America's Electric Companies
EEI President Tom Kuhn and other members of EEI’s executive leadership team briefed Wall Street analysts, bankers, and investors on February 21 on the state of the U.S. electric power industry.
“EEI and our member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—are at a global inflection point,” said Kuhn. “We remain focused on ensuring that customers have the energy they need when and where they need it, affordably and reliably, as we work to get this energy as clean as we can as fast as we can. And, we have fully embraced a strategy that will deliver secure and resilient clean energy across our economy.”
Following passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the $272-billion clean energy tax package in the Inflation Reduction Act—laws which EEI strongly supported—there are more tools available than ever to help address climate change by facilitating investments in smarter, more resilient energy infrastructure and the deployment of more clean energy. Importantly, the critical cost-savings benefits of the tax provisions flow directly through to our customers.
During the presentation, EEI also highlighted the need for siting and permitting reform to facilitate investment in much-needed critical energy infrastructure, including transmission, renewable energy facilities, and natural gas pipelines and facilities. EEI supports environmental and regulatory processes that are clear, coordinated, consistent, transparent, and as efficient as possible, while meeting environmental requirements.
EEI’s executive team also addressed other industry priorities, including ESG; the role of new and developing carbon-free technologies; electric transportation; energy grid reliability, resilience, and security; federal and state regulations; workforce development and diversity, equity, and inclusion; financial performance; and ongoing efforts to meet customer expectations and to support customers in need.
“Over the past 90 years, EEI and our member companies have demonstrated a strong record of progress in serving customers,” said Kuhn. “Together, we have delivered Power by Association.”
Leading on Clean Energy
Thanks largely to the clean energy leadership of EEI’s member companies, carbon emissions from the U.S. electric power sector today are as low as they were almost 40 years ago, while electricity use has climbed 73 percent since then.
We are proud that more than 40 percent of our nation’s electricity now comes from clean, carbon-free sources, including nuclear energy, hydropower, wind, and solar energy. Over the past decade, more than 60 percent of new generation capacity was wind and solar—more than 78 percent of new generation has been wind and solar since 2020.
Electric companies also are the main drivers of growth in energy storage, accounting for 93 percent of all energy storage in operation today.
Natural gas accelerates the clean energy transition by allowing our member companies to integrate more renewables into the energy grid while ensuring resilience, reliability, and resource adequacy. And, while we recognize that the critical role of natural gas will change over time, our strategic planning already accounts for these changes.
Now is not the time to take tools out of the energy toolbox. Wind, solar, and energy storage can get us much of the way to a carbon-free future. Using an energy mix that includes nuclear energy and natural gas will help us get there faster and more reliably.
Investing in Smarter, Stronger Energy Infrastructure
EEI’s member companies have invested more than $1 trillion over the past decade to build smarter energy infrastructure and to integrate new generation into the energy grid.
These investments help protect the grid from extreme weather and cyber-attacks. And they help companies better predict, mitigate, and prevent outages—and to respond more quickly when outages do occur.
Recent events reinforce the continued need for strategic and responsible security and resiliency investments. EEI continues its work to educate regulators and stakeholders about the importance of stable, constructive policies to support the investments our members are making and the benefits they provide to customers.
Through our work with the Wildfire CEO Task Force and the CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, we’re coordinating with industry leaders and with the highest levels of government to drive further efficiencies and to permit the work needed to mitigate risks.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do as an industry, and above all, we will continue to prioritize affordability as we make these investments.
Maintaining Our Financial Strength
Our industry remains the most capital-intensive industry in America. For the eleventh consecutive year, we expect another industry record, with total capital expenditures projected at $154.7 billion in 2022.
The industry’s average credit rating remained at BBB+ for a ninth straight year in 2022.