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Perpetuating the California Dream

Leadership Lyceum Podcast: A conversation with Edison International CEO Pedro Pizarro

Fortnightly Magazine - March 2017
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Edison International is the publicly traded holding company for Southern California Edison, the regulated utility, and a small array of non-regulated investments, plus Edison Energy. At eleven and a half billion dollars in annual revenue, and serving fifteen million customers, the company is one of the largest utilities in the country.

Tom Linquist: Pedro, you're three and a half months into your tenure as CEO. What are the key areas of focus on your leadership agenda at this early stage?

Pedro Pizarro: Our team has really gelled in these first few months. In terms of strategy there are four big focus areas. Three are for our regulated utility and one is for our competitive businesses. Inside the regulated utility, SCE, there are three things that we're doing.

Pedro Pizarro

The first is to continue our reinvestment in our grid. That's the core business. It's aging and it also needs modernizing to support the new resources arriving in California.

The second is continuing to improve our operational performance. It starts with the safety of our employees and our public. It continues with how we do in terms of reliability and customer satisfaction and the costs that drive affordability.

The third big part of SCE's strategy is how we position the company to help our state of California achieve its very ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gases. That's a big task: forty percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2030.

Even with the change in administration at the federal level, the state of California remains very committed to this. We have a role to play. That role is to help catalyze all the efforts to support reducing greenhouse gases.

Outside of our utility, the fourth strategic element is pursuing different avenues; not only for growth but also for playing a part in the drastic transformation that's taking place in our industry.

The largest effort we have right now is developing Edison Energy, which is offering a suite of services, really "energy-as-a-service" focused on large commercial and industrial customers across the country.

It is a segment that has complex energy needs but also tends to be one of the first adopters of new technologies as they come into the industry. That's another area we can explore, but I'd say those four from a strategy perspective have really been my main focus areas.

Tom Linquist: Tell us more about Edison Energy.

Pedro Pizarro: More recently at the end of 2015, we acquired three companies that formed the core for our Edison Energy suite of services focused on the commercial and industrial market, or what we call C&I.

We acquired Altenex. They're based in Boston and they have helped create the market connecting C&I customers with off-site renewables. They've processed more than a gigawatt worth of PPAs to date.

The second company we acquired was

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