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Galvin Electricity Initiative Calls on Nation’s Electricity Providers to Focus on Consumer Rights

November 16, 2010

Maria Enie, (202) 248-5460,


Robert W. Galvin and Kurt Yeager Urge Industry Executives to Revolutionize Status Quo Approach to Electricity Service and Quality

WASHINGTON ― In an open letter released today, Robert W. Galvin and Kurt Yeager of the Galvin Electricity Initiative call on leaders in the electricity industry to embrace a 21st century business model that refutes the status quo and makes customers’ needs the top priority. The letter appeals to heads of the Edison Electric Institute, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the American Public Power Association for leadership in consumer-focused innovation and the adoption of an electricity consumer bill of rights.

“A change of this magnitude cannot be driven by one individual, one company or with one interest in mind, but instead must be propelled forward with the force of many,” said Galvin, founder of the Initiative and retired CEO and chairman of Motorola Inc. “That is why we, the Galvin Electricity Initiative, are asking the presidents and CEOs of the electricity trade associations for their commitment in developing an electricity consumer bill of rights. The establishment of these rights and the full engagement of electricity consumers are necessary if we are to truly modernize the nation’s aging and unreliable electricity grid.”

Grueling blackouts this past summer, some of which lasted multiple days, also suggest the need for utilities to honor electricity users’ right to a truly reliable system and service quality that protects life and safety, allows businesses to reduce the cost of blackouts, and provides the privacy and cybersecurity necessary in today’s digital society. The letter points to what happened in the telecommunications industry when the focus shifted to consumers ― an explosion of technology and investment that put more money in the pockets of companies and customers alike.

Electric utilities hold firm control over the nation's electricity system and have a choice regarding how to engage consumers going forward. Will smart grid investments result in fewer outages and better power quality, and allow consumers to reduce costs while playing a more active role in electricity markets?

In his book “America’s Founding Secret,” Galvin wrote that a group of leaders must step outside the crowd and advocate for what is right. Galvin challenges utility executives and other industry leaders to acknowledge today’s deficiencies and create a consumer bill of rights that will serve as a foundation for leadership and change.

“Any executive versed in quality management will tell you that the best innovations are those that prioritize the needs of the customers and that doing so saves you money down the road,” said Galvin Electricity Initiative Executive Director Kurt Yeager. “The fundamental business paradigm in the U.S. is consumer-centric and driven by entrepreneurial innovation. This has enabled our nation’s economic and technological world leadership. It’s time we bring electricity in line with this paradigm – only then will we maximize benefits and savings for all stakeholders.”

As stated in the Initiative’s recently released booklet, An Electric Revolution, transformation of the U.S. electricity system would give consumers the tools, education and options they need to conserve electricity and save money. The booklet also calls on utilities to encourage federal, state and local policy changes that support that transformation.

To read the full letter and An Electric Revolution, visit the Initiative on Facebook at

Galvin Electricity Initiative
The Galvin Electricity Initiative was launched by former Motorola CEO Robert W. Galvin to transform our electric power system into one that is reliable, efficient, secure and clean, and meets the needs of 21st century consumers. In 2010, the Initiative is accelerating its campaign to spark a migration toward a consumer-driven electric power system in select states. The campaign goal is to promote grid modernization through policy reform to pave the way for Perfect Power smart microgrids that place top priority on serving consumers and businesses with reliable, high-quality, clean power. For more information about smart microgrids and the Galvin Electricity Initiative, visit, like the Initiative on Facebook ( and follow the Initiative on Twitter at