MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company Scores Top Honor Nationally For Industrial Customer Satisfaction Among Electric Utility Companies
DES MOINES, Iowa
– (Aug. 13, 2009) – With three of its electric utilities collecting high industrial customer satisfaction honors in the latest TQS Research
survey, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
in the nation among its peers.
Additionally, maintaining an unyielding emphasis on customer service and collaborating on best practices have resulted in two of the company’s electric utilities – Pacific Power
and Rocky Mountain Power
– being ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the nation for industrial customer satisfaction, according to TQS Research
A third affiliated utility, MidAmerican Energy Company
, claimed the No. 1 ranking among electric utilities for the Midwest region.
As a result, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
ranked first in the nation among holdings companies, with 91.9 percent of industrial customers surveyed noting they were very satisfied.
is an Atlanta-based independent research firm that polls key commercial and industrial customers of electric utilities for overall satisfaction.
The annual TQS benchmark survey of the 60 largest utility holdings companies measures performance in critical areas, such as energy efficiency, account management, reliable power, price, handling customer contacts and company image.
“We are extremely pleased that our companies received such high ratings for overall satisfaction in the TQS survey,” said Greg Abel, president and chief executive officer of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company.
“In today’s challenging economic environment, our customers rely on us, perhaps more than ever before, to go above and beyond with customer service. The latest TQS results demonstrate that those efforts are recognized by our customers. Our employees deserve the credit for delivering exceptional customer service and high satisfaction levels,” Abel
Among the business units of the 60 parent companies surveyed nationwide, Pacific Power
led the way with 95.2 percent of its industrial customers indicating they were very satisfied.
Rocky Mountain Power
earned a very satisfied rating from 92.7 percent of its industrial customers, and MidAmerican Energy Company
earned very satisfied ratings from 88.6 percent of its industrial customers.
Energy – that's what MidAmerican is all about
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
is a global leader in the production of energy from diversified fuel sources including geothermal, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, coal and wind.
also leads in the supply and distribution of energy in the U.S. and U.K. consumer markets, with approximately 6.9 million electricity and gas customers.
and its subsidiaries, MidAmerican Energy Company
, PacifiCorp, CE Electric UK, CalEnergy Generation, Kern River Gas Transmission Company
and Northern Natural Gas
, are established leaders in the world energy marketplace. In production, distribution and delivery around the world – MidAmerican
is obsessively, relentlessly at your service.
Who We Are
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
is a global leader in the production, transportation and delivery of energy from a variety of fuel sources – including coal, natural gas, geothermal, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind and biomass.
As a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway
, we have access to significant financial and management resources.
Our seven business platforms
operate autonomously but share a common purpose – to put our customers first. We are committed to creating long-term energy solutions that benefit customers by improving reliability and cost efficiency while advancing energy independence and protecting our environment.
a regulated utility, is one of the lowest-cost electricity producers in the United States and serves approximately 1.7 million customers. The company comprises three operating units.
serves customers in Oregon, Washington and California. Rocky Mountain Power
serves customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho. PacifiCorp Energy operates a broad portfolio of power-generating assets.
MidAmerican Energy Company
, a Midwest utility, provides regulated electric and natural gas service to more than 1.4 million customers in Iowa and surrounding states. The company owns and operates a diverse portfolio of power-generating assets, as well as significant transmission infrastructure.
Our natural gas pipeline businesses serve major markets in the Midwest and West.
The state-of-the-art Kern River Gas Transmission Company
pipeline runs approximately 1,700 miles from Wyoming to Southern California.
The Northern Natural Gas Company
system comprises approximately 15,200 miles of pipeline from southern Texas to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The combined capacity of these pipelines is 7 billion cubic feet per day, and together, they transport approximately 9 percent of all the natural gas consumed in the United States.
CE Electric U
K owns two electricity distribution businesses that serve approximately 3.8 million end-users across 10,000 square miles of northeast England. The company also has a contracting subsidiary that engineers power projects for large commercial and industrial customers.
is a world leader in renewable energy, owning and operating 10 geothermal power plants in California’s Imperial Valley.
