The utilities sector is an essential aspect of any healthy economy. The equities included in this industry range from gas and electric companies to transmission providers. Essentially, it comes down to the companies that support the very infrastructure of any modern civilization. 

Leaders of utilities are some of the highest paid, and many of these executives have been working for decades for their respective companies. Here are some of the highest-paid executives in the utilities sector as of 2019.

Key Takeaways

  • Executives in this industry earn a base pay of $1~2 million.
  • They can earn additional annual incentive pay and long-term incentive pay that adds another $10 million or so to their pay package.
  • NextEra Energy CEO James Robo is one of the highest-paid in the industry, pulling in $21.87 million in compensation. 

Thomas F. Farrell II

Thomas F. Farrell II is the president, chairman and CEO of Dominion Energy (D), positions which he has held since April 2007. He joined Dominion as a company director in 2005. Farrell is one of the highest-paid executives in the utilities sector. In 2019, he earned $2.56 million in pay, which includes $1.55 million in base salary plus annual incentive pay. He also received another $11.48 million in long-term incentive pay, bringing his total compensation for the year to about $14.05 million. In addition, Farrell holds 996,316 common shares of Dominion Energy and 224,226 restricted shares.

Dominion Energy is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, and supplies energy to more than seven million customers in 20 states. In July 2020, it sold its gas transmission and storage business to Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) in a deal valued at $9.7 billion.

Christopher Crane

Christopher Crane is the president and CEO of Exelon (EXC). He has been a director at the company since 2012 and was president chief operating officer of Exelon and Exelon Generation from 2008 through 2012. In 2019, Crane received $15.44 million in compensation. This consisted of $1.34 million in base salary, $11 million in stock awards and the remainder coming other forms of compensation. He owns 1.04 million shares of the company. His retirement package was worth $34 million at the end of 2019.

Exelon is headquartered in Chicago. It has operations in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Crane joined the company in 1998, when it was ComEd, and became chief nuclear officer in 2004.

James Robo

James Robo is the president, chief executive and chairman of NextEra Energy (NEE). He has been president and CEO since July 2012, and was appointed chairman in December 2013. In 2019, Robo received $21.87 million in compensation. This included a base salary of $1.45 million, stock awards of $11.74 million, option awards of $2.83 million, non-equity incentive pay of $4.6 million, and other forms of compensation. He owns approximately 1 million shares of the company.

NextEra Energy is headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla. The company owns two electric companies in Florida, wind and solar businesses, and eight nuclear power plants in Florida, New Hampshire, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Nicholas Akins

Nicholas Akins is president, chief executive and chairman of American Electric Power (AEP). Akins was an executive vice president from 2006 to 2011, when he became CEO. He was named chairman in 2014. In 2019, Akins earned $14.5 million in total compensation. Of this, $1.48 million was base salary, $8.8 million was stock awards, $3.6 million was non-equity incentive pay and the remainder came from other forms of compensation.

American Electric Power serves more than five million retail customers in Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.