House Energy and Commerce Committee Informal Working Group on Racial Disparities
Filed: July 13, 2021
The Electric Power Supply Association (“EPSA”) and its member companies thank you for initiating this critical discussion on advancing diversity and inclusion within the energy sector workforce and for offering us the opportunity to share our efforts toward that goal.
EPSA is the national trade association representing America’s competitive power suppliers. Founded in 1992, EPSA advocates for well-functioning competitive wholesale electricity markets. Healthy competitive markets provide the best foundation to reliably power the nation’s homes and businesses at the lowest cost – as well as to foster the innovation and sustainable environmental progress needed to meet society’s future needs.
EPSA is comprised of fifteen competitive power suppliers, independent power producers, or “merchant” generators. These include bp Energy Company, Calpine Corporation, Cogentrix Energy, Competitive Power Ventures, Diamond Generating Corporation, Eastern Generation, Energy Capital Partners, GenOn Holdings, J-POWER USA, LS Power, NRG Energy, Rockland Capital, Shell Energy North America, Tenaska, and Vistra Corporation. Collectively, these fifteen companies employ approximately 38,000 people and provide about 150,000 megawatts of reliable, environmentally responsible electric generation from a diverse mix of fuels and technologies – enough to power more than 117 million homes, or 84 percent of homes across the nation.
Our member companies have been vocal in their dedication to diversity and inclusion and have made significant strides in their efforts to support this goal. Beginning with establishing and implementing formal commitments to diversity and inclusion, here are just some examples of the work being done by our member companies, from the leadership level to students and new employees. EPSA member companies have:
• Increased the diversity of their Board of Directors by as much as 64 percent,
• Committed to increasing diversity and inclusion across the supply chain, as well as partnering with companies owned by ethnic minorities, women, veterans, LGBTQ+, and disabled individuals,
• Implemented targeted efforts to increase hiring and workforce diversity, including providing training opportunities for early career employees to establish long-term energy industry careers and a path for advancement,
• Encouraged employee-led social initiatives including BELIEVE (Black Employees Leading in Inclusion, Excellence, Vision, and Education) and the Women’s Information Network (WIN),
• Donated tens of millions of dollars to organizations working for social justice and equity, and
• Been awarded a 2020 Forbes Best Employer for Diversity.
As an organization, EPSA itself employs eight individuals with no current plans to expand that core workforce. We also work with partner organizations and outside consultants and firms on contract as needed and seek to be nondiscriminatory and inclusive in those relationships. EPSA is committed to highlighting and showcasing diverse voices across our membership. We have recently ramped up our public-facing communications and outreach efforts and will be profiling the industry’s workforce through those capabilities. For example, our “Women in Competitive Power” blog series highlighted 10 women working throughout the competitive power sector with advice for others seeking to begin a career or grow in the competitive power workforce.
Beyond our workforce, EPSA is committed to fostering greater understanding, tolerance, and true equality across all communities where we live and work. We encourage and will support all who wish to explore or pursue a career in the competitive power sector or the energy industry as a whole. Reliable energy is the backbone of our nation – we need an innovative, cleaner and affordable power grid to power America’s economy. That relies on bringing the best ideas to the table – which can only be done if we draw on a diverse body of input and new ways of thinking.
We look forward to hearing from the Committee as to what we can do to support your efforts to increase diversity and inclusion in the energy sector and look forward to ongoing dialogue around this important issue. Meanwhile, we will continue to work with our membership and partners throughout the energy sector to inspire the next generation of competitive power professionals and foster a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
For more information, read the PDF.