EEI > Resources & Media > Energy Talk
EEI Energy Talk  
Top ad
October 2020

Top Story
Top Story
Use Your #EnergyToVote
With Election Day just four days away, EEI encourages all Americans to exercise their right to vote. 
 
Free, fair, and transparent elections are a hallmark of our democracy. This is an historic year and an historic election, and many are anxious to learn the outcome. Just as we all have had to exercise patience during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue exercising patience through Election Day and what likely will be an extended ballot-counting period. We all have a responsibility to allow election officials to do their jobs, and we must give them the time they need to count ballots and to finalize results.
 
As the voting and ballot-counting process continues, we also encourage everyone to be vigilant about the misinformation that is flooding social media. The Department of Homeland Security's rumor control website​ and credible news organizations are important resources to help you weed out misinformation.
 
As always, protecting the energy grid and our nation’s critical energy infrastructure is our top priority. Every day, the electric power industry works with our government partners at the federal, state, and local levels. Together, we engage in contingency planning for all hazards to ensure we can provide reliable and secure electricity to customers in the face of all threats—including both natural hazards and malicious activity. Our industry understands our role in supporting the communities we are privileged to serve, and we are planning for Election Day just as we do for other major events.
 
Finally, clean energy has been a major focus of this election, and EEI's member companies—America's investor-owned electric companies—are proud to be leading the clean energy transformation that already is underway. Regardless of the election outcome, we remain committed to getting the reliable, affordable energy we provide as clean as we can as fast as we can and to delivering the clean energy future that our customers expect and deserve. 
 
Voters should be aware of candidates, deadlines, and registration information; early, absentee, and mail-in voting rules; polling locations; and other details specific to their jurisdictions. All of this information is available through EEI’s Get Out the Vote website, EEIvotes.org.

Happening Now
Photo: Courtesy Entergy.
Happening Now
Electric Companies Continue to Respond to Historic Storms
EEI and our member companies continue #PoweringThruTogether for their customers and communities as extreme weather creates challenges across the country. Hurricane Zeta made landfall in Cocodrie, La., late in the afternoon on Wednesday, October 28, bringing destructive high winds and heavy rains to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. As of 8:00 a.m. EDT on October 30, approximately 1.4 million electricity customers were without power in affected areas, down from a peak of nearly 3.1 million the day before.*

In areas where damage assessments are complete and it is safe for them to work, crews are working around the clock to restore power as quickly as possible, with more than 1.6 million customers—or 54 percent—restored less than 38 hours after the storm came ashore.

In addition, EEI member companies continue to work around the clock to restore power to customers in Oklahoma and Texas in the wake of a severe ice storm earlier this week. As of 8:00 a.m. on October 30, approximately 257,000 customers were without power as a result of this storm, down from a peak of approximately 457,000 customers. Affected companies, and the crews assisting the restoration efforts, are working day and night to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. As an industry, we are committed to powering through these events together.

Power restoration follows a detailed process. The first step is damage assessment, and safety is always the top priority. In some cases, crews may not be able to gain access to the most heavily damaged areas until downed trees and debris are cleared and it is deemed safe for them to enter.

Once damage assessments are complete, crews will continue to work around the clock to restore power to essential services and facilities critical to public health and safety, such as hospitals, nursing homes, fire and police departments, and water systems. Crews then will work to return service to the largest number of residential and business customers in the shortest amount of time. Once major repairs are completed, individual homes and smaller groups of customers are restored.

We know that being without electricity creates hardships and is frustrating during ordinary times. Fallen trees, downed power lines, and widespread debris and damage in the hardest-hit areas may create challenges and limit access for crews. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, crews also must follow additional safety protocols that may slow restoration processes. 

Just weeks before, Hurricane Delta, another Category 2 storm, caused extensive damage to parts of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Once again, impacted electric companies and their restoration partners mounted a comprehensive response, with more than 18,500 workers mobilized from 27 states to restore power. 

We ask for, and greatly appreciate, our customers’ patience and understanding.

Find the latest updates on EEI's Storm Center​.

*It is important to remember that outages measure customer meters impacted, not the number of individuals without power. Due to the nature of the storm, customers may have experienced more than one outage.

