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August 2021

Breaking News
Photo: Courtesy Entergy.
Breaking News
Hurricane Ida Makes Landfall in Louisiana
Ida made landfall in Louisiana yesterday afternoon as a strong Category 4 hurricane, bringing with her life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic wind damage, and heavy rainfall and flooding. While Ida has been downgraded to a tropical storm, the storm remains powerful and extremely dangerous as it continues to move northward.
 
As of 1:30 p.m. EDT, nearly 1.2 million electricity customers were without power as a result of Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi, with the bulk of the outages in Louisiana.* Our thoughts are with all those impacted by Hurricane Ida or currently in the storm's path. 

Electric companies in the path of Ida strategically pre-positioned equipment, resources, and mutual assistance workers from other states to assist in their storm response as conditions allow. Already, more than 25,000 workers from at least 32 states and the District of Columbia are mobilized to assist with restoration efforts when and where they can, provided it is safe to do so. Mutual assistance is a hallmark of the electric power industry. 

The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) is engaged to ensure unity of effort across the highest levels of industry and government. Strong industry-government coordination and cross-sector collaboration are critical. 

Assessing damage and restoring power may take several days or more in some areas. In some cases, power restoration will require rebuilding energy infrastructure. Flooding creates a unique and dangerous restoration environment and can delay initial assessment efforts. In the hardest-hit areas, search and rescue and life safety will be the top priority. Crews will not be able to use certain equipment, including bucket trucks, until high winds subside. 
 
Follow EEI on Facebook and Twitter and visit EEI's storm center for the latest information on the electric power industry's response to Hurricane Ida. 
 
*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
EEI Applauds Senate Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
On August 10, the U.S. Senate passed a $1-trillion infrastructure bill, which includes several provisions important to EEI member companies. EEI President Tom Kuhn commended the Senate for passing a broad, bipartisan infrastructure bill that would make significant investments in the critical energy infrastructure and the new, 24/7 carbon-free technologies needed to deliver a 100-percent clean energy future to the customers and communities we serve.

“This legislation would significantly boost research, development, demonstration, and deployment funding for these new clean energy technologies,” Kuhn said. “It also would provide a good down payment on the electric vehicle charging infrastructure and low/no-emission buses that we need to accelerate the electrification of the transportation sector, which currently is the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S. economy.” 
 
Among other key provisions, the infrastructure bill includes an additional $500 million in funding for LIHEAP, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. EEI and our member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—strongly support LIHEAP funding (see more below).

On August 24, the House passed a $3.5-trillion budget resolution and agreed to move forward with consideration of the infrastructure bill. House leaders have pledged to vote on the infrastructure package by September 27. EEI looks forward to working with both the House and the Senate to develop a final bill to send to the President’s desk that supports the transition to a carbon-free economy.

Happening Now
Happening Now
Be Prepared When Emergencies Strike
Extreme weather events like Hurricane Ida highlight the importance of being prepared if—and when—emergencies strike. EEI’s member companies constantly prepare for a wide variety of emergencies. So should you.
 
Taking common-sense steps today can make a vital difference tomorrow. During National Preparedness Month this September, EEI and our member companies will emphasize critical safety messages so that customers know what to do in the event of disasters, such as:
In addition, learn what to do in the event of a power outage and what you should include in an emergency outage kit.
 
Ready, the national public service campaign that educates Americans on how to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate emergencies, has designated the theme of this year’s campaign as “Prepare to Protect. Preparing for disasters is protecting everyone you love.” The campaign’s website, www.ready.gov, provides materials to help with planning.

Advocacy Activities
Advocacy Activities
Encouraging Lawmakers to Support LIHEAP
Millions of American families struggle to afford basic necessities. For these families, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a vital source of aid, helping them pay their energy bills and avoid having to choose between energy and other essentials, like food or medicine. Access to affordable energy is a matter of health and safety.

Throughout August—and all year long—EEI and our member companies have emphasized the importance of supporting LIHEAP, 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.

This August marks 40 years since LIHEAP was signed into law. 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.

