Issues & Policy
EEI’s member companies have made significant investments to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure. Electric transmission infrastructure is the backbone of the nation’s energy grid. Through the transmission system, electric companies have integrated more clean energy resources and technologies into the energy grid while maintaining reliability and affordability. The transmission system lowers the cost of delivering energy and helps to keep electricity affordable by optimizing the grid’s performance, reducing congestion, enabling the deployment of new technologies, and enhancing reliability and resiliency.
Federal Regulatory Affairs
Investor-owned electric companies are regulated at both the federal and state levels. At the federal level, EEI works to ensure favorable regulatory outcomes at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and other federal agencies. FERC is the primary regulatory body for the bulk power system, and regulates most electric transmission, regional power market rules, interstate wholesale sales of electricity, and certain corporate activities, among other functions. Review EEI's Filings at FERC and other agencies.
The Federal Regulatory Affairs Group represents EEI’s members at these regulatory bodies through advocacy outreach and participation in regulatory proceedings and policy rulemakings that affect member interests. Additionally, the group works to educate regulators and their staffs about the complex regulatory issues important to EEI’s membership.
Planning and Developing Electric Transmission Projects: The Path to the Grid of the Future
Electric Transmission: Enabling the Clean Energy Transformation
America’s Electric Companies: Serving Our Customers and Planning for the Energy Grid of the Future With Electric Transmission Technologies and Innovation
Investing in Transmission to Enhance the Reliability and Resilience of the Energy Grid
Smarter Energy Infrastructure: The Critical Role and Value of Electric Transmission
Transmission and Wholesale Markets School
Transmission and Wholesale Markets School (TWMS) is an intensive five-day course produced in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin in Madison focusing on transmission planning and economics, wholesale energy market design, emerging energy issues, and more. The school meets yearly in August. See Upcoming Meetings for more information.
Adaptation, Hardening, and Resilience
Increasingly, EEI’s member companies are investing in adaptation, hardening, and resilience (AHR) initiatives to make the energy grid stronger and more secure for all customers. AHR is more than just the ability to recover from extreme weather events. It also involves addressing dynamic and potentially impactful risks by anticipating, withstanding, recovering from, and/or adapting to a wide variety of threats, including extreme weather, wildfires, earthquakes, and cyber or physical security attacks. EEI’s member companies also are investing in smart technologies for the transmission and distribution systems to help communicate more effectively with their customers.
Transmission and Distribution Investments
Protecting the Nation’s Energy Grid
FERC has oversight authority of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), the FERC-certified electric reliability organization that enforces mandatory electric reliability standards on all users, owners, and operators of the bulk-power system. The EEI Reliability Group represents members on bulk power system reliability and security issues at FERC and NERC.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed daily routines for millions of Americans across the country. The sudden transformation to working and learning from home not only has reinforced the value of electricity, it also has highlighted the importance of access to affordable, reliable broadband. Policymakers understand the importance of making broadband universally available and are looking to electric companies to help bridge the gap.
As regulated service providers, electric companies are well-positioned to help close the digital divide, as they have a physical connection to nearly every home and business within their service territory. Electric companies incorporate telecommunications equipment and fiber technology into their operations—particularly in rural areas—to support their communications infrastructure and to provide real-time monitoring and controls for generation and transmission operations. Building out electric companies’ telecommunications network supports secure communications for mission-critical applications, facilitates additional smart grid tools and distributed energy resources, and makes the grid more resilient and more efficient. Substantial investments in telecommunications technology will be needed to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more reliable, and more secure.
Middle Mile Broadband: Electric Companies Are Critical to Closing the Digital Divide
EP May/Jun 2021: Bridging the Digital Divide: How Electric Companies Can Power Equity Through Accessible Broadband