The Legislative Corner

Energy Transformation: Are you ready for the Challenge?  

Today more than ever, the electric utility model is being challenged. New environmental regulations, aging infrastructure and emerging technologies are dramatically changing how we acquire, generate and use electricity. While the electric utility industry  is fully aware that change is coming, will the industry embrace the change? Our challenge, as AABE members, is ensuring that we understand the impact of these changes, and our role in engaging, educating and empowering underserved communities during this energy transformation.

The mission of the National Legislative Issues and Public Policy committee, is to ensure that African-Americans and other minorities have a voice in the development and implementation of U.S. energy/environmental policies. Charged with tracking legislative and public policy issues of interest to AABE, this committee develops and disseminates white papers regarding energy and environmental issues.

AABE is committed to shaping the energy and economic priorities of minorities and historically underserved communities. We will do our part to ensure you are equipped with the knowledge and tools to transform underserved communities. Are you ready for the challenge?


2017 Energy Summit

Energy Policy Under the New North Carolina Administraton

Members wll receive email notificaton to attend


2015 Energy Summit Hosted by Local AABE and BWN Chapters

The North Carolina Chapter of AABE and Duke Energy ERG, the Triangle Chapter of BWN hosted an Energy Summit entitled: Distributed Generation: What Is It? Its Impact on Our Customers and Business, and Duke's Strategy Moving Forward.

Duke Energy’s Kendal Bowman, vice president of regulatory affairs and policy for North Carolina and Rob Caldwell, senior vice president of distributed energy resources, were panelists for this discussion on distributed generation, and its impact on the electricity industry and Duke Energy.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in 2014, 32 percent of new electric generating capacity in the United States came from solar, equating to 4 million American Homes.

Bowman shared that while solar growth is enabled by policy, it’s driven by customer expectations and technology. “Customer choice is driving the desire for more control over energy use,” she said. The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard Act mandates that 12½ percent of the state’s electricity must be generated by clean energy by 2021. As a result, solar development in North Carolina has increased, making it among one of the fastest growing markets behind California.

Duke Energy currently has over 5000 customers with solar rooftops. This represents 55 MW of concentrated solar power. “Increasing demand has resulted in 150 new solar rooftop customers being added per month throughout all six jurisdictions of Duke Energy service territories,” said Caldwell.


Energy Summit: Cybersecurity

On June 10, 2015 nearly 100 Duke Energy employees and guests attended the second quarter Energy Summit entitled Cybersecurity: Protecting and Preparing our Critical Infrastructure Sectors. The distinct panel of experts included Brad Merlie, VP Information Services, Piedmont Natural Gas; Carl Cahill, IT Manager, Security Architecture & Planning Duke Energy; Ehab Al-Shaer, Professor and Director of Cyber Defense and Network Assurability (Cyber DNA) Research Center, UNCC; and Gayle Lanier, SVP Customer Service, Duke Energy served as moderator.


In 2013, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order to promote increased information sharing regarding cyber threats for government and private companies overseeing critical infrastructure. A cybersecurity framework was developed and companies around the country could elect to participate; Duke Energy’s security model leverages the framework.

In response to increasing cyber threats to customer and personal data, many companies have taken a proactive protective stance. Duke Energy’s IT Cybersecurity and Compliance team conducts phishing exercises utilizing a simulation tool that creates real scenarios. Piedmont Natural Gas has institutionalized a similar model.

As consumers, we are responsible for protecting our personal data, company information and our assets. Here are some best practices.

  • Do not use the same password for multiple devices or websites
  • Do not respond to unsolicited email messages by clicking on links or opening attachments
  • Talk to your bank about protection plans for debit cards and credit cards
  • Avoid using “open” Wi-Fi networks
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