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Electric Companies Celebrate National Infrastructure Week

​During National Infrastructure Week May 14-21, EEI and its member companies joined other industries in highlighting why “Infrastructure Matters” for American jobs, economic competitiveness, and security.

The electric power industry is America’s most capital-intensive industry, and EEI’s member companies—the nation’s investor-owned electric companies—operate infrastructure of breathtaking scale and complexity. EEI's member companies invested $113.6 billion in 2017, a sixth-straight year of record-high capital expenditures, to build smarter energy infrastructure and to transition to even cleaner generation sources.

These investments benefit customers by enhancing electric reliability, reinforcing resiliency, and creating the innovative energy solutions they want. The industry’s investments also have a direct economic impact in every state in the form of jobs created and taxes paid. The smarter energy infrastructure that electric companies are developing and deploying is critical to delivering safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean energy and to driving America’s innovation and prosperity. 

Learn more in EEI’s infographic. Read more from EEI Executive Vice President Brian Wolff​ and from EEI President Tom Kuhn and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International President Lonnie Stephenson.

News From the Hill
PG&E’s Geisha Williams Testifies on the Future of EVs

​Electrifying transportation offers numerous benefits for customers and communities, including increased efficiency, improved sustainability, economic growth, and energy security. Geisha Williams, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation, highlighted these customer benefits and discussed how electric companies are enabling smarter mobility at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment on May 8. 

Williams highlighted how electric companies are investing in infrastructure to make electric vehicle (EV) charging more accessible, integrating the growing number of EVs into the energy grid seamlessly, and working to increase the use of EVs in fleet and off-road applications.

“EEI member companies believe that continued growth in the EV segment will also drive important benefits above and beyond their cost-savings and environmental potential,” Williams said. “In particular, the increased use of EVs represents an opportunity to utilize the nation’s energy grid more efficiently. ‘Smart’ or ‘managed’ charging allows energy companies and consumers to take advantage of times when excess energy is available on the system. This increased utilization effectively lowers the average cost to serve for all customers.

“We also believe that leveraging our nation’s electric grid to fuel EVs also represents an important national security opportunity. When EVs connect to the grid, they are 100 percent powered by North American energy sources, including natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydropower, wind, and solar energy.”

Read the full testimony and watch the hearing. Learn more about the benefits of transportation electrification in EEI’s factsheet and see how electric companies are leading the charge on EVs​.

In the News
Electric Companies’ Energy Efficiency Initiatives Benefit Customers

​Electric companies are committed to saving energy—and money—for customers. According to a report from the Institute for Electric Innovation, electric companies’ energy efficiency (EE) programs saved 183 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity in 2016 (up from 169 TWh in 2015)—enough electricity to power 20 million U.S. homes for a year. The report finds that customer-funded EE program expenditures have more than doubled, increasing from $3.4 billion in 2008 to $7.5 billion in 2016, and saved three times the amount of electricity generated by solar resources in 2016.

Here are a few examples of how electric companies’ EE programs are benefiting customers and communities across the country:

  • In Illinois, Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its EE program. Its customers have saved more than $3 billion since the program began—equivalent to about $750 for each of its 4 million customers. The company’s EE programs have helped its customers buy 114.9 million efficient bulbs, complete 72,000 business projects, recycle 380,000 appliances, and complete 314,000 energy assessments.
  • Eversource’s Mass Save EE program helps small businesses in Massachusetts by conducting assessments that identify potential ways to save energy and by providing incentives and discounts for more efficient equipment such as LED lighting, HVAC systems, motors, refrigeration, commercial kitchen equipment, and more. Thanks to Eversource and Mass Save, small businesses are enjoying big savings—$1,400 annually for West Springfield’s historic Donut Dip bakery, which upgraded its lighting to LEDs.
  • Minnesota Power’s Power of One efficiency team has met or exceeded the state goal for energy savings since the target went into effect in 2010. In 2017, the company’s programs saved more than 72,400 megawatt-hours, enough to power nearly 8,000 homes for a year. “Helping homeowners, businesses, and communities save energy—and reduce carbon emissions—is critical to a more sustainable future,” said Frank Frederickson, vice president of marketing at Minnesota Power.

