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Does weather explain cost and quality performance? An analysis of UK electricity distribution companies

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  • Yu, William
  • Jamasb, Tooraj
  • Pollitt, Michael

Abstract

In recent years, a number of empirical studies and energy regulators have applied benchmarking techniques to measuring the efficiency and performance of network utilities. An important issue has been the extent to which the results are influenced by contextual factors. Among these, weather factors are frequently discussed as being important. We use factor analysis and two-stage data envelopment analysis techniques to examine the effect of a set of important weather factors (gale, hail, temperatures, rainfall and thunder) on the performance of electricity distribution networks in the UK. The results indicate that such factors often do not have a significant economic and statistical effect on the overall performance of the utilities. The weather parameters in some models are significant in terms of economic efficiency. The results echo our previous findings of the importance of extending the basic model to include other inputs such as total expenditure (Totex), customer minutes lost (CML) and network energy losses in regulatory benchmarking.

Suggested Citation

  • Yu, William & Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2009. "Does weather explain cost and quality performance? An analysis of UK electricity distribution companies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4177-4188, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:11:p:4177-4188
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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.
    2. Yu, W. & Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2007. "Incorporating the Price of Quality in Efficiency Analysis: the Case of Electricity Distribution Regulation in the UK," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0736, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Sailor, David J. & Muñoz, J.Ricardo, 1997. "Sensitivity of electricity and natural gas consumption to climate in the U.S.A.—Methodology and results for eight states," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 22(10), pages 987-998.
    4. Giannakis, Dimitrios & Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2005. "Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution networks," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(17), pages 2256-2271, November.
    5. Jamasb, Tooraj & Pollitt, Michael, 2007. "Incentive regulation of electricity distribution networks: Lessons of experience from Britain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6163-6187, December.
    6. Yang, Hongliang & Pollitt, Michael, 2009. "Incorporating both undesirable outputs and uncontrollable variables into DEA: The performance of Chinese coal-fired power plants," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 197(3), pages 1095-1105, September.
    7. P. Nillesen & M. Pollitt, 2010. "Using Regulatory Benchmarking Techniques to Set Company Performance Targets: The Case of Us Electricity," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 11(1), pages 50-85, March.
    8. Pardo, Angel & Meneu, Vicente & Valor, Enric, 2002. "Temperature and seasonality influences on Spanish electricity load," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-70, January.
    9. Jamasb, T. & Pollitt, M., 2000. "Benchmarking and regulation: international electricity experience," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 107-130, September.
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