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Thomas Edison

Utilities Must Embrace Change, Flexibility

Throughout its long history, one of the strengths of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies EIC has been its ability to remain relevant and add real value to its members and the industry. 

Throughout its long history, one of the strengths of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies has been its ability to remain relevant and add real value to its members and the industry. 

AEIC recognizes that remaining relevant means encouraging flexibility and embracing change.  This year, in addition to adding to its network of committees, the association is implementing a number of new initiatives.  A completely revised agenda has been developed for the annual meeting to be held on October 14-16, to provide for increased interaction and facilitated discussions among invited attendees. 

Outside speakers will make presentations and engage in group discussions on a wide variety of topics, including energy storage, distributed energy resources, customer service, and leading-edge smart grid technologies.  A new digital publication will soon be launched to more frequently communicate the work and value of the technical committees.  On-line sales of digitized versions of the association’s cable specifications and guides will be available in the next few weeks, and work is beginning on a new load research and analytics manual and intermediate statistical and analytics course. 

AEIC and its board are committed to ensuring that the association remains relevant and steadfast in addressing the pressing technical needs of the industry. 

Founded by Thomas Edison and his colleagues in 1885, AEIC is one of the oldest organizations in the electric energy industry.  Its nearly 150 members represent domestic and international electric utilities and holding companies, as well as generating, transmitting, and distributing companies engaged in the sale of electric service to the general public.  Members include investor-owned, federal, state, cooperative and municipal systems; and associate members are represented by the Electric Power Research Institute, regional transmission organizations, and independent system operators.

Terry H. Waters


AEIC encourages research and collaboration and provides for the exchange of technical information and best practices through a committee structure.  These committees are staffed with over 350 experts from the management of member companies who focus their efforts on finding solutions to problems of mutual concern to electric utilities, worldwide. 

AEIC is a model of organizational simplicity with six technical committees and two subcommittees that are the backbone of the association.  These groups are tasked with addressing issues and challenges in the following areas: power generation, power delivery, electric power apparatus, meter and service, cable engineering and load research and analytics.

Safety is an essential topic that is addressed in all committee meetings.  Additionally, AEIC committees establish critical working relationships with major vendors and suppliers to the industry and often influence the creation or improvement of equipment and processes that impact the entire electric energy industry.  The association’s cable specifications and guides as well as its Load Research Manual are considered vital to the industry and are used by companies throughout the world.

The AEIC board is comprised of 28 senior-level executives of member companies who are actively engaged in ensuring that emerging technical issues and challenges are being adequately addressed by the AEIC technical committees.  In advance of its June meeting, the board is currently evaluating the establishment of two new committees or subcommittees to address customer service enhancements and the technical challenges presented by distributed energy resources.

As one speaker noted at the first annual meeting in 1885, “AEIC strives to make the knowledge of one the knowledge of all, to the advantage of their common interests.” That statement still embodies the mission of the Association.  AEIC has a proud heritage and looks forward to a bright future.

Terry H. Waters is executive director of the Association of Edison Illuminating Companies.

EDITOR'S NOTE: When Terry H. Waters recently assumed the leadership of the 130-year-old AEIC, we invited him to reflect on where the industry and his organization is headed.



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