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June 2020

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L to R: Fowke, Anderson, Baxter, Pizarro.
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EEI Elects New Leadership

On June 9, EEI’s Board of Directors elected Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy, to serve as EEI Chairman for the 2020-2021 cycle. EEI's Board also elected three vice chairmen: Gerry Anderson, executive chairman, DTE Energy; Warner Baxter, chairman, president, and CEO, Ameren Corporation; and Pedro Pizarro, president and CEO, Edison International. 

“Ben, who previously served as an EEI vice chairman, is a tremendous leader for our industry, and I am looking forward to continuing our work to advance our industry’s clean energy goals, while at the same time helping our customers and our member companies recover from the coronavirus pandemic,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Ben also is committed to finding solutions for racial injustice."

"Now more than ever, our customers and our communities are dependent on the reliable and affordable energy that America’s electric companies provide, and our industry will play a critical role in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic."
—EEI Chairman Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO, Xcel Energy

Kuhn also praised the vice chairs who will support Fowke as part of the leadership team: “Gerry is a champion for our industry, and we are fortunate to have him continue serving as a vice chairman. We also are excited to welcome Warner and Pedro to the EEI leadership team. This is an extremely talented group of leaders, all of whom are committed to delivering a smarter, stronger, and more secure energy future for the customers and communities we serve.”

Kuhn thanked the outgoing EEI Chairman Chris Crane, president and CEO, Exelon Corporation: “On behalf of the entire EEI team, I extend our thanks to Chris Crane for his dedication and leadership as EEI chairman. Chris’ focus on resilience, which we define as the ability to prepare, adapt, withstand, and rapidly recover from difficult and changing conditions, helped our industry respond quickly and effectively when the COVID-19 pandemic threat emerged, and will help EEI’s members to be better prepared for all threats to operations. He also set us on a path to continue deepening our industry’s workforce development activities.” 

(Read an interview with Crane in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives​.)

“Now more than ever, our customers and our communities are dependent on the reliable and affordable energy that America’s electric companies provide, and our industry will play a critical role in the nation’s recovery from the pandemic,” said Fowke. “This industry must also play a role in finding solutions for racial inequity with ongoing dialogue on how we can make a difference. Despite all the uncertainties right now, our commitment to clean energy remains clear.”

This year’s annual EEI board meeting, where the new board members were announced, was held virtually for the first time. 

Read more in EEI’s press release​.​

Industry in Action
Industry in Action
America's Electric Companies Speak Out Against Racial Intolerance, Reinforce Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

​On behalf of America’s investor-owned electric companies, EEI President Tom Kuhn issued the following statement on June 2: “Recent events across our nation remind us, yet again, of how racial discrimination and intolerance continue to divide our nation. We are deeply saddened and dismayed by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. We also are watching the protests and civil unrest unfolding across our country with heavy hearts, and, while we do not condone the violence, we understand the anger.​

"We believe that having a diverse and inclusive workforce that mirrors the communities we serve benefits our customers, our employees, and our businesses."
—EEI President Tom Kuhn

​“In this time of national division, we remain united in our commitment to foster a culture of diversity, respect, and inclusion in our companies and in the communities in which we live and serve. This culture of diversity and inclusion demands that we reject racism, bigotry, and hatred in every form and at every turn, as they have no place in our society.

“We are an industry with a long-standing and strong commitment to serving our customers and supporting our communities. We believe that having a diverse and inclusive workforce that mirrors the communities we serve benefits our customers, our employees, and our businesses. We also believe that a diverse workforce and diversity of thought are critical to delivering the energy solutions our customers need and expect, today and for generations to come.

“While we have made great progress in advancing diversity and inclusion within our industry, we recognize that we can—and we must—do more. At the same time, we must come together as a nation to address the problems that have plagued our communities and our country for so long, acknowledge the pain of the Black community, and work together to find solutions.

“We all have the power—individually and collectively—to effect change and to engage in the process of healing.”

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
#PoweringThruTogether—Electric Companies Respond to the Global Pandemic

​The COVID-19 pandemic has altered nearly every facet of normal life and continues to impact the U.S. and the world. The pandemic also has reinforced the value of electricity in our society. 

Like they do in every crisis, EEI's member companies—America's investor-owned electric companies—have stepped up to the plate with courage, conviction, and compassion. Throughout the pandemic, our industry has remained steadfast in our mission—to deliver the reliable, affordable, and secure energy our customers need and expect.

How EEI's member companies have responded to the pandemic—ensuring the safety of customers, crews, and communities, while keeping the lights on—is the focus of a special issue of EEI's Electric Perspectives magazine

In this issue:

​Find much more EP content on EEI's website.

