COVID-19 Impacts to Energy Security

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the electricity sector, decreasing electric load and increasing the risk of energy incidents. Electricity use has fallen between 5-15% and EIA forecasts that power generation will decrease 3% in 2020. The oil and gas sector has been particularly impacted, with falling demand increasing price volatility and creating fuel storage challenges. While energy demand has decreased, states must continue providing reliable electricity services.

States are dealing with utility workforce issues, as critical employees need access to PPE and testing to continue safely operating critical energy infrastructure. Additionally, states are grappling with an increasing customer base unable to pay energy bills, due to rising unemployment, and subsequently begun halting utility shut-offs. These shut-off moratoriums have resulted in steep revenue decreases which may accelerate aging power plant closures that are already struggling financially. Panelists will discuss how states and energy companies can coordinate to maintain a resilient energy supply and workforce during the pandemic.

Opening Remarks

  • Charles “Chuck” Kosak, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance (TPTA), Office of Electricity, U.S. Department of Energy


  • Kate Marks, Director, Preparedness & Exercises, Infrastructure Security & Energy Restoration (ISER), Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, U.S. Department of Energy
  • Sam Rozenberg, Representative for the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), Engineering Services Security Director, American Public Power Association (APPA)
  • Lori Traweek, Chief Operating Officer, American Gas Association

Trade Association Representatives

  • Laura Schepis, Senior Director, National Security, Edison Electric Institute
  • Desmarie Waterhouse, Vice President, Government Relations and Counsel, American Public Power Association
  • Barry Lawson, Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)