EEI and the National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) are working together to advocate that Congress maintain—and increase—LIHEAP funding. Learn more about this vital program and its impact on American families in NEUAC’s LIHEAP Action Toolkit, which includes LIHEAP talking points and social media posts.

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Destination 2050—EEI’s Global Electrification Forum
In the current issue of Electric Perspectives, go inside EEI’s 5th annual Global Electrification Forum (GEF), which explored the pathways, inflection points, crossroads, and convergences of the top strategic issues affecting the global energy industry. Edited excerpts from the GEF’s fascinating conversations highlight the efforts of EEI member companies in the United States and around the world to build an energy future that is cleaner, smarter, and stronger for all customers.

Speakers and panelists at this year’s GEF included:
  • His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales;
  • The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, the 29th prime minister of Australia and author of A Bigger Picture;
  • The Hon. Hamadoun Touré, minister of communication and digital economy, Republic of Mali;
  • Roman Krznaric, public philosopher and author of The Good Ancestor;
  • And scores of top global energy executives, policymakers, and thought leaders.
Thought-provoking conversations at the GEF examined all the key issues confronting the global energy industry, from electrifying transportation and industry and enabling the clean energy future to sustaining transformational change and thriving in a post-COVID world. Read more.
 
Find videos of GEF sessions on the EEI international programs YouTube channel.

Powering Mobility
Powering Mobility
EEI Commends Biden Administration’s Light-Duty Vehicle Regulations
Recognizing that the transportation sector is the largest source of carbon emissions, President Biden issued an executive order in August to require half of all new vehicles sold in 2030 to be powered by electricity. The Administration also announced new vehicle emissions standards for light-duty vehicles.
 
These actions are part of broader Administration plans to fight climate change, make the United States a leader in electric vehicles, and reduce carbon emissions economy-wide. 
 
“EEI and our member companies are leading a clean energy transformation across the nation, and electrifying the transportation sector will be critical to delivering a carbon-free future to the customers and communities that we serve,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. 

Customer Connections
Customer Connections
Electric Companies Remind Customers to Dial 811 Before Digging
Safety is the electric power industry’s top priority. Each year, electric companies observe 8-1-1 Awareness Day on August 11, but they remind customers all year long of the importance of dialing 811 before beginning landscaping or other projects that require digging. When customers dial 811, they are connected to state “one call” centers that dispatch professional locators to mark the locations of underground power lines, wires, and pipes.

For more information on safe digging practices and procedures, visit www.call811.com.

In Case You Missed It
In Case You Missed It
Fighting Scammers
Electric companies are deploying every tool at their disposal to heighten public awareness of scammers and their methods and to save customers the harm and regret of having been duped into paying a scammer. Read how electric companies are working together to protect their customers in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.

Tune In
Tune In
Expanding and Enhancing the Transmission System Will Help Advance a Clean Energy Future
The transmission system is key to integrating more clean energy resources into the energy grid. It enhances the resilience of the grid, powers electric transportation, and facilitates the adoption of a broad array of smart technologies to better serve customers. EEI’s member companies are vital to transmission development, and, collectively, they invest more than $120 billion each year to make the energy grid stronger, smarter, cleaner, more dynamic, and more secure.  
 
Transmission development is a key priority for policymakers, clean energy advocates, and electric companies. In the latest episode of the Electric Perspectives Podcast, EEI Executive Vice President of the Business Operations Group and Regulatory Affairs Phil Moeller is joined by John Moore, Director of the Sustainable FERC Project in the Climate and Clean Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, to discuss how and why a holistic approach to transmission development is key to achieving clean energy goals.
 
Download the podcast now.

Industry Data
Industry Data
EEI Publishes Updated Statistical Yearbook
EEI has published an updated edition of the Statistical Yearbook of the Electric Power Industry. The Statistical Yearbook contains more than 120 data tables and charts with preliminary data for 2020, as well as more comprehensive data for 2019. 
 
Among the topics covered by charts and data in the Statistical Yearbook are generating capacity; annual average capacity factors by generation technology; net generation; retail sales, customers, and revenues; electricity usage; electric company operations and maintenance expenses; transmission pole miles; and extensive additional operational and financial data.
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