /CONTACT: William H. Byrd of Virginia Power, 804-771-6115/
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CO: Virginia Power ST: Virginia IN: UTI SU: PDT

CM-SB -- CH006 -- 8038 04/20/93 11:54 EDT
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Date:Apr 20, 1993
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