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In the News
In the News
EEI Unveils Electric Company Carbon Emissions and Resource Mix Reporting Database for Corporate Customers

A new reporting database released by EEI on June 18 provides national corporate customers access to consistent, timely, and easily accessible carbon emissions intensity rates for delivered electricity. Corporate customers can use this information to demonstrate and validate their own emissions reduction commitments.

“This new centralized resource supports corporate customers in their sustainability reporting, reaffirms our industry’s ongoing rapid transformation to reduce carbon emissions, and demonstrates how our clean energy transformation benefits customers,” said Lisa Wood, EEI vice president, customer solutions.

Collectively, EEI’s member companies are on a path to reduce carbon emissions at least 80 percent by 2050, compared with 2005 levels. Increasingly, multi-site, multi-state corporate customers also are focused on their own sustainability goals and have looked to electric companies to provide consistent and timely access to emissions data for “Scope 2” reporting. 

EEI collaborated with its member companies, corporate customers, and the World Resources Institute (WRI) to develop this carbon emissions reporting template. Consistent accounting adjustments are made for renewable energy certificates and green power subscription programs. The reporting template also includes the energy resource mix for delivered electricity by each operating company.

“This is an important resource for enabling electricity customers to track progress toward their greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Lori Bird, U.S. energy director at WRI. “Having utility data in a single repository and standardized format that accounts for customer purchases and renewable energy transactions is an important step toward improved data access, transparency, and accounting. A template like this will undoubtedly enable customers and electric companies to work more effectively together toward a clean energy future.” 

Kara Hurst, vice president of sustainability at Amazon, lauded the partnership: “As a signatory to The Climate Pledge, we’re committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement 10 years early and reaching net zero carbon across Amazon by 2040. We really appreciate the partnership with EEI members on this project, our renewable energy program, and our electric transportation program. Having granular, accurate, consistent, and timely data from our utility partners is an important component to reaching this goal.”

At this stage, the database includes carbon emissions intensity rates for about half of EEI’s member companies, representing approximately 43 percent of total 2019 U.S. electricity sales.

Read more in EEI’s press release.​

Giving Back
Giving Back
EEI Member Companies Help Their Customers and Communities

​Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, EEI’s member companies have been a bedrock of support for their customers and communities in need.

As of June 8, EEI member companies have donated nearly $70 million to charities and community organizations for COVID-19 relief and other urgent needs. They also continue to contribute vast supplies of personal protective equipment and other critical materials to health care workers and first responders; support employees who volunteer their time to help meet community needs; and provide relief for customers—including low-income families and small businesses—who are struggling financially.

Learn more in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.​

Money Matters
Money Matters
2019 Financial Review Demonstrates Continued Strong Performance

​EEI’s member companies are committed to providing the safe, reliable, affordable, and clean energy that is critical to powering America’s economy, and our membership is central to driving jobs and prosperity across the country. The industry’s strong financial performance benefits customers as well as employees and shareholders. EEI’s 2019 Financial Review highlights and documents the financial strength of the investor-owned electric power industry and underscores the magnitude of the investments EEI’s member companies are making to benefit the customers and communities they serve. 

Key data from the 2019 Financial Review illustrate strong performance. The industry’s average credit rating was BBB+ for the sixth straight year in 2019, after increasing from the BBB average that previously had held since 2004. This improved credit quality greatly supports the continued level of elevated capital expenditures, which for the eighth consecutive year set another record high—$124.1 billion in 2019. Strong dividend yields and widespread dividend increases continue to support electric company stocks. The industry’s average dividend yield at the end of 2019 stood at 3.0 percent, and 39 of the 40 companies in the EEI Index increased their dividend last year. 

Find more in the 2019 Financial Review​ on EEI’s website.

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Safety Focus
Safety Focus
Stay Safe While You Celebrate This Fourth of July

​For many Americans, celebrating Independence Day is not complete without fireworks. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many public fireworks displays are being cancelled, c​ausing some to plan for fireworks shows at home. 

It’s important to remember that fireworks, while festive, also can be dangerous. In 2019, fireworks were involved in at least 10,000 injuries​ treated at U.S. hospitals, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 

Safety is at the forefront of everything EEI and its member companies do. Here are three tips to help keep your Fourth of July safe:

  • Handle all fireworks carefully. Even small fireworks, like sparklers, burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Always use fireworks in an open area away from power lines. If a power line gets hit by a stray firework or catches fire, immediately call 9-1-1 and your local electric company.
  • Never use fireworks near dry grass or brush, or anything else that is flammable. Wildfire season is underway, and fireworks can quickly spark a wildfire that causes damage, injuries, and widespread power outages. 

For more safety tips, visit the CPSC website

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