Utilities see positive start to 2021, despite ongoing safety concerns
Leaders are focused on investments in renewable energy and workforce transition.
Southern Company, leading the ranking, is commended for its environmental transparency as well as for its research and development initiatives to achieve net-zero goals.
National Grid’s expansion of solar energy and access, and FPL’s efforts to support the solar workforce, strengthen their respective reputations.
However, sustainability-related initiatives are insufficient to mitigate safety-related concerns which remain top of mind for customers.
Safety is top of mind for customers and leaders are investing in technology to improve it.
Leading companies are partnering with technology companies to improve workplace safety. Coverage of National Grid’s partnerships with Urbint and Boston Dynamics to use AI and robotics to improve workplace conditions center on employee and community welfare, helping it place second overall in alva’s ranking.
PG&E is last in the group as a result of ongoing lawsuits from wildfire victims in California. Commentary focuses on allegations that PG&E’s “rickety electrical grid” and leadership failures are responsible for wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
Timely community-related initiatives are key to gaining greater visibility on efforts.
Utility companies focus their community efforts on education and equity-related initiatives.
However, while these initiatives are well received, companies struggle to find resonance outside of local media. Exceptionally, Duke Energy’s grants to Texans after widespread outages gain traction on both local and national media.
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