Avangrid Inc

InfluenceMap Score
C
Performance Band
68%
Organisation Score
59%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Orange, United States
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Avangrid appears to be engaging with mixed positions on U.S. federal and state climate policies, including in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Although the company has positive top-line messaging on climate policy, it appears to be strategically protecting the role of fossil gas in the energy mix. Avangrid is a member of several industry associations which similarly promote fossil gas, including Edison Electric Institute, the American Gas Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Top-Line Messaging on Climate Policy: Avangrid demonstrates positive but limited top-line messaging on climate policy. In October 2021, Avangrid published a Climate Action Policy in which the company appeared to broadly support government regulation to respond to climate change. In the same month, Avangrid released a blog post in which it supported the climate provisions in the Build Back Better Act. Earlier that year, subsidiary Central Maine Power (CMP) directly advocated to policymakers in May 2021 to support Maine Legislative Document 1682, which authorized the state Public Utilities Commission to consider climate in its decision-making. Avangrid tweeted its support for the U.S. re-entry to the Paris Agreement in January 2021.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: Avangrid appears to engage with mixed positions on climate-related policies. The company seems supportive of the Biden administration’s climate goals: in February 2022, former CEO Dennis Arriola was present at the meeting between President Biden and utility executives to discuss the clean energy tax credits from the Build Back Better Act. In January 2022, Avangrid signed a joint letter organized by the American Clean Power Association that advocated to Congressional leadership to pass the clean energy tax credits in the Build Back Better Act. Previously, in a May 2021 earnings call, Arriola appeared to support President Biden’s target to reduce GHG emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030. In the same call, Arriola also supported the proposed federal clean energy standard in the infrastructure bill. In addition, Avangrid tweeted support in March 2021 for President Biden’s target to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

On the other hand, Avangrid demonstrates more mixed positions on regional and state-level renewable energy policies. In Connecticut, the company submitted testimony in March 2021 in support of Senate Bill 884, which would have enabled the state to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative. In New York, Avangrid advocated in July 2020 to the Public Service Commission to fulfill the renewable energy targets as set out by the 2019 Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. In Massachusetts, the company has supported the state’s offshore wind energy goals in February 2020 comments to the state’s Department of Energy Resources. Avangrid is less supportive of renewable energy legislation in other jurisdictions: in May 2021 testimony on Oregon legislation to establish the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, subsidiary Avangrid Renewables appeared to oppose renewable energy requirements. In Maine, subsidiary Central Power Maine has demonstrated mixed positions on net energy metering bills introduced in 2021, though it previously advocated for Renewable Portfolio Standard legislation in May 2019.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Avangrid has a mostly negative position on the energy mix, in which it supports clean energy funding but advocates for the long-term role of fossil gas. The company appears to be supportive of federal policy measures to transition the energy mix: in May and July 2021 blogs, former CEO Arriola supported clean energy infrastructure funding in the American Jobs Plan and electric vehicle funding in the bipartisan infrastructure bill, respectively. However, Avangrid is strategically protecting the role of fossil gas, particularly in the New England states, suggesting misalignment from IPCC guidance. In Massachusetts, along with other utilities, subsidiary Berkshire Gas has been leading the Future of Gas engagement process as part of the Department of Public Utilities docket on the role of gas local distribution companies in achieving the state’s 2050 decarbonization goals; in its March 2022 draft proposal, the subsidiary promoted the long-term role of fossil gas in the state’s decarbonization strategy. In Connecticut, Avangrid has demonstrated mixed positions on policy measures to transition from fossil fuels. For instance, the company testified in March 2020 against a Connecticut bill seeking to limit fossil gas infrastructure expansion in the state. In February 2019, Avangrid had also testified against a Connecticut bill that would remove subsidies for interstate fossil gas pipelines. In a May 2021 earnings call, former CEO Arriola stated that fossil gas would be a “fuel of choice” in the long-term in the New England region, adding that fossil gas is a “clean, efficient, affordable source of energy.”

Industry Association Governance: Avangrid does not appear to disclose any information on its industry association memberships on its corporate website and, in its 2021 CDP response, only discloses membership in the American Clean Power Association. The president of an Avangrid subsidiary serves on the board of directors for the American Gas Association (AGA), while Avangrid's former CEO Dennis Arriola served on the Board of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and U.S. Chamber of Commerce. However, the company's current CEO, Pedro Azagra Blázquez, does not appear to serve on the board of either EEI or the US Chamber, although the company retains membership to both groups. Both AGA and the U.S. Chamber demonstrate strategic negative positions on climate policy, including on recent engagements against climate provisions in the reconciliation bill. EEI engages with more mixed positions on climate policy, including on different climate proposals in the Build Back Better agenda.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
27%
 
27%
 
91%
 
91%
 
83%
 
83%
 
29%
 
29%
 
57%
 
57%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.