Dominion Energy Virginia flips the conventional customer experience model with its Strategic Underground Program

Ruchi Solanki, Research Analyst –

In 2014, Dominion Energy Virginia began a system-wide initiative to shorten restoration times following weather events by placing certain outage-prone overhead lines and equipment underground. While undergrounding lines is not unique, Dominion went the extra mile by proactively communicating with customers about the undergrounding effort rather than waiting for them to come to the utility.

The utility resolved to keep customers educated on each of the project’s next steps and how the work would impact each individuals’ properties prior to it happening. The utility utilized multiple channels in this effort, including direct mail, emails, doorhangers, outbound phone calls, and in-person customer meetings.

The utility also made efforts to communicate digitally on its website with a project-lookup tool that allows customers to check the status of their project online. The tool displays a point-of-contact along with the latest project activity and completion dates. The website also included an online FAQ page that included short videos to help educate customers as well as customer testimonials.

Dominion Energy Virginia won Chartwell’s 2018 Bronze Award in Communications for its efforts. To learn more about Dominion’s efforts, make sure to register for Chartwell’s webinar on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Join Alan Bradshaw, Dominion Energy Virginia’s Director, Strategic Underground, in discussing the utility’s multi-channel approach to communicate its strategic underground program to customers in order to ensure that customers understand essential information.

Remember, with a Chartwell Premier membership you have access to research, a network of industry peers, topical webinars and analyst support. If you are interested in learning more about how to optimize your utility’s communication strategies and problem solve with other leading utilities, join Chartwell’s Customer Experience Leadership Council by contacting Tim Herrick at