Chair Castor Introduces Bill to Boost Electric Grid Reliability, Slash Energy Costs

Nov 18, 2022
Press Release

WASHINGTON (November 18, 2022) - Chair Kathy Castor of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis introduced the Enhancing Electric Grid Resilience Act, a bill that would improve our electric grid, expand access to clean energy, and slash electric bills for Americans by improving cost allocation for priority transmission lines. 

As the United States moves away from costly and volatile fossil fuels, utilities are increasingly using cheap domestic renewable resources, including wind and solar energy, to power homes and businesses. Building new transmission lines is a crucial step to continue this expansion of cleaner, cheaper energy. With power companies approving new transmission projects and deciding who will pay for them, the Enhancing Electric Grid Resilience Act would improve cost allocation by establishing the “beneficiary pays” principle, defining benefits broadly to include grid reliability and resilience benefits as well as savings from access to renewable energy.  

“Upgrading the electric grid is a crucial step to enhance resilience and reliability and slash electric bills across the United States,” Chair Castor said. “We need to build new transmission projects that will expand the reach of clean energy and reduce costs for American households, as cheap electricity flows through a less-congested grid and right into their communities. Building more of these transmission lines can also allow electricity to quickly move to where it's needed, helping keep the lights on in the face of extreme weather. As Congress works to ensure that families have access to electricity in the event of worsening wildfires, floods, droughts, and climate-fueled disasters, it's important that we strengthen our electric grid and produce real savings for Americans.”

Specifically, the Enhancing Electric Grid Resilience Act encourages broad cost allocation for transmission facilities of national significance consistent with the “beneficiary pays” principle. A transmission facility of national significance is an interstate or offshore wind transmission line that has a transmission capacity of at least 1,000 megawatts; or an upgrade or expansion of an interstate or offshore wind transmission line that increases the transmission capacity by at least 500 megawatts.

Full text of the bill, which was introduced on Thursday, is available here.

A section-by-section summary is available here.

The bill is supported by groups including Americans for a Clean Energy Grid and Grid Strategies.

“Every path to 100% clean energy requires a dramatic increase in transmission capacity, and a significant hurdle to effective transmission buildout is cost allocation for multi-state lines,” said Christina Hayes, executive director of Americans for a Clean Energy Grid, a diverse coalition of business, labor, consumer, utility, transmission and generation developers, environmental groups, and others who support effective transmission development. “We are excited to see legislation that provides an opportunity to seek cost recovery through well-established processes for both on- and offshore transmission and establish clear guidance on which facilities qualify for the cost allocation framework. We believe this bill will support construction of interstate transmission lines needed to ensure all Americans have access to affordable and reliable energy.”


“This bill would help with the biggest barrier to new transmission: lack of decisions about cost allocation. I applaud any supporter of this policy,” said Rob Gramlich, President of Grid Strategies.


117th Congress