EEI > Resources & Media > Energy Talk
EEI Energy Talk  
February 2020
Top Story
Top Story
Learn How Electric Companies Are Preparing for Coronavirus

Planning for a health emergency, like coronavirus, is unique from other business continuity planning. The business continuity and pandemic plans developed by electric companies are designed to protect the people working for them and to ensure energy operations and infrastructure are supported properly. Learn more in EEI’s booklet​.

Electric Power Industry Outlook
Electric Power Industry Outlook
EEI Briefs Wall Street on America's Energy Future

EEI’s member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—continue to lead a profound transformation of America’s energy. EEI’s 2020 briefing to Wall Street highlighted the electric power industry’s strong financial performance and extraordinary value for customers, communities, and investors; detailed the industry’s clean energy leadership; and outlined EEI’s 2020 policy priorities.

“The electric power industry’s dramatic reductions in carbon emissions, broad deployment of renewables and smarter energy infrastructure, and the physical and cybersecurity protections being implemented are three unmistakable examples of the enormous strides EEI’s members have made over the past decade,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.

​“The three main pillars that uphold our vision and guide our work remain in place,” he continued. “Maintaining the steady and strong transition to clean energy; modernizing the energy grid to make it more dynamic, more resilient, and more secure; and developing innovative customer solutions and delivering even greater convenience and a better customer experience.

"Our goal is to give our customers an energy future that is cleaner, smarter, and stronger than any they have known before."

“The story we are so proud to tell about our ongoing transformation is better than ever, and we are excited about the opportunities before us to advocate for policies that ensure safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy for our customers today and long into the future.”


Find more on EEI's Wall Street web page, including prepared remarks​ and the full presentation.



News From the Hill
News From the Hill
Highlighting the Vital Importance of Funding LIHEAP

​During LIHEAP Action Day—February 26—and all year long, EEI and our member companies work with the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition to urge lawmakers to ensure that LIHEAP (the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, a vital safety-net program) receives the necessary appropriations to help millions of vulnerable Americans.

​LIHEAP recipients are among America’s most vulnerable residents.

​​To help the millions of American families who struggle to afford basic necessities, EEI’s member companies contribute millions of dollars every year to energy assistance programs and to support home weatherization. Despite their efforts, the need for energy assistance is immense, and EEI and our member companies strongly support LIHEAP, which helps struggling families avoid having to choose between energy and other essentials, like food or medicine.

LIHEAP recipients are among America’s most vulnerable residents: More than 90 percent of households receiving LIHEAP assistance include at least one person with a disability, a child under 18, a veteran, or a senior citizen.

LIHEAP funding is distributed 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, emergencies, and weatherization programs. LIHEAP is desperately needed, yet inadequate funding means that only 5.8 million households—less than 1 in 4 of those eligible—receive the help they need. Further, unlike some federal assistance programs like Social Security or food stamps that see their funding increase with need, funding for this essential, widely supported program must be appropriated annually by Congress.

Read more on EEI's website​​.​

Happening Now
Happening Now
Celebrating Black History Month

​Each February, EEI and our member companies celebrate Black History Month. This year, EEI continued its trailblazer series to highlight African American who have helped shape and advance the electric power industry throughout their careers. For example, Granville Woods (pictured above), who was known as “the Black Edison,” registered nearly 60 patents in his lifetime, including a telephone transmitter, a trolley wheel, and the multiplex telegraph. Find more stories like Woods’ on EEI’s Delivering the Future website​.

Driving Innovation
Driving Innovation
EEI Joins Customer, Environmental Groups to Support Electric Transportation

​Electric companies are partnering with many stakeholders to support the growth of electric transportation and to provide needed charging infrastructure in cities and communities across the country. To support and advance these strategic partnerships, EEI has joined the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, National Consumer Law Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Sierra Club on a statement supporting transportation electrification and outlining actions by electric companies to accelerate it. 

The statement explains how electric company involvement can and must deliver benefits to all customers, particularly those in communities most impacted by air pollution and those facing burdensome household energy costs. The statement was presented and discussed during a breakfast briefing held by the Institute for Electric Innovation on the sidelines of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ winter policy summit.

The joint statement notes: “Numerous independent studies conclude that transportation electrification can provide widespread benefits to all utility customers, the environment, and public health; and there is a need for appropriate electric company involvement to accelerate transportation electrification and to ensure that it provides benefits to all customers.” It also presents principles that should inform an electric company effort in supporting transportation electrification. 

