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Honoring Labor and Management Cooperation at National LAMPAC

​EEI’s member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—partner every day with organized labor to advance the common goals of running well-managed, efficient businesses with a highly skilled workforce to deliver the energy that customers need. Leaders from the electric power industry and organized labor work together through the National Labor and Management Public Affairs Committee (LAMPAC), a joint effort of EEI and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), to foster collaboration and partnership and to address the nation’s energy challenges.

National LAMPAC held its 12th annual meeting on March 11 in Washington, DC, which featured conversations on a range of critical industry topics, including advancing energy careers for veterans; energy grid modernization and collaboration; the reliability, resiliency, and security of the energy grid; the industry’s focus on safety and building the workforce of the future; and the role of emerging technology.

Following the meeting, U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI) presented the 2019 John D. Dingell Award to U.S. Representatives Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR). Named for the longest-serving member of Congress, the John D. Dingell Award is presented to leaders whose efforts have helped to advance the common objectives of the electric power industry and IBEW members. Former Representative John Dingell (D-MI) passed away in February. ​

U.S. Representatives LaMalfa and Schrader exemplified the spirit of the John D. Dingell Award through their collaboration and leadership on the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act in the 115th Congress. Thanks to their combined efforts and close coordination, the bipartisan legislation was signed into law, and it improves the safety and reliability of the energy grid on federal lands. Under the law, electric companies now are able to remove hazardous trees before they become problems, which will help to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfires and lessen the risk of widespread power outages. Learn more in EEI’s press release​.

EEI and IBEW also presented the inaugural Edwin D. Hill Award to IBEW Local Union 396, IBEW Local Union 1245, and NV Energy, which worked together to form a diverse coalition to educate lawmakers in Nevada about their energy choices and about NV Energy’s plan for providing customers with more clean energy. The coalition included environmental organizations, small and large business owners, local officials, and other organizations dedicated to keeping energy prices low while increasing the amount of clean energy in Nevada. Customers in Nevada overwhelmingly agreed with the coalition when they voted last Election Day. Read more about the award in EEI’s press release​.

Photo (L to R): American Electric Power Chairman, President, and CEO Nick Akins; Rep. Schrader; Rep. Dingell; Rep. LaMalfa; EEI President Tom Kuhn.

News From the Hill
News From the Hill
CEWD Leadership Testifies on Shaping the Future Industry Workforce

​As electric companies lead a profound transformation of America’s energy, they are working with other energy companies, their associations, contractors, and unions through the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) to build a skilled workforce pipeline that will meet future industry needs. These efforts were highlighted at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, “Energy Workforce Opportunities and Challenges,” held March 7.

The hearing included testimony on behalf of CEWD by Sloane Evans, senior vice president of human resources, Southern Company. “Our industry not only is critical to today’s economy, we expect it will be even more critical to the future as we transition to cleaner energy resources, build smarter energy infrastructure, support greater transportation electrification, and deliver innovative energy solutions that our customers want,” she said. “We offer quality jobs that provide individuals security and serve as anchors in communities. Our jobs pay well—two times the national median wage.”

Evans detailed CEWD’s numerous programs and initiatives to help build the future energy workforce, including the Get Into Energy resource website; Troops to Energy Jobs; the National Energy Education Network, a national consortium of educational institutions sponsored by CEWD industry members; State Energy Workforce Consortia; the industry’s partnership with organized labor; and more. She also gave examples of how Southern Company is partnering with CEWD and others to address its workforce needs through innovative programs like Alabama Power’s iCan, which boosts middle school girls into high school engineering programs, and Georgia Power’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), which motivates young people to pursue education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

Read Evans’s testimony. Learn more​ about CEWD and the industry’s efforts to build the energy workforce of the future.

Happening Now
Happening Now
EEI Celebrates Women’s History Month

​Throughout March, EEI and our member companies are celebrating Women’s History Month by honoring the many extraordinary women who have helped lead, shape, and advance the electric power industry through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Read some of their stories in EEI’s latest Trailblazers series article on Delivering the Future​.

Protecting the Energy Grid
Protecting the Energy Grid
EEI Statement on EMP Executive Order

​“EEI and its member companies applaud President Trump's ongoing focus on protecting critical infrastructure, and we look forward to working with the Administration to ensure that industry and government continue to work closely together to protect the energy grid," said Scott Aaronson, EEI vice president of security and preparedness, after President Trump’s executive order, issued March 26, on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs).

