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December 2019

Top Story
Top Story
​Showcasing U.S. Electric Companies' Clean Energy Progress at COP25

During the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (which included the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP25) in Madrid, Spain, an EEI delegation—led by Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO, Edison International, and Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president, and CEO, PNM Resources—participated in a series of high-level events to tell the U.S. electric power industry’s story of clean energy leadership and transformation and to reinforce the industry’s vision of a clean energy future. 

During the COP, which drew worldwide media attention, the EEI member company CEOs engaged with private-sector counterparts from around the world, as well as with policymakers, global diplomats, scientists, and environmental NGOs.

“EEI member companies are on a path to reduce our carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050 over 2005 levels,” said Vincent-Collawn. “As an industry, we want to work on that trend and to work with our friends in the transportation sector to advance decarbonization across the economy."

“The [U.S.] electric power industry, as a whole, has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent from 2005 to 2018,” said Pizarro. “Investor-owned electric companies, like ourselves, that are members of the Edison Electric Institute have reduced by 37 percent in the same time frame.”

“It is important to show that our industry and our states—California and New Mexico—are leaders in clean energy,” said Vincent-Collawn. “One challenge in addressing climate change is creating a sense of urgency,” Pizarro added. “The health of the entire planet is at stake, and the U.S. must take a leadership role in fighting climate change.”

The executives outlined their vision for a clean energy future that, in addition to requiring investment in and deployment of a wide range of advanced technologies, will require a talented, diverse workforce and that must be affordable for all customers, including the most vulnerable residents.

Learn more about electric companies' clean energy initiatives on EEI's website​ and in our infographic.

Energy Grid Resilience
Energy Grid Resilience
Developing a Resilient Energy Grid Requires Policies and Flexible Tools

​Protecting the nation’s energy grid and ensuring a reliable supply of energy are top priorities for America's electric companies. Developing a resilient energy grid requires a flexible set of tools that electric companies need to leverage depending on geography, risk profile, and other factors. 

Electric companies have decades of experience and responsibility building, owning, operating, protecting, and restoring the energy grid, while serving as critical infrastructure providers, national security partners, and first responders. EEI is working to help its member companies further leverage and develop these characteristics. And, as electric companies invest in resilience, EEI is working to improve public policy and funding for these investments and to reinforce their value for customers and communities.

These investments and initiatives were the focus of a workshop convened by EEI on December 10 that brought together top electric power industry executives, senior policymakers, security strategists, and communications professionals. The leaders discussed the components of proactive resilience strategies; shared their perspectives on key resilience policy drivers; offered examples of how electric companies are approaching resilience investments; and explored the challenges, opportunities, and expectations surrounding energy grid resilience.

Photo (L to R): Bruce Walker, assistant secretary, Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy, and Phil Moeller, EEI executive vice president, business operations and regulatory affairs. 

Workforce Development
Workforce Development
EEI Workshop Addresses Electric Companies' Efforts to Build America's Future Workforce

​On December 13, EEI member company executives, human resources professionals, and education leaders participated in a workshop convened by EEI to explore how the electric power industry will meet its future workforce needs. Discussion panels focused on how EEI's member companies are addressing skills gaps, enhancing STEM and vocational education, identifying and eliminating barriers, and creating tangible job opportunities. Industry leaders shared successes, strategies, and resources that are helping companies create and implement their workforce development plans.

Photo (L to R): Brian Wolff, EEI executive vice president, public policy and external affairs; Lisa Barton, executive vice president, utilities, American Electric Power; Mike Innocenzo, president and CEO, PECO; and Rod West, group president, utility operations, Entergy Corporation.

Happening Now
Happening Now
Bright Ideas for Safe, Energy-Efficient Holiday Lighting

​Since 1882, when Thomas Edison showed off to reporters the strings of electric lights around the Christmas tree at his home in Menlo Park, NJ, electric lighting has helped customers celebrate the holidays safely and festively.

This holiday season—and all year long—EEI and our member companies encourage everyone to be safe and energy-efficient, starting with holiday lighting. Decorators can achieve a festive presentation while using environmentally friendly and safe lighting options. Visit EEI's website​ for tips on a bright and festive display that saves money.

While the weather outside might be frightful, you can prepare now. Read EEI's winter storm safety tips, and learn what to keep in your emergency outage kit​.

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
EEI's Scott Aaronson on Securing the Nation's Energy Grid

​"Our nation’s electric companies are working across the industry and with our government partners to protect the energy grid and ensure that customers have access to the safe and reliable energy they need," writes EEI Vice President of Security and Preparedness Scott Aaronson on RealClearDefense. "We also are focusing on strategies to mitigate the potential impact of an attack and to accelerate recovery should an incident occur."

