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EEI Energy Talk  
May 2019

Top Story
Top Story
Smarter Energy Infrastructure Powers America's Homes and Businesses

Throughout May's National Infrastructure Week, EEI and our member companies showcased the critical importance of energy infrastructure for the nation's prosperity and security. Each year, EEI's member companies invest more than $100 billion to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure; to diversify the nation’s energy mix; and to integrate new technologies that benefit customers. ​

The energy grid is vital to the life, health, and safety of all Americans, and it is critical to powering our economy and way of life. In 2018, for the seventh consecutive year, EEI's member companies made record-high capital expenditures, investing $119.5 billion to ensure that customers have the reliable, affordable, secure, and increasingly clean energy they need. EEI’s member companies have invested nearly $1 trillion in smarter energy infrastructure in the last decade.

These investments are crucial to delivering the energy future that customers want, and they underscore the critical role that electric companies play in the prosperity of every state and community in the nation. As an industry, we support more than 7 million jobs across the country—about 1 out of every 20 jobs. We are responsible for $865 billion of our nation’s GDP—about 5 percent.

Learn more in EEI's infographic​. Read more from EEI Executive Vice President Brian Wolff​.

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
EEI's Tom Kuhn on Building for Tomorrow

Since 2016, the transportation sector has been the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Transportation electrification provides an opportunity to leverage the significant reductions in power sector emissions to achieve reductions in transportation sector emissions. 

EEI President Tom Kuhn outlined the importance of modernizing federal transportation programs to encourage investments in electric transportation and charging infrastructure in a recent op-ed in Inside Sources: "EEI’s member companies already are investing more than $1 billion in the charging infrastructure needed to power the more than 1.1 million EVs on U.S. roads today—a number projected to reach nearly 19 million by 2030.

"It is vital that we advance public policies that support the substantial investments companies are making to drive this transformation. EEI and our member companies support legislation like the Driving America Forward Act, which will help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the transportation sector by expanding the existing electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell tax credits that our customers support.

"We thank Senators Debbie Stabenow, Lamar Alexander, Gary Peters, and Susan Collins and Congressman Dan Kildee for introducing this strongly supported bipartisan legislation. We also support bills introduced in both the Senate and the House that would establish a $3-billion grant program to provide funding to states and communities for the installation of EV charging infrastructure along highways."

Read more.

News From the Hill
News From the Hill
Grid Innovation Expo Showcases Innovative Projects and Technologies

​On May 21, the U.S. House of Representatives Grid Innovation Caucus hosted the second Grid Innovation Expo on Capitol Hill to highlight how electric companies and manufacturers are deploying smarter energy infrastructure, including electric vehicle charging, energy storage, microgrids, advanced meters, smart communities, and more. ​The expo, which was supported by EEI, GridWise Alliance, and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), also highlighted the many customer benefits that come from making the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure. ​

Exhibitors, which included ABB, CenterPoint Energy, Duke Energy, Eaton, Hitachi, Itron, Landis+Gyr, National Grid, Pepco, Qubitekk, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Siemens, and Southern California Edison,​ showcased a wide range of modern energy technology solutions.

EEI President Tom Kuhn addressed expo attendees: "Smarter energy infrastructure is key to giving customers the energy solutions they want. The companies here today represent the progress that’s being made, and they capture the benefits of industries partnering together. We look forward to working with Congress on advancing policies to improve our nation’s infrastructure."

Photo (L to R): GridWise Alliance CEO Steve Hauser; EEI President Tom Kuhn; U.S. Representative Jerry McNerney (D-CA); U.S. Representative Bob Latta (R-OH); NEMA President and CEO Kevin Cosgriff.

Customer Relationships
Customer Relationships
Exelon Utilities' Anne Pramaggiore on the Road to Reinvention

​"The world is moving from a mechanically-driven, industrial, and product-focused economy to a digital service economy where the experience, the outcome, and the customer reign supreme," Anne Pramaggiore, senior executive vice president and CEO, Exelon Utilities, writes in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives. "In short, today’s customer is more interested in the convenience and flexibility of Uber than owning what is coming off auto assembly lines.

