Office of Electricity

DOE and State Organizations Update Important Agreement on Coordinating a Unified Response to Energy Emergencies

February 19, 2016

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Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and NASEO Executive Director David Terry at the February 10, 2016 signing of the Energy Emergency Assurance Coordinators Agreement. | Photo Courtesy of NASEO.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and NASEO Executive Director David Terry at the February 10, 2016 signing of the Energy Emergency Assurance Coordinators Agreement. | Photo Courtesy of NASEO.

At the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, we work diligently with our private and public partners to help ensure that our Nation’s energy infrastructure is reliable, resilient, flexible, and secure, regardless of whether the hazard is natural or manmade. When there are major power or fuel disruptions, we lead Federal efforts to facilitate the restoration of damaged energy infrastructure. Our partnerships with industry and the public sector are vital to these efforts.   

That is why I am pleased to announce that Secretary Moniz last week signed an updated Energy Emergency Assurance Coordinators (EEAC) Agreement with the National Association of State Energy Officials, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, National Governors Association, and the National Emergency Management Association. Updating the EEAC Agreement is a critical step in helping the Federal Government and States work together to provide a unified response to energy emergencies.  

The updated EEAC Agreement lays out concrete items to improve our collective ability to share information, which is essential for making sound response and restoration decisions during emergencies.  It calls for updating a comprehensive list of contacts at the State and Federal levels who understand energy markets and supply chains, gathering information on energy supplies and systems before and during energy emergencies, and sharing this information across the network of contacts to make everyone aware of the current situation. These individuals will monitor energy markets through publicly-available sources such as the Department’s Energy Information Administration and post information on a secure website to help decision makers at the State and Federal levels make unified and coordinated decisions. Once the list of contacts is updated, DOE and State associations will provide training and seminars to make sure these personnel have the tools to provide the best information possible.

To support this effort, DOE and States will develop information-sharing protocols and processes to streamline response operations and test these processes and information-sharing mechanisms through drills and exercises on a routine basis. Lessons learned from these drills and exercises will inform and improve State Energy Assurance Plans and DOE-specific energy response plans.

As we continue working closely with our partners to improve the reliability, resiliency, flexibility, and security of the Nation’s energy infrastructure, the updated EEAC Agreement will help improve our information sharing capabilities that are vital to efficiently and timely restoring energy systems following an energy emergency. Thank you to our State partners for working with the Department to achieve this important milestone! I look forward to working with our State colleagues on the collaborative implementation of this important agreement.