EEI Energy Talk  
BV top banner
September 2021

Top Story
Top Story
Driving Electric Transportation Forward 
This week, EEI celebrates National Drive Electric Week, which highlights the many environmental, economic, and customer benefits of electric transportation. Across the country, EEI member companies—America’s investor-owned electric companies—are partnering with communities and stakeholders to support the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) while continuing to invest in and build EV charging infrastructure. 
Among its many benefits, electric transportation improves local air quality and can help drive deep carbon reductions in the transportation sector—which is the largest domestic source of carbon emissions. Electric transportation also saves customers money: EV drivers spend the equivalent of about $1.21 per gallon, based on average residential electric rates, and they spend less in maintenance costs than traditional equivalents. 
Today, there are more than 2 million EVs on U.S. roads, and that number is projected to increase to 18.7 million EVs by 2030. To support this growth, EEI’s member companies are investing more than $3 billion in customer programs and projects to deploy charging infrastructure and to accelerate electric transportation. At the same time, communities and businesses increasingly are switching to electric for public transit vehicles, delivery vehicles, ride-sharing applications, ports, airports, and more.
Visit EEI’s electric transportation webpage and read EEI’s electric transportation fact sheet to learn more. Visit National Drive Electric Week’s website for more information about this year’s celebration of EVs.

News From the Hill
News From the Hill
EEI Strongly Supports Passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
EEI and our member companies strongly support passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which is pending in the House. This legislation contains provisions that are critical to advancing a clean energy economy, bolstering the security and resiliency of the energy grid, and expanding broadband access to more Americans.
Importantly, the bipartisan infrastructure agreement would invest billions of dollars in the resiliency, reliability, and security of the energy grid—all critical to strengthening the grid against hazards ranging from natural disasters to cyberattacks. 
Recognizing that getting to a 100 percent clean energy future requires new, affordable, 24/7, carbon-free technologies, the legislation also would boost funding for these technologies significantly. 

Earlier this year, EEI and our member companies joined environmental groups and other stakeholders to form the Carbon-Free Technology Initiative (CFTI), which advocates for new federal policies to stimulate commercialization of new carbon-free technologies. These include: 

•    Advanced wind and solar energy systems;
•    Long-duration storage and advanced demand efficiency;
•    Advanced, dispatchable, and renewable super hot rock deep geothermal;
•    Zero-carbon fuels, such as hydrogen;
•    Advanced nuclear energy (both fission and fusion); and
•    Carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
Learn more about CFTI in Electric Perspectives.
The infrastructure agreement also makes a good down payment on investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and low- or no-emissions buses. We urge Congress to increase these investments in future legislative vehicles, especially since the transportation sector is now the largest source of carbon emissions in the U.S. economy.
EEI also supports the agreement’s funding for middle-mile broadband. The pandemic has highlighted the nation’s digital divide and the critical importance of high-speed internet to our society. EEI’s member companies can play a key role in building out the middle-mile broadband infrastructure and working with internet service providers, which will build out the last mile to homes and businesses. Learn more in Electric Perspectives.
EEI looks forward to continuing to work with both houses of Congress to achieve important infrastructure and clean energy objectives.

In the News
In the News
EEI Member Companies Are #Committed2Clean
EEI’s member companies are delivering the clean energy future our customers want and expect.
In late September, EEI was proud to sponsor—and to participate in—many events related to National Clean Energy Week (NCEW) and Climate Week NYC
EEI Chairman Gerry Anderson, executive chairman of DTE Energy, delivered keynote remarks during NCEW’s virtual Policy Makers Symposium. “EEI’s members are contributing significant carbon reductions, and we have strong alignment in the industry to ensure that that continues,” Anderson said. “We believe that, with the proper policies and technologies in place, a net zero future can be more than a goal. It can be our reality.”
EEI also sponsored the International Emissions Trading Association’s (IETA's) North America Climate Summit, an official Climate Week NYC event. The program featured panels with leading political and business leaders, including Andrés Gluski, president and CEO, AES Corporation; Ralph Izzo, chairman, president, and CEO, Public Service Enterprise Group; and Mary Kipp, president and CEO, Puget Sound Energy. Learn more about IETA’s summit.
On Wednesday, Climate Week NYC hosted leading government and energy industry leaders for a discussion on green jobs in the clean energy transition. Speakers included EEI Vice Chairman Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International; U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm; U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland; Utility Workers Union of America National President James Slevin; and Climate Group CEO Helen Clarkson, among others. 

On Thursday, the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BSCE's) hosted "More Bang for the Buck: Investing in Mitigation and Resilience Together," a virtual Climate Week NYC discussion that included Brian Wolff, EEI executive vice president of public policy and external affairs. Learn more about BSCE's event.

Also on Thursday, EEI sponsored the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions’ Climate Week NYC panel, "The Path from Pledges to Progress: How Companies Are Working to Decarbonize Today to Meet the Ambition of Tomorrow." 
To learn more about NCEW and Climate Week NYC, read the latest issue of Energy Talk In Depth.

