Edison Electric Institute

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Edison Electric Institute
Edison Electric Institute logo.svg
Formation1933
Headquarters701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20004-2696
Location
Chairman
Lynn J. Good
President
Thomas R. Kuhn
Websitehttp://www.eei.org/

The Edison Electric Institute is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies.

Its members provide electricity for 220 million Americans, operate in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and directly employ more than one million workers.[1]

EEI has 70 international electric companies as Affiliate Members, and 250 industry suppliers and related organizations as Associate Members.

Organized in 1933, EEI provides public policy leadership, strategic business intelligence, and essential conferences and forums.

Membership[edit]

Members of the Edison Electric Institute are investor-owned utility companies, meaning that they are privately-held companies that supply power and electricity to businesses and consumers.

Some of the larger members include:[1]

Issues[edit]

2017 tax cut[edit]

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the largest tax overhaul in 30 years, was passed by Congress and signed by President Trump at the end of 2017. The legislation had several provisions that benefit the electric industry: maintaining the federal income tax deduction for interest expense for regulated electric companies; maintaining the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes; and providing for the “continuation of normalization, including addressing excess deferred taxes resulting from a reduction in the tax rate.”[2]

Electric vehicles[edit]

On June 8, 2015, U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and the Edison Electric Institute signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). The MOU sets up a collaboration between the government and EEI to make PEVs, by the year 2022, as affordable as regular gas-powered vehicles were in 2012. The Department of Energy runs an initiative called the "EV Everywhere Grand Challenge", which put forth the 2022 affordability goal. The program coincides with the popularity of electric vehicle sales, which have increased by 128 percent between 2012 and 2014.[3]

EEI runs a program called the Employee PEV Engagement Initiative. The goal is to "increase electric vehicle readiness, especially in the workplace," according to the Department of Energy. According to the Department of Energy, Kate Brandt, Federal Chief Sustainability Officer at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said, "Today’s Memorandum of Understanding with the nation’s electric power industry allows the Department of Energy to tap into the experience and scale of an industry that is truly leading the way in moving the electric vehicle market forward."[3]

In pursuing the initiative, EEI and the DOE will work with other federal agencies including Department of Transportation (DOT), General Services Administration (GSA), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), and the White House.[3]

Grid security[edit]

The energy grid is a complex, interconnected network of generation, transmission, distribution, control, and communication technologies. Any of these can be damaged by either natural events or malicious attacks such as cyber or physical attacks. The electric power industry has engaged with a series of initiatives meant to protect the energy grid from these threats. The industry collaborates with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and federal intelligence and law enforcement agencies.[4]

On September 20, 2018, EEI announced that it supported the Trump Administration's unveiled National Cyber Strategy. The protection of critical infrastructure such as the electric grid were included in the National Cyber Strategy.[5]

Hurricane Maria[edit]

After Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico in 2017, the federal government invested $3.2 billion into restoring the island's power grid. The Edison Electric Institute deployed Carlos D. Torres, a retired vice president at Consolidated Edison, to Puerto Rico to coordinate storm rebuilding of the power grid. Subsequently, Torres was appointed by Gov. Ricardo Rossello as coordinator for storm restoration.[6]

Unmanned aircraft[edit]

EEI supports the use of drones (unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS) by electric power companies to maintain electric grids and restore downed service. In July 2016, Congress passed legislation (H.R. 636) that "includes provisions supporting electric power companies utilizing unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for energy grid maintenance and service restoration."[7]

Renewable Energy[edit]

Partnership with pro-environment group[edit]

In February 2018, EEI and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit international environmental advocacy group, released a joint statement outlining 21 policy priorities on which both organizations would work together to advance clean energy. Both organizations said the recommendations are designed to “accelerate the clean energy transition; promote investment in smarter energy infrastructure, while ensuring affordable and reliable electricity; and facilitate collaboratively developed rate design and regulatory reforms that accommodate rapid technology change and evolving customer expectations.”[8]

Advocacy for changes to homeowner solar panel policies[edit]

Between 2011 and 2017, rooftop solar panel installations had "explosive growth — as much as 900 percent by one estimate." But by 2017, the growth stopped. Saturation in certain markets, such as California, and financial problems at several of the top solar panel makers are the main factors that caused the decline in growth. But, according to the New York Times, "the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels." EEI has played a central role in a national U.S. campaign to reduce renewable energy incentives. However, the has been successful in rolling back state-level incentives for rooftop solar energy.[9]

Utilities are not opposed to solar panel-produced energy. Rather, they are opposed to state rules, known as net metering, that are connected to homeowner-produced solar energy. Under net metering rules in many states, private solar customers can sell excess power they produce back to the grid at what is known as the "retail price," which is more than the utilities pay for the energy itself from energy producers. Utilities argue that this practice is unfair to homeowners who do not want or can't afford their own solar panels.[9]

ESG reporting template[edit]

In August 2018, EEI announced that it was launching an environmental, social, governance, and sustainability-related (ESG/sustainability) reporting template to help both consumers and the financial sector, the latter with "more uniform and consistent ESG/sustainability data and information."[10] EEI had launched a similar program as a pilot program in 2017. The template is the first of its kind, being "the first and only industry-focused and investor-driven ESG reporting framework."[10]

Foundation[edit]

The Edison Electric Institute runs a foundation called the Edison Electric Institute for Electric Innovation, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The foundation's main activities are research, holding conferences, giving grants, and doing outreach to outside parties and organizations. The foundation's three main goals are to educate the public about how electric power is produced delivered, and used; help make the environment clean and safe; and improve the quality of life for all people. The governing structure of the foundation is a board of directors made up of CEOs from the electric industry.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b http://www.eei.org/about/members/uselectriccompanies/Documents/memberlist_print.pdf
  2. ^ Riley, Kim (2017-12-22). "Electric utilities come out as winners under GOP-led nationwide tax reform". Daily Energy Insider. Retrieved 2018-01-05.
  3. ^ a b c "Energy Department and Edison Electric Institute Sign Agreement to Advance Electric Vehicle Technologies." U.S. Department of Energy, June 8, 2016. Accessed August 19, 2016.
  4. ^ "Cyber & Physical Security". www.eei.org. Retrieved 2018-05-02.
  5. ^ "EEI Statement on National Cyber Strategy". eei.org. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  6. ^ Johnson, Tim. "The Forgotten Island: After $3.2 billion, but will Puerto Rico's grid survive another storm?". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  7. ^ "EEI Applauds Passage of FAA Reauthorization Legislation for Drones." Transmission and Distribution World, July 20, 2016. Accessed August 19, 2016.
  8. ^ "EEI, NRDC outline 21 clean energy policy recommendations in statement to NARUC - Daily Energy Insider". Daily Energy Insider. 2018-02-16. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  9. ^ a b "Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists." New York Times, July 8, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "EEI Launches Industry-Wide Environmental, Social, Governance, and Sustainability Reporting Template | Markets Insider". Business Insider. 2018-08-27. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  11. ^ "Edison Foundation." Edisonfoundation.net, 2016.

External links[edit]