"Last month, more than 6,500 electric power industry and government executives participated in the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s GridEx V exercise. Held every two years, this exercise brought together electric company leaders; local, state, and federal government officials; and other critical stakeholders to test and evaluate emergency response plans for responding to and recovering from a range of cyber and physical security threats to the energy grid. The exercise also helps participants strengthen their crisis communication coordination and develop actionable plans to improve our collective security posture."

Read more. Find more about the electric power industry's efforts to maintain the security of the energy grid and our national security posture on EEI's website​.

In Case You Missed It
In Case You Missed It
FirstEnergy's Chuck Jones on Delivering the Energy Grid of the Future

​"Our vision for the distribution grid of the future is an intelligent platform that enhances our customers’ electricity service, resulting in a stronger, more valuable, and empowering energy experience," writes FirstEnergy President and CEO Chuck Jones in Electric Perspectives. "We’re envisioning a future where every vital link to homes and businesses—electricity, natural gas, water, and ultrafast broadband access—will merge into one integrated system."

"To prepare for this more dynamic, intelligent, and secure distribution system, we are strengthening our grid’s foundation by building a more robust and reliable communications network and replacing or upgrading aging equipment. We have previously announced that our 10 electric distribution companies are planning infrastructure investments of up to $1.7 billion per year through 2021."

Read more​.

In the News
In the News
EEI Congratulates U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette

​On December 2, Dan Brouillette was confirmed as the 15th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EEI President Tom Kuhn commented: “On behalf of our member companies, America’s investor-owned electric companies, EEI congratulates our new Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette, and we commend him for his longstanding commitment to public service.

“DOE plays a vital role in driving innovation to enhance energy grid security and to identify the critical technologies needed for a clean energy future, and Secretary Brouillette led many of DOE’s most critical initiatives while serving as deputy secretary.

“Secretary Brouillette is a tremendous partner for our industry during hurricanes and other extreme weather events, and we look forward to continuing to work with him and his staff to enhance the reliability, security, and resiliency of our nation’s energy grid.”​

Delivering Innovation
Delivering Innovation
Four Facts to Know About Electric Transportation

From EVs to public transit, commercial fleets, and more, electric transportation is transforming America’s communities while benefiting the environment. EEI's member companies are at the forefront of building smarter energy infrastructure to support expanded transportation electrification and deliver its benefits to customers and communities. 

Here are four facts to know about electric transportation:

  1. As of August 2019, there are more than 1.3 million EVs on U.S. roads. Still, this is a small percentage of the more than 270 million vehicles registered in the United States. For electric transportation to achieve its full benefits, significantly more EV sales are needed, yet challenges remain to expanding this market. Congress should expand the EV tax credit.
  2. EVs benefit communities and the environment: driving on electricity emits 54 percent fewer carbon dioxide emissions per mile than the average new gasoline car.
  3. EVs save customers money: drivers of EVs spend the equivalent of approximately $1.21 per gallon, based on average residential electric rates.
  4. By 2030, U.S. EV sales are expected to exceed 3.5 million per year.​ To support this fleet, EEI’s member companies are investing more than $1.3 billion in customer programs and projects to deploy charging infrastructure and to accelerate electric transportation.
Find more in EEI's factsheet​ and on our website.

Inside EEI
Inside EEI
​Nominations Open for 2020 Edison Award

EEI now is accepting nominations for the 2020 Edison Award, which honors distinguished leadership, innovation, and contributions to the advancement of the electric power industry. The Edison Award is presented annually to one U.S. and one international electric company. It is EEI’s most prestigious honor.

The AES Corporation received the 2019 Edison Award. In December 2018, AES made history by bringing the world’s largest operational solar-plus-storage system online, helping to integrate renewable energy on a large scale. Designed for the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative, this first-of-its-kind solution, dubbed “the PV Peaker Plant,” fully integrates photovoltaic cells and storage at unprecedented scale to transform variable renewable energy generation into safe, reliable, and readily dispatchable power, allowing customers to use solar energy well past sundown. 

UK Power Networks received EEI’s 2019 International Edison Award. The company is leading the United Kingdom’s clean energy transition by investing in smart grid and other innovative energy grid technologies. These investments in smarter energy infrastructure have saved customers $195 million since 2015, and have facilitated the country’s ability to lower its carbon emissions. By listening to energy retailers and taking a customer-centric approach to its work, UK Power Networks is leading the way to the future with an energy grid that is smarter, cleaner, stronger, and more secure.

The deadline for nominations is January 28. Winners of the 2020 Edison Award will be announced during the EEI 2020 conference in June in Austin, TX.​

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