During the company's annual meeting of shareholders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Energy East Corporation Wesley von Schack outlined the company's continued focus on reliability, customer satisfaction and eco-friendly infrastructure investments.
In his remarks, von Schack discussed that the utility industry is at a major inflection point, with the realization by public policy makers that significant capital investments are needed to ensure a secure, safe and reliable energy infrastructure system that also addresses growing public concerns regarding global warming.
In addition, von Schack stated that over the next five years, Energy East plans to make over $3 billion in reliability and infrastructure investments, while maintaining an environmentally responsive strategy. These investments include $900 million for electric system reliability in upstate New York, $500 million for the Maine Power Reliability Program to improve and expand the existing transmission network and the planned repowering of the Russell generating station using environmentally cleaner natural gas.
Furthermore, von Schack commented on the company's plan to invest $400 million in advanced metering infrastructure in upstate New York and Maine. "The benefits of advanced metering are numerous and well-documented as it provides real-time pricing data to customers. This in turn will drive beneficial customer conservation and reduce the need for future power plants," said von Schack.
Energy East has been a leader in environmental stewardship by aggressively minimizing greenhouse gases. Since 1999, Energy East has reduced CO2 equivalent emissions by nearly 50% and significantly reduced SF6 emissions, which have a 24,000 times greater warming effect than CO2. In 2006, Energy East increased its hydroelectric generation output by 14%, and is currently the 3rd largest hydroelectric generator in New York State. In addition, in 2006, Energy East also experienced a 150% increase in programs offered by NYSEG and RG&E which allows customers to purchase clean wind generated electricity.