Joseph M. Rigby, Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI) chairman, president and CEO testified today before the Quadrennial Energy Review Task Force, formed by President Barack Obama to shape federal energy policy to meet America’s economic, environmental and security goals. The first Quadrennial Energy Review hearing focused on vulnerabilities of energy transmission and distribution systems and strategies to address these vulnerabilities.

In his testimony, Rigby highlighted the potential impacts of cyber and physical attacks, as well as severe weather, on the grid.

“Severe weather remains the leading cause of power outages,” Rigby said. “These severe storms and other major weather events seem to be coming with increasing frequency and intensity.”

In the past few years, PHI’s service territory has experienced Hurricane Irene, the June 2012 derecho and accompanying heat wave, Superstorm Sandy and this winter’s polar vortex.

“This trend is compelling utilities and regulatory commissions to look for grid strengthening strategies that may have significant cost impacts,” Rigby said.

PHI has benefitted from partnerships with the federal government on cybersecurity measures and with local governments on projects such as D.C. Power Line Undergrounding (DC PLUG), which he termed a great example of a public-private-partnership delivering real value at a reasonable cost.

Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM) is one of the largest energy delivery companies in the Mid-Atlantic region, serving about 2 million customers in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New Jersey. PHI subsidiaries Pepco, Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric provide regulated electricity service; Delmarva Power also provides natural gas service. PHI also provides energy efficiency and renewable energy services through Pepco Energy Services.

Copyright Business Wire 2010