Utility Executive Compensation

As the first part of a two-part series exploring how the investor-owned electric utilities pay their executives, EPI collected data showing the executive compensation for 41 utility CEOs, presented in the table below. 

This list of companies includes all investor-owned electric utility companies that are members of the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association for U.S. investor-owned utilities, and that have reported compensation data to the Securities and Exchange Commission as of April 27, 2020.

Investor-owned utilities paid their CEOs over $1 billion between 2017 and 2019, with an average annual compensation of approximately $11 million in 2019. Southern Company’s CEO, Tom Fanning, was the highest paid utility CEO in 2019, with compensation of approximately $28 million. The companies offered their CEOs nearly $450 million in compensation in 2019, a raise of nearly 26% over the previous year. 

In Part II of this series, EPI will examine further compensation data, as well as the incentive structures that are built into utility executives’ compensation plans. 

Data are from Summary Compensation Tables published in companies’ 14A or 10-K forms, filed with the Securities and Exchanges Commission. EPI did not include companies that were recently acquired, or subsidiaries of larger companies that operate mostly internationally. (EPI will add any companies that have not yet filed data with the SEC as they file data.)

The table lists the person who was CEO during 2019; in most cases, that person was also CEO in 2017 and 2018. In cases where a different person was CEO in 2017 and/or 2018, the data in earlier years are the compensation received by the former CEO; those figures are in italics and are explained in the notes below the table. When two people were CEO for portions of a single year, we include compensation for the person who was CEO for most of that year. Former CEOs are noted in the table when a company has announced a new CEO since 2019.  

Southern CompanyThomas Fanning $15,702,228$13,097,691$27,865,185$56,665,104
NextEra EnergyJames Robo$18,811,693$21,358,742$21,877,597$62,048,032
Sempra EnergyJeffrey Martin$4,155,645$9,324,491$19,806,346$33,286,482
EversourceJames Judge$15,915,461$14,925,381$19,806,088$50,646,930
Berkshire Hathaway EnergyGregory Abel$18,013,750$19,014,000$37,027,750
PG&E CorporationWilliam Johnson$8,597,220$9,289,842$18,529,842$36,416,904
Dominion EnergyThomas Farrell, II$15,495,762$14,956,442$17,257,035$47,709,239
Xcel EnergyBen Fowke$12,676,399$12,147,768$16,898,798$41,722,965
ExelonChristopher Crane$14,857,859$15,643,078$15,444,692$45,945,629
Con EdisonJohn McAvoy$16,047,911$9,765,858$15,345,285$41,159,054
Duke EnergyLynn Good$21,415,936$13,982,960$15,029,386$50,428,282
FirstEnergyCharles Jones$15,281,885$11,123,128$14,684,659$41,089,672
American Electric PowerNicholas Akins$11,530,461$12,202,028$14,492,436$38,224,925
EntergyLeo Denault $13,158,220$10,326,456$14,264,249$37,748,925
PPL CorporationWilliam Spence$13,540,331$11,338,785$14,142,567$39,021,683
PSEGRalph Izzo$10,621,115$10,419,291$13,074,227$34,114,633
Arizona Public Service (Pinnacle West)Donald Brandt (former CEO)$10,533,439$12,145,522$12,250,614$34,929,575
DTE EnergyGerard Anderson (former CEO)$15,835,907$10,986,809$12,145,179$38,967,895
Puget EnergyKimberly Harris (former CEO)$7,788,167$8,044,584$11,774,368$27,607,119
Edison InternationalPedro Pizarro $9,754,920$9,777,523$11,761,702$31,294,145
AmerenWarner Baxter$8,080,790$8,454,460$9,718,998$26,254,248
WEC EnergyKevin Fletcher$13,642,237$9,862,993$9,262,101$32,767,331
Consumers EnergyPatricia Poppe$6,862,295$8,091,185$8,986,702$23,940,182
Idaho Power (IDACORP)Darrel Anderson$6,695,596$5,376,529$8,271,701$20,343,826
CenterPoint EnergyScott Prochazka$8,024,525$8,887,981$7,724,121$24,636,627
Alliant EnergyJohn Larsen$6,535,329$6,520,709$7,619,999$20,676,037
NiSourceJoseph Hamrock$5,407,202$5,778,515$6,628,690$17,814,407
Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OGE)Sean Trauschke$4,884,882$5,694,937$6,447,313$17,027,132
Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU Resources)David Goodin$4,058,001$4,155,255$6,144,355$14,357,611
EvergyTerry Bassham$5,187,320$6,843,344$5,793,975$17,824,639
Otter Tail CorporationCharles MacFarlane$3,363,331$3,341,624$5,758,533$12,463,488
Black Hills CorporationDavid Emery (former CEO)$5,563,935$4,623,698$5,455,069$15,642,702
PNM ResourcesPatricia Collawn$4,425,922$4,754,536$5,031,193$14,211,651
Hawaiian Electric IndustriesConstance Lau$5,913,746$5,725,431$4,902,901$16,542,078
AlleteAlan Hodnik (former CEO)$3,464,083$3,493,458$4,706,014$11,663,555
Avista CorporationScott Morris (former CEO)$4,239,914$3,817,420$4,652,473$12,709,807
Portland General Electric CompanyMaria Pope$3,785,253$3,216,062$4,065,948$11,067,263
Unitil CorporationThomas Meissner Jr.$3,434,309$2,441,144$3,592,108$9,467,561
Cleco CorporationWilliam Fontenot$3,404,238$1,385,218$3,576,742$8,366,198
Northwestern CorporationRobert Rowe$2,848,279$3,165,931$3,298,304$9,312,514
Madison Gas and Electric (MGE Energy)Jeffrey Keebler$1,558,941$1,501,606$2,381,012$5,441,559

The data is also available here.

Notes for compensation figures received by former CEOs in 2017 and/or 2018:

William Johnson became CEO of PG&E in May 2019, and the 2019 figure is compensation he received. The 2017 and 2018 figures are compensation received by former CEO Geisha Williams.

Kevin Fletcher became CEO of WEC Energy in February 2019, and the 2019 figure is compensation he received. The 2018 figure is compensation received by former CEO Gale Klappa. The 2017 figure is compensation received by former CEO Allen Leverett.

John Larsen became CEO of Alliant in July 2019, and the 2019 figure is compensation he received. The 2017 and 2018 figures are compensation received by former CEO Patricia Kampling.

Maria Pope became CEO of Portland General Electric in January 2018, and figures for 2018 and 2019 are compensation she received. The 2017 figure is compensation received by former CEO Jim Piro.

Thomas Meissner became CEO of Unitil in February 2018, and figures for 2018 and 2019 are compensation he received. The 2017 figure is compensation received by former CEO Robert Schoenberger.

Notes for CEOs that have recently been replaced:

Gerard Anderson was CEO of DTE Energy until July 2019, when Gerardo Norcia became CEO.

Donald Brandt was CEO of Pinnacle West until November 2019, when Jeff Guldner became CEO.

Alan Hodnik was CEO of Allete until February 2020, when . Bethany Owen became CEO.

Scott Morris was CEO of Avista until October 2019, when Dennis Vermillion became CEO.

David Emery was CEO of Black Hills until December 2018, when Linden Evans became CEO. Emery “continues his full-time employment with the Company as Executive Chairman of the Board, through May 1, 2020,” so all figures are compensation he received. 

Note on missing data

Berkshire Hathaway Energy did not publish compensation received by Gregory Abel in 2017, and a spokesperson said the company would not provide it.

Posted by Joe Smyth

Joe Smyth was a Research and Communications Manager for the Energy and Policy Institute.