Electric utilities are traditionally a highly regulated industry. In addition, many policy issues directly or indirectly impact utilities and their customers. From environmental issues and energy security to taxes and financial reform, utilities have a vested interest in the political and regulatory process.
Governmental affairs refer to the engagement between utility representatives and key policy makers at the federal, state, and local level. Large utilities have dedicated teams who actively identify, monitor, analyze, and advocate for energy related legislation that may impact the electric industry. Many are also members of trade associations such as the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) for investor owned utilities, the American Public Power Association (APPA) for municipal utilities, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for coops. Additionally, these company representatives and trade associations often work hand-in-hand with legislators and regulators to introduce legislation or regulation that would further the industries’ policy positions and provide a favorable environment to operate within.