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September 2020

Leading by Example
Leading by Example
EEI Member Companies Collectively on Track to Electrify More Than One-Third of Their Fleet Vehicles by 2030

All across America, EEI’s member companies—the nation’s investor-owned electric companies—are leading a clean energy transformation. Collectively, they are committed to getting the energy they provide as clean as they can as fast as they can, and already have reduced their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions approximately 45 percent below 2005 levels while keeping electricity reliable and affordable for customers. 

Nearly 40 percent of U.S. power generation now comes from carbon-free sources, and EEI’s member companies are charting clear paths forward that will leverage this growth in clean energy to help achieve deep carbon reductions in the transportation sector, which is the largest domestic source of CO2 emissions. 

“Carbon emissions in the power sector are at their lowest level in more than 30 years, and they continue to fall,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “As the transportation sector increasingly electrifies, it is also getting cleaner. This week is National Drive Electric Week, which provides an opportunity to celebrate the clean energy progress that we have made, while spotlighting the new technologies and corporate commitments that are leading us forward.” 

In 2014, EEI's member companies committed to invest at least 5 percent of their annual vehicle fleet budgets in plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) and technologies. This target quickly was eclipsed, with participating members investing 10 percent of their total budgets on average by 2015. In every year since, companies consistently have met or exceeded the investment target.

Building on this early success, more than 70 percent of EEI member companies—serving more than 200 million U.S. customers—already have made new fleet electrification commitments. Collectively, these new goals put EEI’s member companies on track to electrify more than one-third of their total fleets by 2030, including two-thirds of the passenger vehicles in their fleets. 

“As an industry, it is critical that we lead by example, and our collective commitments to electrify our fleets both show our customers the path to clean transportation and send a clear message to the automakers that our industry—and many others—are committed to an electric vehicle future,” said Pedro Pizarro, Edison International President and CEO and co-chair of EEI’s CEO task force on electric transportation.

Many company announcements also include targets for electrifying medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, which make up about 5 percent of all vehicles on U.S. roads but contribute 28 percent of all vehicle greenhouse gas emissions. Most vehicles in EEI member company fleets are work trucks. When these trucks are electrified, workers can operate bucket lifts, digger derricks, and work lights without idling the engine.

“Auto Innovators’ members are leading the way in advancing technologies for vehicle electrification,” said Alliance for Automotive Innovation President and CEO John Bozzella. “Our members offer more than 40 electric models, and that number is expected to more than triple by 2025. But putting EVs on the market is just part of the equation. Fleet purchasing commitments, such as these, are key to increasing consumer awareness, boosting market penetration, and aligning demand with the need for more charging infrastructure.”

Today, the largest challenge facing the EV market is the charging infrastructure needed to support market growth, not the energy grid that powers that infrastructure. A report from EEI and the Institute for Electric Innovation predicts that, by 2030, U.S. EV sales will exceed 3.5 million per year and that 18.7 million passenger EVs will be on U.S. roads, requiring about 9.6 million charging stations. Electric companies are partnering with many stakeholders to support the growth of EVs and to provide the needed charging infrastructure in cities and communities across the country.

“Electric vehicles improve air quality at work sites and in our local communities, and building out the charging infrastructure needed to electrify the transportation sector creates new job opportunities for our highly skilled workforce,” said International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International President Lonnie Stephenson. 

As of the end of August 2020, EEI’s member companies are investing more than $2.6 billion in customer programs and projects to deploy charging infrastructure and to accelerate electric transportation. Investments from all stakeholders—including electric companies, automakers, charging network providers, and others—are growing, and driving transportation electrification forward.

“EEI’s member companies are leading by example as they invest in the EVs, charging infrastructure, and technologies that will enable them to greatly reduce carbon emissions from their own vehicle fleets,” said Kuhn. “Across the country, electric companies already are transferring the lessons from their own experiences to help customers large and small develop the charging infrastructure they need to deploy EV fleets that will reduce costs and carbon emissions. This is a win-win for vehicle owners and for the environment.”

​Find key facts about the benefits of electrifying transportation in EEI's factsheet​. Learn more about our member companies' commitment to electrifying their fleets on EEI's website​.

EEI 2020: A Virtual Leadership Summit
EEI 2020: A Virtual Leadership Summit
Top Industry Leaders Discuss Challenges, Opportunities

​EEI 2020, EEI's first major virtual conference, brought together leading industry CEOs, thought leaders, policymakers, and partners for two days of dynamic keynotes, cutting-edge breakout content, and stimulating dialogue. Recorded sessions will be available online​ until October 11, 2020. Complimentary registration is required for access.