The company also owns and operates four natural gas-fueled generating stations in Arizona, Illinois, New York and Texas, as well as an innovative hydroelectric plant and irrigation project in the Philippines.
HomeServices of America
is the second-largest residential real estate brokerage company in the United States comprised of 21 market-leading brands.
The company has more than 16,000 sales associates in 19 states and facilitated more than $37 billion in residential real estate sales in 2008.
In 1971, CalEnergy Company, Inc
. was established as a developer of geothermal power production facilities in North America.
focused on geothermal development in the United States in the 1980s, and in 1992, new management modified company strategy to include additional energy sources and to encompass the emerging global marketplace.
In 1996, as part of its long-range strategy to position itself for a deregulated world energy market, CalEnergy
acquired Northern Electric
, a major provider of retail gas and electricity services in the United Kingdom.
continued this strategy in 1998 with the acquisition of MidAmerican Energy
, a successful regional retail energy provider in the United States.
The company was reorganized as MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
in March 1999.
In March 2000, with the acquisition of MidAmerican
by an investor group, the company became a privately owned global energy provider positioned for international competition and growth. The strength and experience of MidAmerican and its subsidiaries in the production, distribution and sale of energy makes MidAmerican a natural leader in the global energy marketplace.
entered a new sector of the energy industry in 2002 with the acquisition of two strategically located interstate natural gas transmission pipelines in the United States, Kern River Gas Transmission Company
and Northern Natural Gas Company
provides natural gas transportation from Wyoming to Southern California, while the Northern Natural Gas
system spans from deep in the heart of Texas to markets in the Upper Midwest.
acquisition of PacifiCorp
in March 2006 added more than 8,400 megawatts of generating capability from coal, hydro, wind, natural gas-fueled and geothermal resources to the company's energy portfolio.
operates as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and California; and as Rocky Mountain Power in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho.
Public discussions regarding a federal legislative response to global climate change have increased significantly, and congressional leadership has made climate change legislation a priority. It is likely the United States Congress will begin addressing climate-related legislation; many congressional observers expect to see the passage of climate change legislation within the next several years.
Important policy issues must be considered in the formulation of any approach to global climate change. Governors and regulators will play key roles in influencing and implementing laws passed by legislative bodies. In order to engage in informed decision making that considers all the impacts of potential legislative responses to global climate change, we believe it is critical that we have an open, ongoing dialogue with our regulators and other government officials to understand the impact these responses may have on electricity supply, reliability and cost to customers.
We welcome the debate on global climate change legislation in Congress and the states, but we are concerned that, in the rush to legislate, unintended consequences could result in a significant cost impact to consumers of electricity, create market imbalances and have a negative impact on the reliability of the nation’s electricity system. Poorly conceived greenhouse gas emissions reduction mandates could result in dramatic increases in natural gas prices, large construction cost overruns that result from the rush to deploy immature technologies and job losses resulting from the migration of energy-intensive industries to developing countries that have no similar greenhouse gas reduction requirements. Given the already stretched U.S. electric infrastructure, failure to consider and address these issues holistically could result in serious negative impacts on our consumers. We therefore look forward to working together to inform our lawmakers of the impacts and complexities of implementing a greenhouse gas reduction program.
Our goal is to cultivate informed decision making, not to slow the progress of global climate change legislation. MidAmerican is committed to addressing responsibly the issue of climate change and has been an industry leader in undertaking actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We have been, and will continue to be, leaders in the use of renewable energy and in reducing our carbon intensity per megawatt-hour. We have been able to create such positive outcomes by focusing on reduction efforts that make business sense and benefit customers by implementing currently available, proven technologies in cooperation with our various regulators and customers. We also participate in research efforts to promote the development and deployment of new technologies, including advanced coal utilization technologies and emission controls and in regional partnerships that explore carbon capture and storage.
MidAmerican believes our nation’s response to global climate change must include the following principles in order to be effective and affordable:
• Global climate change solutions should be designed to encourage greater deployment of cost-effective energy efficiency programs and economically feasible renewable energy production. They should also provide adequate funding for research, development and deployment of a broad spectrum of innovative technologies targeting low or zero carbon emissions and carbon sequestration at reasonable costs.
