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View articles below from recent versions of the Customer Connection newsletter from Dominion Energy.

March 2018

Dominion Energy ArtStars winners brighten communities

Students showing their musical talent ArtStars WiseJams program students showcase their musical talent.


This year's Dominion Energy ArtStars award-winners are brightening communities and inspiring a whole new generation of talented students and performers across Virginia. The five non-profit organizations being honored as 2018 Dominion Energy ArtStars were granted $10,000 each for bringing outstanding arts or cultural education into K-12 schools.

The following ArtStars winners and their exceptional programs were recognized at the 2018 Virginia Commission for the Arts 50th Anniversary Program:

  • ART 180 provides free art programs to young people in challenging circumstances at partner organizations and its own teen center in the Jackson Ward neighborhood of Richmond. See how ART 180 is helping students gain confidence and find their creative voices.
  • Light House Studio in Charlottesville, a nonprofit filmmaking center, hosts 134 workshops for students in the Shenandoah region to develop their vision and build their creative skills. See how Light House Studio is empowering youth to express themselves in positive ways.
  • Sandler Center for the Performing Arts provides access for students in grades Pre-K through 8 to live performances throughout the academic year in Virginia Beach.
  • Signature Theatre of Arlington uses theater to engage 2,000 high school students in the arts while strengthening key academic skills in literacy and critical thinking.
  • Virginia's Heritage Music Trail in Abingdon incorporates traditional Appalachian music instruction in southwest Virginia schools.

Dominion ArtStars Awards recognize arts organizations that best demonstrate the ability to advance the synergy between arts and education for the benefit of students and their communities.

Dominion Energy crews back from Puerto Rico: Restoration work tough, but rewarding

linemen working while another lineman is walking
After a month of challenging restoration work on an island far from home, 82 Dominion Energy electric crews and support staff returned to Virginia in mid-February safe and sound.
“We had long, 14-hour work days that would start at 5 and go until 7 in the evening,” said Sean Feely, a returning lineman from Mechanicsville, Virginia. “It was hard to see people who had been out of lights for months … but great to be able to see their faces smile and light up when we were able to get the power back on and how happy they were.

Many of the residents had been living without electric service since Sept. 20, 2017, when Hurricane Maria wiped out much of the island’s infrastructure.
The Dominion Energy contingent worked through unfamiliar and harsh conditions to restore power in the mountainous Carolina region of Puerto Rico, about 30 minutes northeast of San Juan. Daily challenges included high temperatures, intense humidity, hazardous terrain, poor road conditions and uninvited visitors in the form of iguanas and boa constrictors.

All in all, the team managed to set 226 new poles, rework hundreds more, and restring or replace over 14 miles of electric wire to restore close to 2,000 customers.
When Dominion Energy crews arrived Jan. 18, only 50% of the residents in the Carolina region had power. A month later, 85% in that region were back on and about 80% of all Puerto Ricans had electric service.

Returning employees said they were touched and grateful for the hospitality and constant appreciation shown by the local people. Residents who had been without power for months still found a way to cook and deliver lunches to Dominion Energy line crews nearly every day. When Dominion Energy crews were reassigned to the other side of the mountain, the food kept arriving!

The company’s emergency response required months of pre-planning and coordination with utility partners in Puerto Rico along with peers in transportation, supply chain, safety, travel services and many other disciplines. The logistical effort included the shipment by barge of 57 bucket trucks and other vehicles, as well as hundreds of transformers and materials needed to support this successful and complex restoration project.

For more, watch a video recap of the restoration work and interviews of linemen from Dominion Energy.

Six surprising facts about energy-saving LEDs

man looking at a LED lightbulb

You may already know that LED bulbs are very efficient, using 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that if every American home replaced just one bulb with an ENERGY STAR® rated LED, the total annual energy savings would be more than $566 million. Here are some remarkable facts about LEDs.

  1. High quality LED bulbs have a rated lifetime of 25,000 hours or more. At an average of five hours a night, 365 days a year, an LED could last up to 14 years!
  2. Prices to purchase LEDs have dropped significantly in the last 10 years. Since 2008, the cost for LED bulbs has dropped by around 90 percent. Today, you can buy an ENERGY STAR® certified 60-watt equivalent LED bulb for as little as $1.50.
  3. LEDs come in different color tones. Looking for a warm light for a little atmosphere, or a sharper tone for crafting? LEDs have you covered. Look on the product label for color temperature in Kelvin (K). A lower temperature (2700K) provides a warm, yellowish light, while a higher temperature (5000K) bulb produces a cooler, higher contrast light.
  4. Some LEDs are the brightest bulb in the room. Advanced 'smart' features are available with some LED products. With an accompanying app, you can remotely turn bulbs on and off, dim them, change their color, and set them on a schedule and other cool stuff. The features available depend on the model you choose.
  5. LEDs are better for the environment. In addition to using less energy, LEDs contain no mercury, a hazardous material found in fluorescent lamps and other types of lighting. A DOE study found that LEDs have a lower overall environmental impact than incandescent bulbs and CFLs.
  6. LEDs were invented by accident. In 1961, two engineers at Texas Instruments were working on laser diodes for radar antennas when they accidentally discovered the first light-emitting diodes. These LEDs were in the infrared (non-visible) range. Visible LEDs were first developed by GE researchers in 1962.