Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

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Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Reviews

Updated 15 March, 2015
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3.1
59 Reviews
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Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) President & CEO Michael W. Howard
Michael W. Howard
39 Ratings

Pros
  • The employees are very devoted to their research, but the company allows healthy work-life balance (in 4 reviews)

  • Will let you work from home anywhere, so nobody sees what you are doing (in 3 reviews)

Cons
  • Less young employees than other Silicon valley companies (in 3 reviews)

  • Poor upper management that came from outside the organization and have little if any understanding of how and why the work gets identified and done (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company doing great things!

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Exciting research , great compensation , laid back and relaxed work environment, many employee incentatives

    Cons

    None from my experience

  2. Great Company for Project Managing in Energy Sector

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great benefits and training.

    Cons

    Promotions and pay raises a little on the slow and steady rate.

    Advice to Management

    More improvement on career development progress and work-life balance.

  3. Helpful (2)

    Management is disconnected from average workforce, advocates safety but often does not follow through

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Knoxville, TN (US)
    Current Employee - Project Manager in Knoxville, TN (US)

    I have been working at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (more than 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility of work schedule, salary is average but not low enough to look for another job, great caring coworkers, the local HR tries to be helpful and if they can't help they are always good listeners.

    Cons

    Our leadership team is totally disconnected from the reality of what is going on in our offices, and sets unrealistic goals for which they do not enable us to meet. As an example We had an ice storm on Feb 16. The office closed in the afternoon and was closed on Tuesday Feb 17. There was no delay on Wednesday the 18th despite schools, courts, day care, churches, everything completely closed, and the roads were still icy. The Knoxville facility was covered in ice, the driveway, parking lot and sidewalks, and was not safe to walk on. They even showed a video of a coworker falling Wednesday when they were trying to get into the building and reminded us of a safety goal our executives have that affects our bonus if someone gets injured. So they told us to not get hurt. Regardless of how flexible the inclement weather policy is, if the building cannot be made safe for us to go to work without slip hazards then they need to close the office. Don't threaten our bonuses for falling on an icy sidewalk because it wasnt scraped or salted enough.

    Advice to Management

    The employee survey showed very little trust in senior management and executive team. Please don't forget about the 800 people who help keep this company going. Help us create the safety culture that is talked about every time in meetings.

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  5. EPRI Employee Comment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (less than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    I have read other comments and just want to offer my two cents. Having been in two energy companies for decades, run my own business practice and done a nonprofit start-up,I have been around corporate and nonprofit America for some time. I am pleased with the EPRI organization. I have found doors open for viewpoints and the ability to get involved and help on solutions. I have already recommended EPRI to others.

    Cons

    Every organization always has to keep an eye on efficiency, communications, talent, finances, etc. It is a challenge across most all companies and nonprofits.

    Advice to Management

    The reputation of EPRI in it objectivity is a key to the good name it has built. Keep our eye on that ball, as we have in the past.

  6. Helpful (4)

    One of the most disappointing experiences of my life.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Manager in Charlotte, NC (US)
    Former Employee - Manager in Charlotte, NC (US)

    I worked at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (more than 3 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Excellent pay and benefits. Unfortunately, no amount of pay can justify the excessive office politics, leadership hubris, non-strategic thinking, and "shiny object" projects one will endure.

    Cons

    Incredibly incompetent leadership who exercise their power without regard to the mission and principles that brought EPRI into existence. In my first year of employment, the organization stood for what it is supposed to do: provide objective research in the name of shaping the future of electricity. I was particularly impressed with the leadership exhibited by several individuals, and their commitment to fulfilling EPRI founder Chauncey Starr's vision. Unfortunately, these individuals and several others were removed "for cost"--at a time when targets were being met.

    Curiously, what followed these individuals' questionable removal was a slow descent into scattershot efforts that not only, in my opinion, jeopardized EPRI's standing as an objective Institute, but also raised concerns about the prudent use of members' dollars. It is no surprise that certain leaders' actions and pet projects drove employees into a state of poor morale that continues to devolve. Even in the face of hard metrics garnered from employee surveys, Leadership turned the cheek and even sugar-coated the lackluster results. Efforts to ameliorate employees' concerns were half-hearted at best, even when good employees offered hard strategies and options for leadership to take action.

