Shareholders Challenge Major Utility on Its Readiness to Thrive in Low Carbon Energy Sector

low carbon power plan

Calvert Investments and the As You Sow Foundation are calling on Virginia’s largest electric utility to detail its plan to evolve at the Dominion Resources annual shareholder meeting on May 11, as major market shifts appear poised to disrupt business as usual.

The imperative to act in response to climate change; plummeting costs of renewable, distributed energy technology; and consumer interest in sustainability, choice and flexibility are combining to create fundamental changes for the electric power sector. However, Dominion Resources has not yet put forward a clear and compelling plan to adapt to a low carbon future.

“We do not believe that a strategy based on large centralized fossil fuel fired power plants is a viable long-term bet for utilities,” said Stu Dalheim, VP of Governance and Advocacy at Calvert Investments. “Shareholders are looking for a clear signal at the upcoming annual shareholders meeting that the company is evolving, given the profound changes in the sector resulting from concerns about climate change.”

Dominion ranked near last among the 32 largest U.S. investor-owned electric utilities’ clean energy deployment in a 2014 report benchmarking company performance on energy efficiency and renewable energy and a review of more recent data shows that the company continues to lag behind its sector peers, many of whom are moving forward aggressively to invest in energy efficiency and to generate and sell renewable energy.

“Investors have been pushing Dominion to decarbonize for years. Yet it is not at all clear that Dominion has a plan to transition to a low carbon business model. We hope 2016 is the year Dominion makes a meaningful commitment to distributed and renewable energy,” said Amelia Timbers, Energy Program Manager of As You Sow.

One hundred seventy-five nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement in April, accelerating an irreversible shift away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy.

Fifty-three major corporations globally have committed to source 100% of their power from renewable sources in the next two decades and many more companies based in the United States are looking for opportunities to buy and use more renewable energy.

Image credit: By Pibwl from Pl:Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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