• A time frame for implementation of greenhouse gas emission reductions must take into account technology availability, reliability and economic feasibility in order to avoid unacceptable impacts on residential consumers and small businesses.
• A greenhouse gas reduction program should be phased in over a reasonable period of time to provide a balanced and effective transition for the electricity sector. Flexible interim benchmarks must be developed to ensure progress and to accommodate developments in scientific knowledge and accelerated technology opportunities.
• Climate change is a global phenomenon that requires comprehensive, long-term and worldwide responses that address all greenhouse gas sources in all economic sectors.
• A U.S. greenhouse gas emissions reduction program will only be effective if it is part of an international approach that includes all major emitting sectors in both developed and developing countries. Therefore, the U.S. government should ensure that any international greenhouse gas emissions control regime emerging after the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012 is compatible with U.S. federal legislation and regulations. This should include self-implementing “off ramps” if major developed and developing countries fail to participate in such an international regime.
• Given the enormous transitional effects a greenhouse gas reduction program will have on the electricity sector, regulated utilities should be authorized to recover all costs necessary to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction levels mandated by federal and state governments.
• Global climate change solutions should protect a secure, economic and diverse supply of energy for the United States by encouraging investments that maintain adequate reserve margins, support economic growth and meet customers’ needs for affordable and reliable energy.
There is little doubt that the United States, through its enormous technological skill base and with the support of the world’s leading economy, can meet this challenge and maintain prosperity for future generations. However, failure to recognize the complexities and the economic and technical short-term realities of this challenge could seriously harm the customers for whom we share a responsibility of ensuring cost-effective and reliable service.
We must work together to inform our legislators of these concerns and our willingness to help them find cost-effective solutions for customers. This will be a top priority of our company during the next several years, and we urge your participation in this ongoing discussion, as all of us will be involved with implementing the results of any global climate change legislation.
David L. Sokol
Chairman of the Board
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
David L. Sokol
David Sokol, Chairman, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
Foto: MidAmerican Energy Holdings
, 52, is chairman of the board of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company.
In 1989, Sokol was the chief executive officer of a billion-dollar corporation, Ogden Projects. Two years later, he took the management reigns as chairman, president and chief executive officer of CalEnergy Company, Inc., then a small energy company operating a single geothermal power plant in the emerging renewable energy sector.
Through acquisitions, CalEnergy became MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company in 1999. In 2000 in an unprecedented move, the publicly traded company went private. The company was acquired by an investor group including Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. which today owns 88.2 percent of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company.
Under Sokol’s leadership, the 17,000 employees of MidAmerican have grown the company into a leading global energy provider with seven million customers, $41 billion in assets and revenues exceeding $12 billion. This growth, driven by internal investment and a number of successful acquisitions, has formed a company with a broad range of energy services provided worldwide.
In March 2002, MidAmerican acquired Kern River Gas Transmission Company and, in August of that same year, Northern Natural Gas Company. This established MidAmerican as a leading operator of interstate natural gas pipeline systems, with approximately 17,000 miles of pipeline. Those companies currently transport nine percent of the natural gas consumed in the United States.
In 2008, investment opportunities included wind generation, high-voltage transmission and an investment in a high-tech company in China. MidAmerican Energy Company and PacifiCorp added 1,005 megawatts of wind generation. PacifiCorp started construction of the Energy Gateway Project, a $6 billion, 2,000-mile high-voltage transmission line project.
Additionally, MidAmerican reached a definitive agreement to purchase approximately 10 percent of BYD Company Limited
, a leader in battery development and manufacturing, solar power and environmentally conscious vehicles. Investment opportunities in 2009 include expansion of natural gas pipelines, the high-voltage transmission project and other renewable generating resources.
Today MidAmerican, through its utility subsidiaries, MidAmerican Energy Company and PacifiCorp, and its independent power production company, CalEnergy, contract and own interests in diversified generation facilities capable of producing more than 21,500 megawatts of electric power. Approximately 24 percent of that power comes from noncarbon, renewable resources such as geothermal, wind and nuclear. Sokol is a leading proponent of establishing an Apollo-like program to fund research and development of technology to respond to global climate change, and he has presented this model to Congress and business groups.