    In addition to the woes of Leadership, there is zero accountability in place at EPRI. Misused dollars, failed projects, improper conduct with employees, and lack of adherence to the organization's mission plague the workplace. Whether it is a sense of entitlement because of their tenure at EPRI, the money they are being paid, or the special relationship they have with someone in power in the organization, many are able to get away with things that would almost always be punishable by demotion, termination, and in many cases, legal action in another organization.

    The one word, and ultimate reason for my departure, is disappointment. Disappointment because I intensely care about the mission that EPRI was founded upon. And while there are great projects and work still trickling out, the overall trajectory is poor. I believe it is only a matter of time before EPRI members realize the lack of return on their investment, and that employees leave en masse (which is indeed happening). It is my hope that the historically detached Board of Directors realizes the issues outlined in this review, amongst many others, and clears the decks so that one day, EPRI can return to the great company it once was.

    Advice to Management

    Listen to the employees and take real action. Begin to hold people accountable for their work and their actions. Recognize the talents of employees who aren't in the "inner circles," and better yet, stop creating the inner circles by stopping politicking. Finally, never lose sight of the principals that brought EPRI into existence.

  7. Helpful (1)

    A good place for self-motivated project managers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Project Engineer/Scientist in Knoxville, TN (US)
    Current Employee - Project Engineer/Scientist in Knoxville, TN (US)

    I have been working at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (more than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Smart people, some cutting-edge work, good opportunities for advancement in management, well-respected by utility industry. Somewhat flexible; a great place for self-motivated types. Very stable environment.

    Cons

    Offers poor resources for early-career employees to develop technical expertise.

    In a strange middle-ground between academic research and industry--can feel like an ivory tower (disconnected) while still feeling the pressures and corporate culture of industry (focus on productivity squashes creativity).

    Work-life balance can be easily overwhelmed in management roles.

    Conservative culture mirrors some utilities, with few women and minorities in technical roles.

    Advice to Management

    A serious effort needs to be made to foster professional development, especially for early-career employees in technical roles. Educational courses and externships would be highly valuable.

    Employee distrust of management will only increase as the use of corporate buzzwords in company communications increases. Executive absence from offices adds to the perception that they are disconnected from employees.

  8. Helpful (5)

    Terrible corporate culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Honestly none. Compensation is mediocre. Good luck moving up.

    Cons

    It's hard to work when all everyone does is pass the blame to the lower ranking guys

    Advice to Management

    Because you're in upper management doesn't mean you treat them however you please.
    That explains why the "trust" in the company was a 48% in a survey

  9. Helpful (2)

    Not a good experience overall....

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Charlotte, NC (US)
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Charlotte, NC (US)

    I have been working at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) full-time (more than 3 years)

    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    The compensation is average but high for a non-profit. Benefits are good. The company itself is pretty good but the cons listed below overshadow the admirable mission and good points.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? Culture is brutal. At the lower levels it is a pretty friendly collaborative culture but the bullying from the director level has gotten way out of hand. In spite of poor survey results, lost talent and feedback on the issues nothing really ever changes. If these issues were dealt with the company would be a great place to work. However, don't hold your breath. Leadership is rather out of touch so that may contribute to the management dysfunction that paralyzes the organization.

    Advice to Management

    You can't reach your potential if you don't have the right people. The company needs leadership. Stop assuming that just because they were hired or promoted they are the best fit for EPRI. Deal with your hard management decisions and let the company move forward. One bad manager is not worth your entire talent pool.

  10. Fairly Good Research Organization

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Project Manager - Fossil Power Generation in Charlotte, NC (US)
    Former Employee - Project Manager - Fossil Power Generation in Charlotte, NC (US)

    I worked at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Worked on interesting Engineering Research projects.
    Interacted with knowledgeable technical professional in the field.
    Learned research project management.
    Attended and participated in many different professional seminars and events.
    Good research environment.

    Cons

    Too much theory, more practical experiments are needed.

    Advice to Management

    Management need to let project team to practical experiment in the field to gain the inside problem of the participated members.

  11. Helpful (5)

    Bad place to work if your in IT

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Supports training, co-workers are skilled and hard working

    Cons

    Communication, management, very little growth potential, Long term vision, Low salary

    Advice to Management

    Officers should review the REAL what, where, when and why's of the overall health of the IT organization. There needs to be a true stewardship of the IT Organization as a whole. It would be an eye opener to see what is really going on under the covers.

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