PPL Corporation Celebrates a Century of People Powering Life

PP&L touts the efficiency of electric appliances at an industrial parade in June 1930.

PPL Corporation (PPL), whose rich history dates back to 1920, recently kicked off its year-long celebration to mark its 100th anniversary. The company shares this milestone with the communities and customers it serves and the employees who have helped build the company into what it is today.

With its headquarters in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Power & Light Company (PP&L) was created in 1920 through the consolidation of eight electric companies with 62 power plants serving central and eastern Pennsylvania. Born during a critical time in the United States, PP&L helped power the growth of industry and communities in central and eastern Pennsylvania by transforming the region’s patchwork of local electric grids into a vast network of generation, transmission and distribution facilities.

Since the 1920s, PPL has adapted to every major shift in the energy industry, meeting demand with operational excellence and tackling difficult challenges with innovative solutions. From the surge of electric appliances and the growth of industry in the 1940s and 1950s to the energy conservation programs of the 1970s and the deregulation of power markets in the 1990s, PPL has been there – powering lives, communities, organizations, governments and businesses day in and day out.

Today, PPL and its family of companies, including PPL Electric Utilities, Louisville Gas & Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company and Western Power Distribution, are building a smarter, more reliable and more resilient energy grid. The company is investing in new technology that is reshaping electricity networks, enabling more distributed energy resources and advancing a cleaner energy future.

“PPL’s 100-year history is rich with growth and success, but it is nothing without the thousands of dedicated employees – past and present – who have powered progress in our cities, towns and communities,” said William H. Spence, PPL chairman and chief executive officer. “We’re proud of their legacy, we’re thankful for the opportunity we have each day to make a difference in our customers’ lives, and we are driven by the opportunity we have to help shape our shared energy future.”

PPL will commemorate its rich history and commitment to its communities by sponsoring and participating in events and sharing stories, photographs and historical facts throughout 2020. Activities will include:

  • Completing 100 acts of service across central and eastern Pennsylvania.

  • Awarding $100,000 in special centennial grants through a Bright Lights program focused on recognizing nonprofit employees working to make a positive impact in their communities.

  • Sharing via web and social media unique historical facts, images and stories about PPL, its employees, its retirees and the communities it serves.

  • Celebrating at events that bring the communities we serve together, such as the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

Learn more about PPL’s history and stay up to date on its plans to celebrate its centennial at pplweb.com/100years or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

PPL’s past, present and future are built by its employees. We value the thousands of employees who have shaped our past, are impacting our present and are influencing our future. We are in search of exceptional talent to lead us into the next generation. Explore opportunities at: www.pplweb.com/careers.

Key milestones in PPL’s history:

  • 1920 – PP&L was formed on June 4, 1920.

  • 1928 – Construction of PP&L’s Tower Building in Allentown, Pa. is completed.

  • 1945 – PP&L goes public on the New York Stock Exchange.

  • 1961 – PP&L supports the expansion of electric heating by touting its benefits on show floors in its buildings. In 1961, there were only about 1,000 PP&L customers using electric home heating. By 1964, that number had increased six-fold and that doubled to nearly 14,000 electric home heating customers by early 1967.

  • 1981 – PP&L serves its 1 millionth customer.

  • 1998 – PP&L becomes the first utility to receive a license from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to competitively sell electricity and energy services following the state’s decision to deregulate its energy market in 1996.

  • 2000 – PP&L Resources changes its name to PPL Corporation and PP&L, Inc. becomes PPL Electric Utilities. PPL Electric Utilities is the regulated utility that distributes electricity to customers in central and eastern Pennsylvania.

  • 2010 – PPL acquires two regulated utilities in Kentucky — Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities.

  • 2011 – PPL completes the acquisition of two regulated electric distribution companies in the United Kingdom. Together, with two utilities acquired in the U.K. previously, they operate under the name Western Power Distribution.

  • 2015 – PPL spins off its competitive generation portfolio.

  • 2018 – PPL announces a goal to cut the company’s carbon dioxide emissions 70 percent from 2010 levels by 2050 as it works to advance a cleaner energy future.

For more about PPL’s history, see the corporate timeline.

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