Dominion Virginia Power reports best-ever reliability rate

RICHMOND, Va., March 5, 2002 — Dominion Virginia Power, a utility with 2 million electricity customers, reported record service reliability in 2001 for the fifth consecutive year of improvement.

On average, Dominion Virginia Power customers had a constant flow of electricity throughout the year with the exception of 105 minutes, excluding major storms. In 2000, the average number of minutes out was 118.

The average percentage of time that service was available in 2001 was 99.985 percent.

“Our 11 percent improvement and success last year was a combination of the work of great employees and relatively good weather,” said Edgar M. Roach Jr., president and chief executive officer. “Thankfully, there were no catastrophic weather events to disrupt our distribution system and our employees continued their excellent job of focusing on electric service reliability.”

Power outages occur for a number of reasons — severe weather, trees falling onto power lines, dig-ins cutting underground cables, equipment failure, vehicle accidents or vandalism.

Including major storms in 2001, the average number of minutes a Dominion Virginia Power customer was without electricity was 138 minutes. This was down significantly from the 324 minutes the previous year, which included a massive freezing-rain storm over a large section of the service area in late January.

When Dominion Virginia Power line crews are not responding to immediate outage problems, the company focuses on improving the quality of service through its maintenance program.

Dominion Virginia Power’s priority in 2001 was to improve the electric service reliability of customers who experienced repeat interruptions in their electric service of longer than two minutes. The company implemented improvement plans, including tree trimming, equipment reconfiguration and underground cable replacement.

“As a result of these efforts in 2001, 90 percent of our 2 million electric customers experienced three or fewer outages,” Roach said.

In addition, the company targeted customers who experienced more than 10 power outages during the year, reducing that number by 77 percent, from 4,653 customers in 2000 to 1,076 customers in 2001.

Dominion Virginia Power is the electric delivery company of Dominion, one of the nation’s largest producers of energy, with a production capability of more than 3 trillion British thermal unit of energy per day. Dominion serves nearly 4 million retail natural gas and electric customers in five states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s Web site at .

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at

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