"From a fossil-fueled, gritty world, to one fueled by the energy industry’s shift to cleaner and more varied energy sources, electric companies are shifting from a low engagement, single-line, 'light-and-refrigerator' service, to a physical and economic ecosystem connecting virtually everything that matters in 21st century life, including communications, health care, and mobility."

Read more​.

Register Now
Register Now
EEI 2019 Kicks Off June 9

​Register now for EEI 2019​, the electric power industry's premier annual event, June 9-11 in Philadelphia. EEI 2019 will bring together top executives, policymakers, and industry partners for two days of thought leadership, networking, and engagement. The event features expanded breakout content, compelling keynotes, and abundant networking, and promises to expand your professional network while delivering innovative content from industry experts.

EEI 2019 will kick off with an opening general session featuring keynote remarks from Paul Ryan, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Reshma Saujani, noted author and founder and CEO, Girls Who Code. Ryan will offer policy insights gleaned from two decades of service in Congress, while Saujani will lead a conversation on closing the gender gap in technology. Later, renowned culinary innovator José Andrés will deliver a luncheon keynote on his dynamic vision and diverse projects aimed at making the world a better place through the power of food.

And, the latest can't-miss addition to the keynote speaker lineup at EEI 2019 is Rick Perry, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.

To explore all the major issues on the industry’s agenda, EEI 2019 will feature the ever-popular CEO Leadership Dialogue, featuring EEI Chairman Lynn Good, along with EEI Vice Chairmen Chris Crane and Ben Fowke. Their insightful discussion will be moderated by Daniel Yergin, one of the world’s foremost authorities on energy and the global economy, a bestselling author, and a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Between these general sessions, EEI 2019 offers an all-new set of learning tracks, allowing delegates to tailor their own educational experience and receive world-class learning opportunities focusing on clean energy, the customer experience, smarter energy infrastructure, and what's next for the electric power industry.

Find out more about all the opportunities at EEI 2019 and register today.

Be Prepared
Be Prepared
Get Ready Now for Hurricane Season

As the 2019 hurricane season gets underway, EEI and our member companies are urging customers to prepare now for hurricanes and other severe weather. Taking simple steps today to be ready for emergencies makes a difference if—and when—an emergency occurs. 

Always assume that downed power lines are energized and stay away. Learn what to include in your emergency outage kit, and read EEI's hurricane safety tips. EEI also has prepared safety tips for earthquakes, floods​, tornadoes, and wildfires. Visit your local electric company’s website for the latest updates and guidance on how to prepare for storms and other emergencies.

Beyond ensuring the safety of customers, communities, and crews, protecting the energy grid is the electric power industry's top priority.​ Learn about how power is restored after a storm​ and how electric companies work together through the industry's mutual assistance networks to restore power to customers.

Find more information in EEI's press release​.

Community Connections
Community Connections
DTE Energy's Mascot Nora Boosts Customer and Employee Engagement

​Things are looking pup at Michigan’s DTE Energy with the addition of a new team member—a year-old Labrador retriever named Nora. Nora is a certified therapy dog, and, while she isn’t skilled at forecasting models or cable splicing, she’s a natural at eliciting smiles and happiness everywhere she goes.

“We always are looking for ways to further engage with our customers and employees,” explained Paula Silver, DTE Energy corporate communications vice president. “Nora is already a celebrity among our employees. In the coming months, our customers will be getting to know her at DTE-sponsored events across the state.”

Nora works closely with DTE’s wellness team to help employees reduce stress and to encourage walks around the DTE campus. Externally, Nora was the face of a successful natural gas safety campaign, and she continues to be a popular feature on DTE’s social media platforms.

“The research is clear on the effect that a dog can have on the workplace and on social media engagement,” said Silver. “Our employees and our customers feel connected to Nora and are engaged in her journey with us.”

When she’s not in the office, Nora lives with Colleen Rosso, DTE corporate communications manager and Nora’s primary handler. When the workday is done, Nora does what other DTE team members do—she goes home to her family. Once she’s at home, she has a normal dog life: going for walks, playing with her canine brother—and just being a well-loved member of the family.

Follow Nora’s DTE adventures on Instagram at NoraAtDTE​.