Visit our website​ to find highlights from EEI 2020:

  • The pandemic—and our industry's response to it—was front and center during EEI 2020. EEI Chairman Ben Fowke, chairman and CEO of Xcel Energy, moderated a keynote conversation with top company executives including Consolidated Edison Chairman, President, and CEO John McAvoy; Portland General Electric President and CEO Maria Pope; Pinnacle West Capital Corporation Chairman, President, and CEO Jeffrey Guldner; and PECO President and CEO Mike Innocenzo.
  • EEI's member companies have made significant strides in clean energy, sharply reducing their carbon emissions while steadily integrating more renewables into the energy grid. IHS CERAWeek Chairman Daniel Yergin moderated a fascinating dialogue on the clean energy transformation being led by EEI's member companies, with insights from EEI Vice Chairman Gerry Anderson, executive chairman of DTE Energy; Natural Resources Defense Council President Gina McCarthy; Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp; and Energy Futures Initiative President Ernest Moniz.
  • EEI Executive Vice President of Public Policy and External Affairs Brian Wolff engaged in a fascinating discussion of the upcoming elections, the impact COVID-19 may have on voters, and the current political climate with two renowned political strategists: Jennifer Palmieri, a seasoned political communicator and strategist who has advised both former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and Karl Rove, the influential adviser and strategist for former President George W. Bush.
  • The CEO roundtable—a traditional highlight of EEI's annual conference—was a lively and wide-ranging salon conversation touching on all the top issues on the industry’s landscape featuring EEI Chairman Ben Fowke (chairman and CEO, Xcel Energy), together with EEI Vice Chairs Gerry Anderson (executive chairman, DTE Energy); Warner Baxter (chairman, president, and CEO, Ameren); and Pedro Pizarro (president and CEO, Edison International). The discussion was moderated by Chris Crane, president and CEO, Exelon Corporation, and EEI’s immediate past chairman.
  • EEI 2020 attendees tailored their own educational experiences around four separate tracks that offered world-class learning opportunities focusing on clean energy, the customer experience, smarter infrastructure, and what's next for the electric power industry. 

In the News
Photo: Southern Company Chairman, President, and CEO Tom Fanning accepts the 92nd Edison Award.
In the News
EEI Presents 2020 Edison Awards

​During EEI 2020, the 92nd Edison Award was presented to Southern Company. EEI also presented ATCO and Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité (CIE) with the International Edison Award.

The Edison Award—the electric power industry’s most prestigious honor, presented annually and judged by a panel of former industry executives—recognizes distinguished leadership, innovation, and contributions to the advancement of the electric power industry.

Southern Company was selected for its energy storage system initiatives, including the development, commissioning, and operation of the Energy Storage Research Center (ESRC). The Birmingham, AL, facility serves as an industry-wide destination for battery energy storage technology testing, evaluation, and large-scale demonstration. Additionally, the ESRC forms the anchor for several other Southern Company energy storage R&D initiatives that achieved key milestones in 2019, such as the Georgia Power and Alabama Power Smart Neighborhoods.

“EEI member companies continue to integrate clean energy technologies, such as energy storage, that will help pave the way for the future of our industry,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. 

“As we prepare Southern Company to succeed in the transition to a net-zero carbon future, our many energy storage R&D initiatives—including the Energy Storage Research Center, Georgia Power and Alabama Power Smart Neighborhoods, and other pilot demonstrations—are advancing energy storage as an effective, technically viable energy solution,” said Southern Company Chairman, President, and CEO Tom Fanning. Learn more in EEI's press release​.

ATCO received the 2020 International Edison Award for developing state-of-the-art energy infrastructure in North America, and for pioneering models for consultation and engagement, long-term relationships, and reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Alberta PowerLine, a partnership between ATCO subsidiary Canadian Utilities Limited and Quanta Services, built the Fort McMurray West 500-kilovolt (kV) Transmission Project in northern Alberta, Canada. Spanning 508 kilometers (316 miles), the project is the longest 500-kV AC transmission line in Canada.

“ATCO did a tremendous job engaging with local communities and landowners as they worked to develop this new transmission line, which has enhanced reliability for all of ATCO’s customers,” said Kuhn. 

“Alberta PowerLine and the Fort McMurray West 500-kV Transmission Project represent much more than critical energy infrastructure,” said Siegfried Kiefer, president and CEO, Canadian Utilities. “It is a success story of industry and Indigenous Peoples working together to develop world-class energy infrastructure that benefits customers and communities alike. We are very proud of everything that our partnerships with local communities have accomplished and are humbled—on behalf of all involved—to be selected for the prestigious Edison Award.”

