Steve Hauser is the CEO of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies.
Writing about a revolution, Charles Dickens famously wrote: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." We might say the same thing today as we work to revolutionize the electricity industry.
As those entrusted to keep the lights on, AEIC's members know better than anyone how difficult that is and how much more difficult it may become in the years ahead without strong leadership and a clear path to follow.
We face unprecedented challenges from new policies being enacted at the federal, state, and local levels, often with little regard to the difficulty and cost involved to achieve compliance. Likewise, we face increasing expectations from consumers to supply cleaner and more reliable power at a lower cost.
Of course, there are the Acts of God that are now happening at a previously unimaginable pace and with increasingly devastating impacts. Consumers often feel their safety and security being threatened and find utilities to be a convenient target.
Just a few short years ago, the National Academy of Engineering declared the electricity grid as the greatest achievement of the twentieth century, ahead of the automobile and the airplane. AEIC and its member companies were the unsung heroes responsible for this achievement. Will we be heroes again at the end of this century?