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Reference models and incentive regulation of electricity distribution networks: An evaluation of Sweden's Network Performance Assessment Model (NPAM)

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  • Jamasb, Tooraj
  • Pollitt, Michael

Abstract

Electricity sector reforms across the world have led to a search for innovative approaches to regulation that promote efficiency in the natural monopoly distribution networks and reduce their service charges. To this aim, a number of countries have adopted incentive regulation models based on efficiency benchmarking. While most regulators have used parametric and non-parametric frontier-based methods of benchmarking some have adopted engineering-designed "reference firm" or "norm" models. This paper examines the incentive properties and related aspects of the reference firm model--NPAM--as used in Sweden and compares this with frontier-based benchmarking methods. We identify a number of important differences between the two approaches that are not readily apparent and discuss their ramifications for the regulatory objectives and process. We conclude that, on balance, the reference models are less appropriate as benchmarks than real firms. Also, the implementation framework based on annual ex-post reviews exacerbates the regulatory problems mainly by increasing uncertainty and reducing the incentive for innovation.

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  • Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2008. "Reference models and incentive regulation of electricity distribution networks: An evaluation of Sweden's Network Performance Assessment Model (NPAM)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1788-1801, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:5:p:1788-1801
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jamasb, Tooraj & Nillesen, Paul & Pollitt, Michael, 2004. "Strategic behaviour under regulatory benchmarking," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 825-843, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jamasb, T. & Söderberg, M., 2009. "Yardstick and Ex-post Regulation by Norm Model: Empirical Equivalence, Pricing Effect, and Performance in Sweeden," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0908, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Pezzini, Paola & Gomis-Bellmunt, Oriol & Frau-Valentí, Joan & Sudrià-Andreu, Antoni, 2010. "Energy efficiency optimization in distribution transformers considering Spanish distribution regulation policy," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 4685-4690.
    3. van der Welle, Adriaan J. & de Joode, Jeroen, 2011. "Regulatory road maps for the integration of intermittent electricity generation: Methodology development and the case of The Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 5829-5839, October.
    4. Keirstead, James, 2013. "Benchmarking urban energy efficiency in the UK," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 575-587.
    5. Tooraj Jamasb & Magnus Söderberg, 2010. "The Effects of Average Norm Model Regulation: The Case of Electricity Distribution in Sweden," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 36(3), pages 249-269, May.
    6. Agrell, Per J. & Brea-Solís, Humberto, 2017. "Capturing heterogeneity in electricity distribution operations: A critical review of latent class modelling," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 361-372.
    7. repec:eee:enepol:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:631-641 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. TEUSCH, Jonas, 2016. "Merger Incentives Under Yardstick Competition : a Theoretical Model," CORE Discussion Papers 2016037, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    9. Arcos-Vargas, A. & Núñez-Hernández, F. & Villa-Caro, Gabriel, 2017. "A DEA analysis of electricity distribution in Spain: An industrial policy recommendation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 583-592.
    10. Gómez, Tomás & Mateo, Carlos & Sánchez, Álvaro & Reneses, Javier & Rivier, Michel, 2011. "La retribución de la distribución de electricidad en España y el modelo de red de referencia/The Remuneration of Electricity Distribution in Spain and the Reference Network Model," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 29, pages 661(24.)-66, Agosto.

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    JEL classification:

    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • L97 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Utilities: General

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