Read more​.

In Case You Missed It
In Case You Missed It
Securing the Energy Grid Takes Policies and People

"EEI’s member companies are uniquely capable of providing resilient services across the energy delivery landscape," Chris Crane, EEI chairman and Exelon Corporation president and CEO, writes in Electric Perspectives​

"Electric companies have decades of experience in building, owning, operating, protecting, and restoring the grid, while serving as critical infrastructure providers, national security partners, and first responders. The foundation and experience are there, and we are developing more capabilities every day. The other essential factor, however, is public policy support and funding for our investments in hardening the grid."

Read more.

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Company Spotlight
Company Spotlight
Southern Company Announces $50 Million for HCBU Students

​To support students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), Southern Company and its subsidiaries have announced a $50-million multi-year plan that will provide scholarships, internships, leadership development, and access to technology and innovation to support career readiness. The initiative will support students attending select HBCUs within Southern Company’s service territory across Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.​

“This investment is a statement of our belief that America needs these HBCU graduates in order to ensure a thriving economy for generations to come,” said Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO, Southern Company. “We invite others to partner with us to create the scholarships, internships, and opportunities to train the leaders of tomorrow.”

HBCUs have a longstanding tradition of graduating compelling and impactful leaders. Founded before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, HBCUs were created primarily to provide African Americans with high-quality education and skills development when laws and policies barred them from many colleges and universities.

As a result, HBCUs have become incubators for innovative and bold leadership, with a rich legacy of including pioneering leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Morehouse College); Alice Walker (Spelman College); George Washington Carver (Tuskegee Institute); and many others.

“This investment is a statement of our belief that America needs these HBCU graduates in order to ensure a thriving economy for generations to come."
Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO, Southern Company​

Southern Company’s HBCU initiative is envisioned as a leadership development platform. It seeks to provide funding for programs that address four priorities necessary for producing HBCU graduates who are ready to become innovative leaders:

  • ​Provide scholarships to ensure talented students can complete college;
  • Equip HBCU students with access to new technologies and train them to solve real-world problems;
  • Expose HBCU students to curricula, mentoring, and pathways to funding that increase their access to entrepreneurship; and
  • Develop a corporate pipeline for leadership and career development, beginning with internships provided by Southern Company and other corporate partners that create avenues to prosperity.

The company will announce more details of its competitive plan by May 1 and expects that the first round of funding will be awarded in time for the academic year beginning in fall 2021.


What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Design Thinking: A Human-Centered Approach to Solving Customer Problems in the Energy World

​​"In contrast to the widespread attention paid to the many ways in which new technologies are affecting the electric power industry, often overlooked are the associated major shifts in customer attitudes and expectations. The good news is that electric company CEOs and other leaders are focused on the need for a customer-centric strategy; the bad news is that it is difficult to learn how actually to become customer-centric," writes Bill LeBlanc, chief instigation agent, E Source, in Electric Perspectives. "Enter design thinking, an approach to customer-first innovation with roots in technology companies such as Apple, IBM, Amazon, and Airbnb that now is common among service industries."

Read more​.

Sponsored Content
EPRI's Electrification 2020 Conference

​The Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI's) Electrification 2020 International Conference and Exposition will bring together stakeholders across industry sectors for vital conversations on accelerating the use of electrification technologies, from transportation to industrial processes, smart home applications, and many more. 

The event will be held April 6-9, 2020, in Charlotte. Electrification 2020 will help to develop partnerships by connecting and sharing ideas with leaders from multiple industry segments. Learn more and register today​

In the News
In the News
Highlighting Opportunities in Energy Through National Engineers Week

​Nearly every electric company relies on engineers to develop innovative improvements to the energy grid and create more efficient ways to generate, transmit, and use energy. During National Engineers Week earlier this month, EEI and our member companies worked together to celebrate the vital contributions that engineers make every day to providing the safe, reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean energy that electricity customers need. They also highlighted the tremendous opportunities open to engineers in the electric power industry. 

As the electric power industry leads a profound transformation of the nation’s energy, engineers are a key foundation for delivering the clean energy future that customers want and expect. EEI is a partner in the Center for Energy Workforce Development (CEWD), a nonprofit consortium of electric, natural gas, and nuclear companies, their associations, contractors, and unions, formed in 2006 to focus on the need to build a skilled workforce pipeline to meet future industry needs. CEWD’s Get Into Energy career website​ showcases numerous pathways open to engineers in today’s energy industry.