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APS CEO discusses electricity from Edison to the future

In the past three segments of Pat McMahon’s interviews with Arizona Public Service Company (APS) president, CEO and chairman, Don Brandt, the two have discussed the specifics of the company’s philosophy and operations.

But in the final interview, McMahon and Brandt talked about the past, present and future of both APS and the entire industry which keeps the lights on.

Brandt said even though most people don’t realize it, electricity and its role in everyday life has changed dramatically since its discovery.

“Back in Edison’s day, it was a luxury,” he said. “Today, it’s not just all the electronic gadgets, it fuels industry. It fuels economic development. Electricity is the lifeblood of a society.”

Because APS’s product is so crucial to the viability of society, Brandt also said his company feels it’s important to connect with the community it serves. APS does this through its foundation, which has a focus on education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“As my father used to say, ‘An education is one thing I can give you that no one else can take away,'” Brandt said. “We look at the jobs of the future, particularly in our industry, we need a lot of technology-driven jobs: engineers, technicians, scientists across the spectrum… so we’re devoting significant resources to STEM.”

When it comes to what’s next for Arizona’s energy, Brandt said he was optimistic.

“I’m very positive on the bright energy future for Arizona,” he said. “It’s going to take many different forms, some of which we probably can’t even dream of today. But we’ve seen dramatic changes in technology in just that last few years, and we at APS are getting prepared for the future.”