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Statistical benchmarking in utility regulation: Role, standards and methods


  • Lowry, Mark Newton
  • Getachew, Lullit


Statistical benchmarking is being used with increasing frequency around the world in utility rate regulation. We discuss how and where benchmarking is in use for this purpose and the pros and cons of regulatory benchmarking. We then discuss alternative performance standards and benchmarking methods in regulatory applications. We use these to propose guidelines for the appropriate use of benchmarking in the rate setting process. The standards, which we term the competitive market and frontier paradigms, have a bearing on method selection. These along with regulatory experience suggest that benchmarking can either be used for prudence review in regulation or to establish rates or rate setting mechanisms directly.

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  • Lowry, Mark Newton & Getachew, Lullit, 2009. "Statistical benchmarking in utility regulation: Role, standards and methods," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1323-1330, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:4:p:1323-1330

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    Cited by:

    1. Agrell, Per J. & Niknazar, Pooria, 2014. "Structural and behavioral robustness in applied best-practice regulation," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 89-103.
    2. Steele Santos, Paulo E. & Coradi Leme, Rafael & Galvão, Leandro, 2012. "On the electrical two-part tariff—The Brazilian perspective," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 123-130.
    3. Reneses, Javier & Gómez, Tomás & Rivier, Juan & Angarita, Jorge L., 2011. "Electricity tariff design for transition economies: Application to the Libyan power system," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 33-43, January.
    4. Cesaroni, Giovanni & Giovannola, Daniele, 2015. "Average-cost efficiency and optimal scale sizes in non-parametric analysis," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 242(1), pages 121-133.
    5. Leme, Rafael C. & Paiva, Anderson P. & Steele Santos, Paulo E. & Balestrassi, Pedro P. & Galvão, Leandro de Lima, 2014. "Design of experiments applied to environmental variables analysis in electricity utilities efficiency: The Brazilian case," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 111-119.


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