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Carroll School of Management

Steve Holliday

Chief Executive Officer, National Grid

Excerpt from remarks to Boston College’s Chief Executives’ Club of Boston

October 24, 2013

TAKEAWAY: Cleaner, reliable, affordable energy

And the lovely thing about our business is the pride that employees feel, enormous pride, because they understand that what they do is provide an extraordinarily essential service to the well-being of customers and communities. That’s the good news.

There’s a but. And the but is, we have a significant challenge, a challenge that, I think, as John was alluding to, affects every single one of us in this room. And it’s increasingly capturing the imagination of the broader public and society. It is, I agree, one of the biggest challenges that we face. Very often we refer to [it] as a trilemma. How can we deliver cleaner energy in the future, ensure it’s reliable, and at the same time, afford it? Things often in conflict.

And I do believe that our company sits at the heart of that. We have an enormous role to play, not in developing policy, but help influencing as politicians struggle the world over to find the right answers. But it’s not just a challenge in the Northeast, obviously. It’s not just a challenge in Europe, not just in the U.S. It is a global challenge. And therein sits one of the conundrums.