Learn more about the electric power industry’s leadership on clean energy in EEI’s infographic. Read tips on saving energy and money here and in EEI’s booklet​.


What We’re Reading
SDG&E’s Scott Drury on the Future of Clean Energy

​“For us, expanding clean energy is more than attaining a number or meeting a goal,” writes Scott Drury, President of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives. “Clean energy extends into all facets of our customers’ lives—their transportation choices, how much energy they use and when they use it, access to new products and services, and, perhaps most important, how we are improving the energy grid to ensure reliability in response to the changing climate.

“We are seizing opportunities to expand clean transportation and electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, to leverage energy storage technologies, and to enhance efficiencies for the benefit of our customers. We are working with technology and EV charging manufacturers to increase the use of their product on our grid and to position these companies for growth.”

Read more

Register Now
EEI’s Annual Convention in San Diego

​Register now for the electric power industry’s premier event, the EEI Annual Convention, June 4–7 in San Diego. As the industry continues to lead a profound transformation of America’s energy, this year’s event promises to drive connections and stimulate dialogue.

The opening general session will feature a dynamic conversation moderated by Google Cloud editorial head Quentin Hardy on the technology industry's vision for the future. Dr. Tony Byers, former Starbucks Director of Global Inclusion, and Pat Vincent-Collawn, EEI Chairman and PNM Resources Chairman, President, and CEO, will discuss the importance of diversity and inclusion in today's workplace. Finally, EEI will pay tribute to member companies' lineworkers and support personnel for their heroic work to restore power to Puerto Rico.

Wednesday's general session features the ever-popular industry CEO panel discussion. EEI Chairman Pat Vincent-Collawn, EEI Vice Chairman Lynn Good, and EEI Vice Chairman Chris Crane will be joined by Greg Abel, Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Company, to explore major challenges and opportunities for c-suite executives as the electric power industry continues to reinvent itself.  

At the closing general session on Thursday, attendees will get "Fast Forward and Focused" with Robert Herjavec, founder and CEO of Herjavec Group and star of ABC's Shark Tank.

The Energy Matters breakout sessions will explore all the major issues facing today's electric power industry. Connect with the industry’s top executives and thought leaders as they examine these cutting-edge issues in depth. 

Learn more about the 2018 EEI Annual Convention and register now​!

Restoration and Recovery
Carlos D. Torres on Restoring Power to Puerto Rico

​Carlos D. Torres, an EEI consultant and Puerto Rico power restoration coordinator, writes in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives: “The challenges we have encountered during this restoration mission are numerous and include difficult terrain, extreme conditions, and getting access to materials and equipment.

“I will never forget the spirit and strength of the Puerto Rican people I have encountered during my time here. The island’s residents are the most resilient people I have ever met in my life. After months of living without electricity, you see the joy and excitement on their faces as power is restored to their communities.

“It is an exhilarating feeling each and every time. Every single person on the island was impacted by Hurricane Maria, and I and everyone involved in the restoration effort remain committed to working as one team, with one mission—providing power to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico.”

Read more​.

Photo: DTE Energy mutual assistance workers in Puerto Rico with grateful customers, April 2018.

Company Spotlight
FPL Drill Tests Storm Preparations

​Protecting the nation’s energy grid and ensuring a reliable and affordable supply of energy are top priorities for America’s electric companies. Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) recently conducted a large-scale drill that illustrates how EEI member companies prepare for severe weather.

The annual week-long FPL storm drill tested how more than 3,000 company employees responded to a hypothetical storm. FPL employees were evaluated on their response and restoration efforts in operations, logistics, communications, and customer service.

“Last year, we witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of Mother Nature and how critically important it is to get Florida back on its feet as quickly as possible,” said Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL. “The benefits of our more than $3 billion investment in our grid over the past decade, along with our trained personnel, were clearly evident as more than 2 million customers had their lights back on within the first full day of our restoration efforts. Our company has a culture of continuous improvement, and with that in mind, we must continue to push ourselves to improve our ability to respond. That’s what FPL’s storm drill is all about.”

The electric power industry is working hard to enhance the resilience of the energy grid and to accelerate recovery from potential incidents. Electric companies are deploying advanced digital technologies; improving power lines and substations; and hardening the system against severe weather. Since Superstorm Sandy in 2012, investor-owned electric companies have invested more than $230 billion in their transmission and distribution systems. 