What We're Reading
What We're Reading
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Key to Our Clean Energy Future
“As the electric power industry moves toward a clean energy future, we cannot underestimate the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI),” writes EEI Vice Chairman Pedro J. Pizarro, president and CEO of Edison International, in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.
“Everyone who keeps the power flowing—from corporate boards and executive officers to those who work in offices and in the field—must reflect and represent equitably the customers and communities we serve. In a nutshell, DEI leads to better innovation, more creativity, greater collaboration, and improved financial performance.”

Community Connections
Photo courtesy PNM.
Community Connections
PNM Surprises Its Biggest Little Fan
In New Mexico, PNM’s biggest “little” fan and his fellow Cub Scouts received an exciting surprise from PNM employees earlier this month. 
Fifth-grader Callan can regularly be seen wearing his homemade PNM shirt and hard hat during Cub Scout activities. When he’s not doing Cub Scouts activities, he’s often playing in his mock PNM crew site in his backyard or talking about all things PNM. 

To the boy’s delight, a group of PNM employees, which had heard about their biggest fan, arrived at the Cub Scouts Pack 12 annual family picnic at Paradise Hills Park in New Mexico. 
“Callan loves our industry, which is really exciting for all of us at PNM, but most of all, he has a great spirit of caring. He is a sharp young man who lets his passions shine,” said Pat Vincent-Collawn, chairman, president, and CEO of PNM Resources.

In Case You Missed It
In Case You Missed It
Remembering 9/11
Those who lived through the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, remember where they were on that day. Twenty years later, those events are still fresh in the minds of electric power industry leaders. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, electric companies and their workers played a critical role in helping to restore normalcy and hope—the lessons learned continue to strengthen the industry's culture of resilience, safety, and service.
In the latest issue of Electric Perspectives, hear from electric power industry leaders about their experiences on that day and the impacts on the industry and public policy.

Now Playing
Now Playing
Exploring Electric Transportation and Emergency Response
The Electric Perspectives Podcast covers key issues related to the transformation being led by EEI’s member companies.
In our latest episode, “Driving Electric Transportation Forward,” EEI Director of Electric Transportation Kellen Schefter is joined by Kate Staples, manager of electrification at Dominion Energy; Dan Francis, director of customer solutions and policy at American Electric Power; and Matt Forck, vice president of community, economic development, and energy solutions at Ameren Corporation, to discuss how electric vehicles are driving the clean energy transformation while providing benefits to customers. Listen to the new episode here.
In another recent edition, StormGeo meteorologist Justin Petrutsas and former Entergy storm incident commander Greg Grillo discuss some of the challenges that electric company crews faced as they worked to restore power to customers impacted by Hurricane Ida. Listen to our “An Army of Lineworkers Restoring Power After Hurricane Ida” episode here.

Delivering the Future
Photo courtesy Duke Energy.
Delivering the Future
Drones Take Flight at Duke Energy
Many EEI member companies are using drones, also known as unmanned aerial systems (UAS), to inspect equipment, plan new construction sites, assess damage after storms, and more. 
Duke Energy, for example, has a drone team that grew from two employees in 2015 to more than 40 now. The company recognizes that drones help keep employees safe and allow them to perform work that was previously impossible. 
“It's certainly an exciting time at Duke Energy where aviation is able to help meet our goals for keeping our customers lights on and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Jackson Rollins, who manages Duke Energy’s UAS team. 
At Duke Energy, drones help the company: 
  • Inspect equipment quickly and efficiently. Today, Duke Energy has more than 10,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy resources in service—enough to power 2.4 million homes and businesses—and plans to have 16,000 MW by 2025. 
  • Perform mapping and modeling during construction of power plants and solar and wind facilities. Duke Energy’s UAS team flies drones a few hundred feet over new sites in Florida the Carolinas, the Midwest, and the western United States. 
  • Assist with power restoration efforts. After hurricanes and other emergencies, Duke Energy deploys drones to perform detailed damage assessments and to access areas where helicopters and other equipment cannot reach. 

Save the Date
Save the Date
Veterans in Energy 2021 Virtual Leadership Forum
EEI’s member companies have a long history of employing military veterans because they have the training and skills for technical, engineering, support, and leadership positions in electric companies. EEI is a proud sponsor of Veterans in Energy, a national employee resource group that provides transition, retention, and professional development support to military veterans working in energy.
The Veterans in Energy 2021 Virtual Leadership Forum will take place on Wednesday, October 6. The event will feature a fireside chat between two top retired military officers—Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster and U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Hal Pittman—and an employee resource group panel discussion.

Be Cyber Aware
Be Cyber Aware
October Is Cybersecurity Awareness Month
Securing the nation’s energy grid is the electric power industry’s top priority, and EEI’s member companies are committed to cybersecurity and to remaining vigilant against cyber threats.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility. Please remember to practice good cyber hygiene by following these steps:

•    Use caution when opening emails and attachments from external senders.
•    Be wary of unsolicited communications and potential phishing scams.
•    Share conference call or meeting links only with registered participants.
•    Use your connected devices only on secure networks.
•    Use multi-factor authentication when prompted.
•    Do not use unknown USBs or other external data storage devices.
•    Be cautious of permission settings on apps and other external platforms.

Learn more about Cybersecurity Awareness Month and how EEI member companies and federal agencies work together to enhance sector-wide resilience to cyber threats in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives.
Get Social
Promoting Electric Transportation
Get Social