The 1970’s


In the summer of 1975 a small group of executives representing large industrial consumers of electricity met to consider the formation of an “Industrial Power Consumers Council” or IPC.  The name was later changed to “The Council of Industrial Power Consumers.” The companies most actively involved were Union Carbide Corporation, AIRCO Inc., Stauffer Chemical Company, Monsanto Company, FMC Corporation, Air Products & Chemicals, General Motors Corporation, Hanna Mining Company, and PPG Industries Inc.


On January 15, 1976, the organizational meeting of the “Electricity Consumers Resource Council” (ELCON) was convened in Washington DC. Attendees included David J. Craig (AIRCO Inc.), Edward V. Sherry (Air Products & Chemicals), Harold J. Newman (Allegheny Ludlum Industries), Charles B. Herman (FMC Corporation), Chester L. Knowles, Jr. (Olin Corporation), George L. Cobb (PPG Industries), and James C. Malone (Union Carbide). 

ELCON was formed as an unincorporated, 501(c) (6) non-profit association. David Craig of AIRCO Inc. was elected ELCON’s first chairman and Ronald S. Wishart of Union Carbide was elected Executive Director Pro Tem and Secretary-Treasurer. Philip A. Fleming of the law firm Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue and later Crowell & Morning was designated as General Counsel.


ELCON submitted its first comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in response to the agency’s pending implementation of PURPA section 133. Mr. Wishart and Dr. Kennedy initiated a series of ELCON publications entitled Profiles in Electricity Issues that defended ELCON members’ positions on the PURPA standards and other critical issues of the time.

The 1980’s


In 1984, Dr. Kennedy retired from ELCON to found J. Kennedy & Associates, a consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. 

On October 17, 1984, the ELCON Board of Directors selected Dr. John A. Anderson as ELCON’s new Executive Director. Dr. Anderson had been a member of the ELCON staff as Senior Economist since September 1980. Dr. Anderson would lead the organization throughout the entire era of electric industry restructuring.

The 2010’s


October 21, 2015, John P. Hughes is elected President & CEO. Hughes joined ELCON as Technical Director in 1987 and was promoted to Vice President in 2003. Prior to ELCON, Mr. Hughes was an Associate Director of the Strategic Planning Department at Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation (currently National Grid). He was previously Chief Economist for the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Council.

December 31, 2015, President John A. Anderson retires.


August 21, 2018, Devin Hartman is elected President & CEO. Hartman previously established the electricity policy program at the R Street Institute based on principles of market competition, consumer choice, and good governance. He previously worked in the market oversight division of FERC, where he conducted economic analyses and advised the Commission on natural gas-electric industry coordination and market designs that facilitate the efficient and reliable operation of the bulk electric system. Prior to FERC, Mr. Hartman led the modernization of utility resource planning rules at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. He also worked on air pollution policy for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and for various energy and environmental policy non-profit organizations.

The 2020’s


John P. Hughes returns to ELCON to serve as Interim President & CEO.

April 16, 2020, Travis S. Fisher is elected President & CEO. Fisher was previously an Economic Advisor to FERC Commissioner Bernie McNamee and served as a Senior Advisor in the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Mr. Fisher also served on the DOE and FERC transition teams for President Trump.

ELCON CEOs L to R: Karen Onaran (2023- ), John Hughes (2015-2018; 2020), Travis Fisher (2020-2023), Devin Hartman (2018-2019)


January 26, 2023, Karen J. Onaran is elected President & CEO. Onaran joined ELCON as Vice President in July 2021 and was previously the Director of Federal Regulatory Affairs at EEI working on behalf of investor-owned utilities in electric transmission policy. Prior to EEI, Ms. Onaran was a paralegal in the Washington, D.C. area for 16 years.