Electricity Prices and Utility CEO Salaries Escalating Annually

When I pay my electric bill I realize there are certain line items that I can just chalk up to having electricity conveniently at my fingertips day or night.  My demand charge, my grid maintenance fee, my utility company’s CEO’s Yacht Club membership……what? Well, maybe the Yacht Club is not a specific itemized line item on my monthly bill but it should be. Here’s why. Every year my electric bill goes up and at the same time so does the compensation of the white collars within my local utility. Coincidence? Average U.S. utility company CEO salaries were about $5.8 million in 2014, according to a sample of 54 electric power utilities conducted by SNL Energy. This is roughly an $800,000 increase over SNL’s numbers in 2013. Of the companies sampled, 40 of them saw jumps in CEO pay. So again, maybe my utility bill doesn’t specifically state that my money is bank rolling a Maserati for the upper echelon execs of the utility company but my escalating utility rates are not proving otherwise.

Take a look at the top 10 highest paid Utility CEOs:

10. DTE Energy Co.’s Gerard Anderson, $9,658,604

9. Wisconsin Energy’s Gale Klappa, $9,850,381

8. NRG Energy’s David Crane, $10,285,245

7. PG&E Corp.’s Anthony Earley, Jr., $10,671,367

6. FirstEnergy Corp.’s Anthony Alexander, $10,890,217

5. Pepco Holdings’ Joseph Rigby, $11,006,781

4. American Electric Power Corp.’s Nicholas Akins, $11,013,733

3. NextEra Energy’s James Robo, $11,702,690

2. Exelon Corp.’s Christopher Crane, $12,558,844

1. Dominion’s Thomas Farrell II, $17,326,642

So just to recap, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) utility rates are escalating at a minimum of 2.5% per year. According to Forbes the average American has about a 3% escalation in pay per year compared to utility CEOs having an average pay raise of over 13% per year. That begs the question, I wonder what color Maserati I’m buying my CEO in 2016?

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Robert Opacki
WattHub advertising and content specialist