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Securing the Bulk-Power System

Resources to navigate Executive Order 13920


Understanding Executive Order 13920

Executive Order 13920, Securing the United States Bulk-Power System, declares a national emergency on the potential for compromised equipment to create and exploit vulnerabilities in the nation’s bulk-power system. According to the order, certain equipment, procured from vendors or other organizations under the control or influence of foreign adversaries, presents significant risks to the economy, human health and safety, and renders the United States less capable of acting in defense of itself and its allies. While the full reach and effect of EO 13920 is unknown at this time, for energy providers and their suppliers, it has the potential to change asset management practices, grid planning processes, supply chain practices, cyber and physical security strategies, and North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) compliance programs. 

How Guidehouse Helps

At Guidehouse, we combine a deep knowledge of the energy, utilities, and infrastructure industries, as well as our unmatched understanding of government policies and operations. We have extensive experience working with the US government, including critical national security programs within the US Department of Defense. With a unique perspective based on working at the intersection of utilities, infrastructure, and cyber security, our experts are here to help you prepare for the future by defining and implementing the right strategies. Learn how our Energy, Sustainability, and Infrastructure team is supporting utilities and public sector agencies on EO 13920 and beyond. 

  • Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM): Guidehouse guides clients through vendor and asset risk identification and assessment using a specific supply chain methodology. Our team of experts then works with clients to design, develop, and implement procedural and technical risk mitigation and security controls. Our approach and solutions stem from extensive experience working with utilities in NERC compliance (e.g., NERC CIP-013) and delivering SCRM for national security programs within the US Department of Defense. These activities include illuminating the layers of vendors and subcontract relationships, mapping the supply chain (parts, components, and entities), and developing customized risk rating and mitigation methodologies. Guidehouse has also built a visualization, analytics, and reporting platform delivering advanced analytics through agile and human-centered design methodologies for supply chain risk and performance reporting. This solution includes automated, mobile dashboards that can be viewed by approved users anywhere at any time.
  • Asset Management: Guidehouse supports the development and management of a mature asset registry, including the cataloging and tracking of installed-base energy infrastructure and control systems. This includes asset risk assessment and mitigation strategies related to bulk-power system equipment.
  • Risk, Compliance and Security: Guidehouse keeps client data and assets safe through security and compliance program definition and delivery, business and technical architecture, risk assessment and mitigation, procedural and technical controls, incident response, and identity and access management. 
  • Fuel Security: Guidehouse provides expertise in securing fuel supplies, advising on processes and regulation.
  • Grid Planning and Operations: Guidehouse provides technical studies to examine the grid under various stress scenarios and develops remedial actions or creative switching routines as interim solutions.
  • Manufacturing: Guidehouse assesses potential impacts under various stress scenarios for companies manufacturing products that are part of the bulk-power system and for large energy-intensive corporations that have operations that are part of the bulk-power system.

Supply Chain Risk Management

Executive Order 13920 highlights the potential for critical supply chain risks that could directly impact national security. Without a robust vendor and asset risk assessment methodology in place, organizations take on significant risk with the potential for costly financial and social impacts. As energy providers begin to navigate the executive order, Guidehouse recommends creating—or augmenting—a robust supply chain risk management program to ensure a readiness to respond as new regulations continue to be defined.

Learn how Guidehouse can help energy providers identify risks and secure supply chains in accordance with Executive Order 13920. Download our position paper below for further information on the potential impact of the order's rules and requirements, what to expect for existing or planned BPS equipment, and recommended implementation strategies and roadmaps to address and mitigate supply chain risks.


Foreign components exist in nearly every level of the US transmission and distribution network. If implemented in full, the potential impact of Executive Order 13920 to the power system—and to manufacturers and vendors—could be significant. Given the order's potential breadth, current vagueness, and potential implications across the bulk-power system, Guidehouse recommends vendors and manufacturers assess the potential risks to business as usual, with an expectation that additional policies and regulations will likely introduce further restrictions on the supply chains serving critical infrastructure.

Learn how Guidehouse can help manufacturers and vendors understand and prepare for Executive Order 13920. Download our position paper below for further information on order's scope, it's implications, and recommendations on assessing product portfolios, reviewing supply chains, evaluating risk, and more.


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