Photo: Nora poses with DTE Energy Chairman and CEO Gerry Anderson.

Grid Security
Grid Security
EPRI's Michael Howard on Mitigating the EMP Threat

​"It should come as no surprise that protecting the energy grid from natural and man-made hazards is a top priority for the electric power industry," writes Dr. Michael Howard, president and CEO of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.

"One hazard that has become a concern for government and industry alike is the threat of an electromagnetic pulse, or EMP, created from the detonation of a nuclear weapon at high altitude or in space.

"Working closely with the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, EPRI led a three-year research program to better understand EMP risks and mitigation options. The program included more than 60 electric companies and several government entities with extensive expertise and knowledge of EMP, such as the U.S. Department of Energy, the three DOE nuclear weapons labs, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency."

Read more about the electric power industry's efforts to mitigate the EMP threat in EEI's factsheet.

Company Spotlight
Company Spotlight
SCE Helps Customers Add Commercial EV Charging

​Southern California Edison (SCE) has launched Charge Ready Transport, a program that aims to help customers electrify their fleets and add charging stations for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles (EVs) at a minimum of 870 commercial sites within the company's 50,000-square-mile service area. 

Charge Ready Transport has a particular focus on targeting vehicle electrification in communities that are most impacted by pollution from medium- and heavy-duty transportation. The $356-million program is modeled after SCE’s successful Charge Ready pilot for passenger cars, which the company plans to expand to provide infrastructure for 48,000 EV chargers at workplaces, schools, community centers, destination centers, and other locations where people park for extended periods of time. Through the new program, SCE plans to install infrastructure to support at least 8,490 industrial vehicles over a five-year period. For certain customers, such as school bus operators and transit agencies, the program also provides rebates to help with the purchase of charging stations.

“Clean transportation and clean energy are becoming inextricably linked, so much so, in fact, that electrifying transportation is central in our vision for a clean energy future,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president of corporate affairs for SCE and its parent Edison International. “Our vision calls for more than 7 million electric vehicles on California roads by 2030, but we need to electrify more than just passenger vehicles.”

Choi noted that the transportation sector has made tremendous progress, but it still accounts for half of California’s harmful greenhouse gas emissions when the refining of fuel is included, and more than 80 percent of the state’s air pollution.

Penske Truck Leasing is one company that has made headway in electrifying its fleet.

“Penske continues to build out its electric fleet and infrastructure in order to provide the most effective vehicle technologies to our customers,” said Andrew Cullen, senior vice president of fuels and facilities at Penske. “Incentive programs like Charge Ready Transport are going to be instrumental in helping shape the future of mobility, and we intend to support our utility partners in bringing these programs to market.”

The Pennsylvania-based company recently added 14 fast chargers at five of its Southern California locations. The fast chargers will support 20 heavy-duty Daimler trucks that Penske is putting into service this year in California and the Pacific Northwest. 

Charge Ready Transport is among a number of pilots and programs SCE is launching to advance electric transportation.

An earlier version of this story appeared on

Innovative Partnerships
Innovative Partnerships
Electric Companies Team Up With Cities on Smart Communities

​A new playbook published by EEI and the Smart Cities Council outlines how electric companies are partnering with the communities they serve to develop and deploy smart solutions that improve sustainability, improve quality of life, and more.

As A Collaboration Playbook for Smart Cities and Electric Companies ​notes: "In the last decade, electric companies have made significant investments in both physical assets and digital capabilities in order to make the energy grid smarter, stronger, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure. These investments are opportunities to be leveraged by cities so that they can integrate more infrastructure systems in the future." The study also indicates that electric companies' experience in delivering reliability, integrating new technologies that benefit customers, making long-term investments in the well-being of their communities, and providing reliable, affordable energy all make them ideal partners for cities exploring smart community programs.

The guide describes critical plays that successful partnerships between cities and electric companies use, including building a common vision for the future; focusing on solutions; and starting with achievable projects like electric vehicle charging, smart streetlights, disaster resiliency, and sustainability. It also features examples of electric companies and communities that have teamed up to deliver smart solutions for all.

Read the playbook​. Find out more about smart communities on EEI's website and in our factsheet.

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