Sokol earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and holds an honorary doctorate degree from Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska.
He and his wife, Peggy, have a daughter, Kelly, and a son, D.J., now deceased. Sokol is active in community and charitable activities, and places a significant emphasis on mentoring students. Particularly important to Sokol is his service as president and chief executive officer of the Horatio Alger Association’s board of directors. Sokol is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys hunting, fishing, running and skiing.
Sokol’s business philosophy, based upon vision, strategy and principles, is described in a book he authored in 2008, Pleased But Not Satisfied. This simple business model and his focus on developing future leaders has helped create a successful global organization.
Other Board Memberships
Member of the National Petroleum Council
President & CEO of the Horatio Alger Association Board of Directors
Member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Leadership Advisory Board of Directors
Chairman of the Omaha Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority
Highlights and Achievements
CEO Coach of the Year Award, American Football Coaches Foundation, 2008
Lifetime Member, Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, April 2004
Omaha Business Hall of Fame Award, Greater Omaha Foundation, April 2004
Waite Medal for Leadership Award, Creighton University, April 2004
Volunteer of the Year, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, 2001
Individual Achievement Award, The Energy Daily, 2001
CEO of the Year, Financial Times Energy Global Awards, 2000
Mancuso Award, Omaha Sportscasters Association, 2000
Community Service Award, Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1999
Order of the Tower Award, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1998
Distinguished Graduate Award, National Catholic Education Association, 1998
Industrial Entrepreneur of the Year, Iowa/Nebraska Region, 1997
Honorary Doctorate Degree, Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska, 1997
Maverick Man of the Year, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1996
Viking of Distinction Award, Omaha North High School, Omaha, Nebraska, 1996
Silver Beaver Award, Boy Scouts of America – Mid-America Council, 1996
Lifetime Membership, Omicron Delta Kappa, University of Nebraska, November 1994
Heritage Patron Award, Boy Scouts of America – Mid-America Council, June 1993
Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award, Boy Scouts of America – Mid-America Council, June 1993
Alumnus Achievement Award, University of Nebraska at Omaha Alumni Association, May 1992
Included in Crain's New York Business Magazine, selection of "40 Under 40," January 1990
Voted "Executive of the Year" by Alternative Sources Energy Magazine, May 1988
Gregory E. Abel
President and Chief Executive Officer
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
Gregory E. Abel
Gregory E. Abel, President & CEO, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company
Foto: MidAmerican Energy Holdings
, 47, is president and chief executive officer of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, based in Des Moines, Iowa.
He also serves as chairman and chief executive officer of PacifiCorp, which provides electric service to six Western states and approximately 1.6 million customers.
He serves as the chief executive officer of CE Electric UK, which distributes electricity to approximately 3.7 million customers in England.
Additionally, he is chief executive officer of MidAmerican Funding, LLC, the holding company for an integrated utility providing natural gas and electricity to 1.4 million customers in the Midwestern United States.
Abel also is a director of Kern River Gas Transmission Company and Northern Natural Gas Company.
Kern River is a 1,700 mile interstate pipeline transporting Rocky Mountain and Canadian natural gas to markets in California, Nevada and Utah.
Northern Natural Gas Company operates 16,400 miles of pipeline extending from the Permian Basin in Texas to the Upper Midwest.
His responsibilities at MidAmerican are the operation and management of the holdings company; PacifiCorp's and MidAmerican Energy Company's supply and marketing and delivery services businesses; the CE Electric UK distribution businesses; CalEnergy's operations as an independent power producer; and the Kern River Gas Transmission Company and Northern Natural Gas Company pipeline operations. Furthermore, he is responsible for the evaluation of opportunities relating to acquisitions and project development.
Abel serves as a director of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company and HomeServices of America, Inc., based in Minneapolis, Minn., the second-largest full-service independent residential real estate brokerage firm in the United States.
Abel serves on the board and executive committee of the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
He also serves on the Kum & Go, L.C. board of directors, the Drake University board of trustees, the Wells Fargo Iowa community board of directors and the executive board of the Mid-Iowa Council Boy Scouts of America.