Investor-owned utility spending last year hit $98.1 billion, up sharply from $48.4 billion in 2005, according to the Edison Electric Institute 2014 Financial Review.
Utility spending is up as the industry undergoes a transition to embrace energy efficiency, renewables, electric vehicles – and builds a more robust, advanced grid to accommodate these changes.
At the same time, utilities’ electricity output has been flat, reaching 4 million gigawatt-hours last year, up a scant 0.5 percent from 2013, EEI has reported.
The South Central and Southeast regions posted the largest electric output gains, while New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific Northwest regions posted the steepest declines.
The utility industry challenge of increased spending on new technology at a time of flat to declining power sales is the central focus of the Empowering Customers & Cities conference in Chicago November 4-6. EEI, Commonwealth Edison and Kansas City Power & Light are among the event sponsors.