Electric companies regularly participate in exercises that help them strengthen the security and resiliency of the energy grid. Through national-level exercises as well as company- and regional-level drills, EEI’s member companies constantly prepare to respond to severe weather and other threats.

What We're Watching
Georgia Power Lineworker Is "America Strong"

In this video from the "America Strong" segment of ABC's World News Tonight with David Muir, watch the inspiring story of lineworker Donnie Lumpkin as he recovered from an injury with the help of his Georgia Power colleagues.

See more​.

World Views
International Perspectives on the Industry Transformation

​EEI’s member companies—in the United States and around the world—are united by the shared goal of delivering the safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean energy their customers need. This commitment to serve customers and communities runs deep within the industry’s DNA.

This series of articles in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives, authored by the leaders of three international electric companies, shows the power of the industry’s transformative leadership, thinking, and innovation. Read more​

Sponsored Content
Tailored GPS Tracking Solutions

​GPS Insight provides location intelligence for utility fleets of all sizes. Our GPS tracking solutions are designed to be configurable for your business to ensure you receive the data you need, when you need it, the way you want to see it.​ Learn more​.

Happening Now
Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Hurricane season begins June 1, and EEI and its member companies are encouraging customers to prepare for storms and other emergency situations. Taking simple steps now to get ready for emergencies in homes, businesses, and communities can pay great dividends if, and when, an emergency occurs.

Read EEI’s safety tips for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires. Develop an emergency plan that addresses any special medical needs you or your family members have. Call your local emergency management office to discuss necessary arrangements. Have your Emergency Outage Kit stocked and readily available. Stock up on groceries, water, medications, infant supplies, batteries, and other necessities. Learn what to do in case of a power outage.

Electric companies are committed to providing safe, reliable energy to customers. Discover how the industry responds to outages caused by severe weather by reviewing the power restoration process and learn about the industry’s mutual assistance networks.

Visit your local electric company’s website for the latest updates and guidance on how to prepare for storms.​

Energy Workforce
Supporting Pathways to Energy Careers

​The electric power industry is committed to supporting employees today and to building tomorrow’s energy workforce. Through the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) and partnerships with educational institutions, public workforce systems, and organized labor, the industry is working to create long-term employment solutions for a skilled, diverse workforce in the future.

In 2014, CEWD formulated five steps for energy companies to support applicants’ pathways into energy careers: 

  1. ​Visibility to help students and job seekers find energy companies, understand the jobs available, and learn about education options;
  2. Communication of the requirements and credentials needed to pursue careers in energy;
  3. Partnerships with educators and other employers;
  4. Internal reinforcement of companies’ strategies, initiatives, policies, and funding, and aligning company personnel, systems, policies, and practices to support applicants’ needs; and
  5. Measurement and feedback on whether companies are providing data on the quality of new employees to educators and others in the workforce pipeline.

Now, CEWD has amplified its efforts with an assessment tool that measures progress in these areas. Here are examples of how member companies are using this tool to evaluate how they are building the energy workforce of tomorrow:

  • Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is raising awareness of energy career pathways through career fairs, conferences, and targeted outreach to diverse organizations. Through the PG&E Foundation, the company partners with nonprofit programs to reach youth in grades K-12, and the company’s Better Together New Energy Academy raises awareness of energy career opportunities for high school students. Approximately 3,000 students have participated in the program since it began seven years ago.
  • NextEra Energy is collaborating with local colleges and universities on wind energy programs to produce applicants with the appropriate requirements and credentials for the regions in which they live. NextEra and its educational partners work together on developing curriculum, and the company provides subject matter experts to serve on advisory boards and to assist students with capstone projects.
  • To drive coordination and internal reinforcement of the company’s workforce goals, Duke Energy has created an enterprise-wide workforce development strategy that is increasing awareness of energy careers, forging critical partnerships, developing clear pathways into energy jobs for students, and ensuring that the company has a voice in public policies that encourage energy careers.
  • Georgia Power is expanding its data collection on qualifications and providing feedback on hiring to educators. By discussing the quality and diversity of candidates completing educational programs, the company and its partners ensure that their workforce development missions are aligned.

Learn more​ about CEWD’s efforts to help build the energy workforce of tomorrow.


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