“Grid security is a shared responsibility, and addressing dynamic threats to the energy grid requires vigilance and coordination that leverages government and industry resources. Our security strategies constantly evolve and are closely coordinated with the federal government through a partnership called the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC). From electric company CEOs to energy grid operators, we work closely to share threat information and partner with all levels of government to mitigate, and respond to, national-level incidents or threats to electric-sector critical infrastructure. 

“How an EMP may impact critical infrastructure is an extremely complex issue that cannot be solved with a one-size-fits-all solution. Sound policy should be informed by sound science. That is why the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) launched a research project in 2016 to evaluate how EMPs could impact the energy grid. Developing this scientific basis enables companies to make science-informed decisions for developing, testing, and deploying EMP-resistant grid components. 

“Next month, EPRI will share its EMP findings with the industry, policymakers, and the public, providing the necessary information for companies to better understand the potential impact of EMP incidents to the transmission system. The findings also will include recommendations for mitigation approaches and investments.

“EEI’s member companies understand that reliable electricity and a secure energy grid are essential to the nation’s economy and our way of life. By working together through the ESCC, industry and government greatly enhance our nation’s ability to defend and protect against all threats to the energy grid. We value this partnership and appreciate President Trump’s support for improving the security posture of the electric power industry and, by extension, the nation.”

What We’re Reading
What We’re Reading
Xcel Energy’s Ben Fowke on Leading the Clean Energy Transition
“In 2005, Xcel Energy was the leading electric company provider of wind energy in the country, despite the fact that wind comprised only 3 percent of our generation. By 2022, when 11 wind farms now under construction are put into service, renewable energy—the vast majority being wind—will account for 46 percent of our mix and will be our largest source of energy for our customers,” Ben Fowke, EEI vice chairman and Xcel Energy chairman, president, and CEO, writes in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives

“It’s exciting to play a leadership role in the clean energy revolution. Along the way, we’ve made steady progress reducing carbon dioxide emissions by transitioning away from fossil fuels, incorporating renewables, and maintaining our commitment to energy efficiency programs. Our 2018 carbon emissions dropped 38 percent compared to 2005 levels. That progress has us on pace to hit our goal of reducing carbon 60 percent by 2030 across all eight states in which we do business.”

Policy Perspectives
Policy Perspectives
Electric Transmission Investments Benefit Customers

​Americans are using electricity in more ways than ever, and our ever-increasing dependence on electricity underscores the vital importance of the energy grid.

Smarter Energy Infrastructure: The Critical Role and Value of Electric Transmission, a newly published report from EEI, notes: “Electric transmission is a critical part of the energy grid and is about more than just delivering electricity. A robust transmission system enables electric companies to integrate more renewable energy resources and to deliver more clean energy to customers; enhances the reliability and resiliency of the grid; enables the deployment of new technologies; optimizes the grid’s performance and lowers the cost of delivering energy by reducing congestion; and helps to keep electricity bills low for customers.”

Each year, EEI’s member companies invest more than $100 billion on generation, transmission, and distribution to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure. “This investment in smarter energy infrastructure is helping achieve a shared vision of a smart, secure, and increasingly clean energy system that works to the benefit of all customers,” the report states. “Reaching the full potential of a modernized energy grid requires ongoing investment.”

The report highlights the critical role of electric transmission in the energy grid; outlines the benefits transmission provides for electricity customers; offers case studies of electric companies’ transmission projects; and provides crucial data for policymakers and other key stakeholders as they make important decisions related to infrastructure, energy, and environmental policy.

International Issues
International Issues
Fortis Energy Exchange Explores North America’s Energy Landscape

​The Fortis Energy Exchange, held earlier this month in Toronto, gathered industry leaders from across North America to discuss the opportunities that lie ahead for the continent’s energy industry.

“Today’s discussion on cross-border partnerships and opportunities, sustainability, the role of natural gas in a balanced energy portfolio, and our collective energy vision was substantive,” said Barry Perry, president and CEO of Fortis. “It is this kind of compelling conversation that will help shape the future of the North American energy industry.”

EEI President Tom Kuhn delivered the event’s keynote speech: “We are excited and optimistic about the opportunities we have before us and are confident the transformation we are leading will deliver our energy future.” Kuhn said that EEI's member companies are committed to putting customers first, maintaining reliability, and keeping prices affordable for all customers. 

Kuhn also reviewed the close connections between U.S. and Canadian electric companies and their work to deliver more clean energy for customers, advance grid security, and partner through the electric power industry’s mutual assistance networks: “There’s no better way to see the North American electric power industry partnership in action than to look at our companies’ response to severe weather and other disasters. Whenever called upon, workers from U.S. and Canadian electric companies work hand in hand, literally standing shoulder to shoulder, to restore power for customers,” he said.