News From the Hill
News From the Hill
Electric Companies Support Expanding Access to LIHEAP Funding
EEI and our member companies are joining a bipartisan congressional coalition to urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to release Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds as quickly and at the highest level possible under the current continuing resolution. 

LIHEAP is an essential, widely supported federal program that delivers critical short-term aid to some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens. LIHEAP distributes funding to states, territories, and tribal governments, which in turn use the funds to help low-income households in their jurisdictions with home heating and cooling costs. LIHEAP funds also are used for emergency situations and for weatherization services.

Unlike some federal assistance programs that see their funding increase with need, like Social Security or food stamps, LIHEAP funding must be appropriated annually by Congress. In 2019, approximately 35 million households across the nation were eligible for LIHEAP assistance. Yet, inadequate funding for the program meant that only 6.8 million received basic help to pay their energy bills. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made LIHEAP even more vital. The National Energy Assistance Directors' Association estimates that 44 million households now are eligible for LIHEAP assistance.

mid ad

Building for Tomorrow
Building for Tomorrow
Careers in Energy Week Highlights Industry Opportunities
EEI was proud to join the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD) in celebrating the 10th annual Careers in Energy Week, October 19-23. Careers in Energy Week was created by CEWD to recognize and raise awareness of energy careers and their importance to the nation. One of the hallmarks of this year’s Careers In Energy Week events was the debut of EnergyCareers 2020, a virtual career exploration and job fair event that allowed students, career seekers and career explorers to learn about the array of opportunities that exist in the energy industry.

CEWD, its member companies, and State Energy Workforce Consortia work to help customers and communities understand the vital role of energy companies in the economy and the exciting, rewarding opportunities they offer in a range of diverse careers. Visit CEWD’s website to find energy career events and resources.
 
Jobs in the electric power industry provide more than just good pay and benefits—they offer a long, fulfilling career path. On average, employees work in the industry for more than 15 years, in careers that support their families and anchor them in their communities. From supporting new skills training to STEM education to resources for veterans, women, youth, and adults, EEI’s member companies are creating long-term solutions and are driving employment for a skilled, diverse workforce. 
 

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Top Industry Leaders Identify the Key Policies and Technologies Needed to Support the Clean Energy Transition
EEI’s member companies are united in their commitment to get the reliable, affordable energy they provide as clean as they can as fast as they can. For electric companies to achieve their ambitious clean energy goals, it will be critical to have the right public policies in place and new technologies developed over the next 10 years.
 
Identifying these policies and technologies was the focus of a spirited keynote discussion and two related breakout sessions among industry leaders and clean energy heavyweights during EEI 2020 last month. (Watch sessions from EEI's first-ever virtual leadership summit on our YouTube channel​.)

The dialogue offered a series of incisive and often complementary views of what technologies are needed to help EEI member companies reach the clean energy targets they have set. Read more in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.


Money Matters
Money Matters
Register Now for EEI’s Financial Conference
Register now for the 55th EEI Financial Conference, taking place virtually November 9-11. EEI’s Financial Conference began in 1965, and, since then, it has been the premier industry gathering of electric company C-suite officers, investors, and members of the financial community. Each year, the conference provides a unique opportunity for delegates to convene and discuss major issues impacting electric companies, their investors, customers, and key stakeholders. 

This year’s Financial Conference—taking place virtually for the first time—will feature insights from key energy industry insiders and top political strategists on the business implications of the 2020 election, the ever-greater need for energy grid resilience in the age of COVID-19, and much more. Check out the conference agenda and register today!
Sponsored Content
Sponsored Content
Prevent Supply Chain Attacks + CIP-010 Compliance

File Integrity Assurance from Fortress verifies software source authenticity and validates file integrity to detect and prevent supply chain attacks. This CIP-010-3 driven process monitors software sources daily, and files are validated and stored in an immutable blockchain ledger, then delivered over TLS encryption from software source to distribution channel. 

Learn more.


In the News
In the News
Powering the People 2020
Finding solutions to critical issues was the topic for Powering the People 2020, the Institute for Electric Innovation’s (IEI’s) signature Fall event, held October 7-8. 
 
Val Jensen, senior fellow, ICF International and author of the recent IEI report Rethinking Energy Efficiency as a Carbon Resource, kicked off the session, asserting that energy efficiency has been an “unqualified success” in reducing inefficient electricity consumption and reducing both air pollutants and carbon emissions over the past 40 years. However, he cautioned that resting on these laurels will not be enough to achieve deep carbon reductions and beneficial electrification strategies. It is time to explicitly recognize and measure energy efficiency as a carbon resource. 