CIE was awarded the 2020 International Edison Award for its analysis of Côte d'Ivoire’s low rate of access to electricity, which in 2013 was 26 percent. As a result, CIE proposed the “Electricity For All” program, known locally as “Electricité Pour Tous” or “PEPT,” to address the principal barriers for customers and to accelerate access to electricity for the most vulnerable population. The program was adopted by the government and launched in 2014, and, by 2019, access to reliable electricity had nearly doubled to 50 percent.

“CIE’s commitment to bringing electricity to the people of Côte d'Ivoire truly is inspiring,” said Kuhn. “While we all appreciate the innovative energy solutions being utilized, it is impossible to overstate just how impactful these investments are for the customers who are receiving electricity service for the very first time.” 

“It is an honor for our staff to be highlighted among our peers on a global stage,” said CIE CEO Ahmadou Bakyoko. “I am proud to receive this International Edison Award, which comes as a testimony of the results of our company in close cooperation with the government of Côte d’Ivoire.” Read more in EEI's press release.​


Issue In Focus
Issue In Focus
EEI's Member Companies Are Leading on Clean Energy

EEI's membership is delivering America's energy future by leading a profound clean energy transformation. We are united in our commitment to get the energy we provide as clean as we can, as fast as we can, while keeping customer reliability front and center as always. Overall, carbon emissions from the electric power sector are at their lowest level since 1987. And, collectively, EEI’s member companies are on a path to reduce carbon emissions at least 80 percent by 2050, compared with peak levels in 2005.

EEI once again was a proud sponsor of National Clean Energy Week (September 21-25), which highlighted our members' leadership and the public policies needed to continue to deliver the clean energy future our customers expect. EEI General Counsel Emily Fisher and Scott Aaronson, EEI vice president of security and preparedness, participated in the event's virtual Policy Makers Symposium. 

"As of the end of 2019, EEI’s member companies have reduced their carbon emissions 45 percent below their 2005 levels," Fisher noted. "We're taking a close look at what technologies are nascent.... We're trying to look closely now at what technologies need to be developed and where resources need to be spent now, so that when we get to 2035 or 2040, we have all of the tools we need in the toolbox."

Aaronson and his fellow panelists explored how a holistic approach to energy grid modernization and grid security is key to ensuring resilience and reliability, as well as to integrate more clean energy resource. "Electric companies... serve as an important platform to enable the development and deployment of clean, distributed resources and clean energy [as well as] resilience," Aaronson explained.

Learn more about our membership's clean energy vision on EEI's website​, which includes a new interactive map highlighting EEI member company clean energy commitments and projects. ​


Midad

#PoweringThruTogether
Photo courtesy Gulf Power.
#PoweringThruTogether
Electric Companies Respond to Wildfires, Hurricane Sally

D​espite the extraordinary challenges and devastation caused by Mother Nature across the country, EEI’s member companies are continuing to power through together for their customers and communities. Earlier this month, Hurricane Sally, a Category 2 storm, brought high winds, heavy rains, and extensive flooding to parts of Alabama, Georgia, and the panhandle of Florida.

More than 11,000 industry workers were dedicated to the Sally restoration mission. As with every event, crews worked safely and as efficiently as possible to restore power for customers.

Additionally, electric companies across the West continue to confront devastating wildfires exacerbated by high winds and extremely dry conditions. As the 2020 storm and wildfire seasons continue, EEI and our member companies are closely monitoring the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific for signs of tropical storm development, as well as dangerous wildfire conditions across the West. Throughout the industry’s response to these challenges, crews continue to follow additional protocols designed to keep them safe and healthy, given the COVID-19 pandemic.

We salute the dedicated and courageous men and women of our industry who work tirelessly to restore power and to keep the lights on throughout the many challenges they have faced this year. EEI and our member companies are united in our commitment to serve our customers and communities, no matter the challenge.​


What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Prevent, Prepare, Partner, and Respond: Electric Companies Confront Wildfires

​More frequent and more destructive wildfires, often attributed to changing climate conditions, have electric company leaders turning to technology, data analysis, and increased collaboration in search of improved ways to prevent and to manage their occurrence. Read more in the latest issue of ​Electric Perspectives​


#EnergyToVote
#EnergyToVote
EEI Launches Voter Resources Website

​As voters prepare to cast their ballots, it’s essential for them to be aware of candidates, deadlines, and registration information; early, absentee, and mail-in voting rules; polling locations; and other details specific to their jurisdictions. All of this is available through EEI’s newly relaunched Get Out the Vote website, EEIvotes.org​. This website is just one of the ways that EEI is helping to drive civic engagement and political dialogue in the runup to Election Day. Every vote counts, and our industry is encouraging every voter to use their #EnergyToVote this year.

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