“We are embracing exciting opportunities in the natural gas and electric sectors in North America,” concluded Perry. “Constructive partnerships among industry, regulators, and suppliers are more important now than ever and help us meet and exceed the needs of our customers.”

The Fortis Energy Exchange was held in partnership with EEI, the Canadian Electricity Association, American Gas Association, and Canadian Gas Association.

In the News
In the News
Electric Companies’ Energy Efficiency Initiatives Produce Giant Savings

​Electric companies are committed to helping customers save energy and money, and their energy efficiency programs are resulting in savings on a massive scale: 198 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2017, up from 183 TWh in 2016. That’s enough electricity to power 22 million U.S. homes for one year.

These are among the key findings of Energy Efficiency Trends in the Electric Power Industry (2008-2017)​, a new report from the Institute for Electric Innovation. “Energy efficiency programs are an essential component of an ever-expanding set of customer energy solutions—high-efficiency lighting, smart thermostats, dynamic rates, clean energy options, energy storage, and more,” the report says. “Meeting the growing expectations of customers who live and work in an on-demand, service-centric world requires electric companies to innovate constantly in the design and delivery of energy efficiency programs.”

With their energy efficiency programs, electric companies are creating a win-win: cost and energy savings for customers, together with environmental benefits from reduced emissions: “Similar to renewable energy resources, energy efficiency programs reduce carbon dioxide emissions and are an important part of the U.S. energy mix. In 2017, energy efficiency programs saved far more energy (198 TWh) than solar energy generated (77 TWh), and energy efficiency program savings represented about 78 percent of the electricity generated by wind energy.”

The report also offers a state-by-state breakdown of the regulatory frameworks that support electric company investments in energy efficiency. 

Company Spotlight
Company Spotlight
Oncor Creates Customer-Focused Weather Information Service

​Electric companies are committed to creating a smarter energy future that benefits all customers and communities, and every day they are working to create the innovative solutions their customers expect. To provide its customers with critical safety messages and to keep them informed about weather events impacting their communities in Texas, Oncor has launched an innovative weather information service called Weather Current, to be featured across its website and social media channels. 

“We are always looking for new ways to deliver value for our customers, and Weather Current is another step forward in the process of providing superior customer service to the more than 10 million Texans we serve across our state,” said Debbie Dennis, chief customer officer and senior vice president of human resources and corporate affairs at Oncor Electric Delivery. “Giving our customers access to this information will grow our relationship with our customers and build our reputation as a transparent, innovative, and safety-focused energy company.”

Each Weather Current forecast includes helpful tips and advice to educate Texans on the importance of safety around power lines and electrical equipment, as well as helpful information to guard against potential storm hazards. The forecasts are hosted by Jen Myers, an American Meteorological Society-certified expert, and initially will appear on Mondays and Fridays and during periods of extreme weather. Watch the latest forecast on Oncor’s Facebook page.

An earlier version of this story appeared on Oncor’s website, The Wire​.

Security Focus
Security Focus
NERC’s Jim Robb on the Industry-Government Commitment to Information Sharing

​“Ensuring the security of North America’s energy grid requires an ongoing commitment to information sharing and collaboration between industry, government, and interdependent infrastructure sectors. At the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) plays an important role in that collaboration and is focused on supporting our members in the electric power industry,” NERC President and CEO Jim Robb writes in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.

“Under the leadership of NERC Chief Security Officer Bill Lawrence, the E-ISAC recently developed a long-term strategic plan to expand its capabilities and improve our alignment with member needs and priorities. The plan prioritizes expanded information analysis, greater situational awareness, and new technologies that support better sharing of both unclassified and highly sensitive information.” 

Read more​.

Delivering Value
Delivering Value
EEI International Programs Spur Collaboration and Dialogue

​In addition to our U.S. member companies, EEI has more than 65 international electric companies, with operations in more than 90 countries, as International Members. EEI International Programs provides members in the global electric power industry an agile and efficient platform for collaboration, dialogue, outreach, and leadership, and delivers high-quality, relevant information and services that enhance the capacity of EEI members to realize their commitments to building affordable, reliable, resilient, and sustainable energy systems of the future.

Learn about the many member benefits offered by EEI International Programs in its latest annual report. Find additional resources on our website​.

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EEI Chairman Lynn Good on the Industry's Customer Service Future
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