“There’s no question that we’re going to need a substantial increase in the amount of energy efficiency over and above what we've already acquired," he said. "It’s clear that the… current way that we approach energy efficiency is not going to be sufficient to drive a significant increase in savings and… to align with the efforts going on in many states with respect to beneficial electrification and the management of an increasingly dynamic grid.”

Bob Rowe, president and CEO of NorthWestern Energy and co-chair of IEI, moderated a panel discussion following Jensen’s remarks. Panelists included Ralph Cavanagh, energy co-director, climate and clean energy program, Natural Resources Defense Council; Mike Marelli, vice president, business customer division, Southern California Edison; and Scott Neuman, group vice president, Opower, Oracle Utilities. (Listen to their discussion.)

The following day, participants focused greater attention on the role of partnerships between electric companies and corporate customers to achieve sustainability goals.  

Lisa Wood, EEI vice president of customer solutions and executive director of IEI, explained that EEI has successfully collaborated with the World Resources Institute (WRI) to advance sustainability solutions for corporate customers through tools such as EEI’s electric company carbon emissions reporting database.
 
She welcomed Jennifer Layke, global director of the energy program at WRI, who provided an overview of potential mutually beneficial strategies to advance carbon reduction goals, including sustainability goals for both corporate customers and municipalities and greater electrification of transportation.

Her remarks were followed by a robust panel discussion on advancing sustainability solutions with corporate customers that was led by Mark Lantrip, president and CEO, Southern Company Services and co-chair of IEI, who was joined by Steve Chriss, director of energy services, Walmart, and Caroline Golin, North America markets lead for global energy policy and market development, Google. (Listen to their discussion.)

International Perspectives
International Perspectives
Enel's Clean Energy Transition
“Enel began as an electric company more than 50 years ago, and, since then, we have undergone a dramatic transition,” writes Enrico Viale, head of Enel North America, in Electric Perspectives. “With a presence in more than 30 countries, and a distribution network of 2.2 million kilometers (nearly 1.4 million miles) serving more than 70 million customers globally, Enel is now the world’s largest private renewable energy company. In 2004, we became the first private company in the utility sector to be listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, where we have been listed consistently for the last 16 years.
 
“While our mission—to enable businesses, nations, and individuals to thrive by connecting them to electricity and the right services for their needs—remains unchanged, our sense of purpose has evolved since our founding to place sustainability and innovation at the core of our business.”

Safety First
Safety First
Have a Safe, Spooky Halloween
If your family is planning for some spooky fun this Halloween, make sure you also plan to keep the holiday safe. Halloween can provide plenty of scares, but safety hazards shouldn’t be among them.

Here are some frightfully easy tips to keep you and your ghouls and goblins safe this Halloween.

Safe Decorating Tips
  • Use battery- or electric-powered lights, like tea lights, to light up your jack-o’-lantern. These are much safer alternatives to using a candle with an open flame inside.
  • Keep your porch and steps well-lit and free of obstacles to avoid falls.
  • Outdoor lights and decorations should be plugged into outlets that feature Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters. 
  • Decorative lights should be approved by Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) and carry a UL seal on the tag. Red UL tags indicate the lights are approved for indoor or outdoor use, while green UL tags indicate they are for indoor use only.
  • Place all outdoor Halloween lights on a timer if you are going to be away from home. Make sure the lights are off before you go to bed.
Trick-or-Treating Tips* 
  • Take flashlights with fresh batteries and distribute glow sticks and necklaces to help light the way.
  • Make sure your cell phone is charged prior to walking your route, and plan out your route ahead of time.
  • Look both ways and cross the street at corners. Use streetlights and crosswalks when they are available.
  • Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags so children can be seen at night.
  • Remember to check all candy prior to consumption.
Another scare to avoid this Halloween—and every day—is phantom load: electricity used by devices that are turned off but still plugged in. Check out EEI’s latest video on how to beat phantom load and reduce your electric bill.

*Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some communities are changing their Halloween guidelines. Make sure to check out your local rules before heading out to trick or treat.
Get Social
Vote on November 3
Get Social
No
No