IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Conceptualizing and evaluating best practices in electricity and water regulatory governance


  • Jarvis, Darryl S.L.
  • Sovacool, Benjamin K.


This article presents a preliminary conceptual framework that scholars and analysts can use to evaluate regulatory systems in the provision of water and electricity services. We propose an integrative evaluative framework combining regulatory governance and regulatory substance metrics to assess regulatory effectiveness in relation to performance based outcomes in water and energy services provision. We identify eight structural based elements as necessary for effective governance in addition to two output attributes. We then identify twelve components that comprise regulatory substance for the energy and water sectors. We lastly suggest quantitative and qualitative metrics for assessing specific sector outcomes. While we recognize that issues associated with outcomes are ubiquitous to both the water and energy sectors, the metrics necessary to evaluate performance and outcomes are sectorally specific. The novelty of our study is that it does not exempt issues of sustainability and equity from notions of effective regulation. Our framework simultaneously looks at regulatory outcomes and governance at micro (industry), meso (provincial/state) and macro (national) levels. Lastly, it highlights the importance of a mixed methods approach that combines quantitative and qualitative metrics.

Suggested Citation

  • Jarvis, Darryl S.L. & Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2011. "Conceptualizing and evaluating best practices in electricity and water regulatory governance," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 4340-4352.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:36:y:2011:i:7:p:4340-4352
    DOI: 10.1016/

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stirling, Andrew, 1994. "Diversity and ignorance in electricity supply investment : Addressing the solution rather than the problem," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 195-216, March.
    2. Jacobson, Arne & Milman, Anita D. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2005. "Letting the (energy) Gini out of the bottle: Lorenz curves of cumulative electricity consumption and Gini coefficients as metrics of energy distribution and equity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(14), pages 1825-1832, September.
    3. Ashley C. Brown & Jon Stern & Bernard Tenenbaum, 2006. "Handbook for Evaluating Infrastructure Regulatory Systems," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7030.
    4. Stern, J., 2000. "Electricity and telecommunications regulatory institutions in small and developing countries," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 131-157, September.
    5. Spreng, Daniel, 2005. "Distribution of energy consumption and the 2000 W/capita target," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(15), pages 1905-1911, October.
    6. Jansen, Jaap C. & Seebregts, Ad J., 2010. "Long-term energy services security: What is it and how can it be measured and valued?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 1654-1664, April.
    7. Tom Tietenberg, 1998. "Disclosure Strategies for Pollution Control," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 587-602, April.
    8. Stern, Jon & Holder, Stuart, 1999. "Regulatory governance: criteria for assessing the performance of regulatory systems: An application to infrastructure industries in the developing countries of Asia," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 33-50, March.
    9. Kemmler, Andreas & Spreng, Daniel, 2007. "Energy indicators for tracking sustainability in developing countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2466-2480, April.
    10. Fankhauser, Samuel & Tepic, Sladjana, 2007. "Can poor consumers pay for energy and water? An affordability analysis for transition countries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1038-1049, February.
    11. Lawn, Philip A., 2003. "A theoretical foundation to support the Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (ISEW), Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), and other related indexes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 105-118, February.
    12. Bertelli, Anthony M. & Whitford, Andrew B., 2009. "Perceiving Credible Commitments: How Independent Regulators Shape Elite Perceptions of Regulatory Quality," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 517-537, July.
    13. Pachauri, S. & Mueller, A. & Kemmler, A. & Spreng, D., 2004. "On Measuring Energy Poverty in Indian Households," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2083-2104, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Fróes Lima, Carlos Alberto & Portillo Navas, José Ricardo, 2012. "Smart metering and systems to support a conscious use of water and electricity," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 528-540.
    2. Kester, Johannes & Noel, Lance & Zarazua de Rubens, Gerardo & Sovacool, Benjamin K., 2018. "Policy mechanisms to accelerate electric vehicle adoption: A qualitative review from the Nordic region," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 719-731.
    3. Farzaneh-Kord, V. & Khoshnevis, A.B. & Arabkoohsar, A. & Deymi-Dashtebayaz, M. & Aghili, M. & Khatib, M. & Kargaran, M. & Farzaneh-Gord, M., 2016. "Defining a technical criterion for economic justification of employing CHP technology in city gate stations," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 389-401.
    4. Berg, Sanford V., 2013. "Best practices in regulating State-owned and municipal water utilities," Documentos de Proyectos 542, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    5. Hoffmann, Bastian & Häfele, Sebastian & Karl, Ute, 2013. "Analysis of performance losses of thermal power plants in Germany – A System Dynamics model approach using data from regional climate modelling," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 193-203.
    6. Zhao, Zhen-yu & Zhu, Jiang & Xia, Bo, 2016. "Multi-fractal fluctuation features of thermal power coal price in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 117(P1), pages 10-18.
    7. Eichman, Joshua D. & Mueller, Fabian & Tarroja, Brian & Schell, Lori Smith & Samuelsen, Scott, 2013. "Exploration of the integration of renewable resources into California's electric system using the Holistic Grid Resource Integration and Deployment (HiGRID) tool," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 353-363.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:36:y:2011:i:7:p:4340-4352. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.