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Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution utilities

Author

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  • Giannakis, D.
  • T. Jamasb
  • Pollitt, M.G.

Abstract

Quality of service has emerged as an important issue in post-reform regulation of electricity distribution networks. Regulators have employed partial incentive schemes to promote cost saving, investment efficiency, and service quality. This paper presents a quality-incorporated benchmarking study of the electricity distribution utilities in the UK between 1991/92 and 1998/99. We calculate technical efficiency of the utilities using Data Envelopment Analysis technique and productivity change over time using quality-incorporated Malmquist indices. We find that cost efficient firms do not necessarily exhibit high service quality and that efficiency scores of cost-only models do not show high correlation with those of quality-based models. The results also show that improvements in service quality have made a significant contribution to the sector’s total productivity change. In addition, we show that integrating quality of service in regulatory benchmarking is preferable to cost-only approaches.

Suggested Citation

  • Giannakis, D. & T. Jamasb & Pollitt, M.G., 2004. "Benchmarking and incentive regulation of quality of service: an application to the UK electricity distribution utilities," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0408, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  • Handle: RePEc:cam:camdae:0408 Note: CMI35, IO
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    File URL: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/electricity/publications/wp/ep35.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Anne Neumann & Boriss Siliverstovs & Christian von Hirschhausen, 2006. "Convergence of European spot market prices for natural gas? A real-time analysis of market integration using the Kalman Filter," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 727-732.
    2. Paul L. Joskow, 2014. "Incentive Regulation in Theory and Practice: Electricity Distribution and Transmission Networks," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Regulation and Its Reform: What Have We Learned?, pages 291-344 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. Mehdi Farsi & Aurelio Fetz & Massimo Filippini, 2007. "Benchmarking and Regulation in the Electricity Distribution Sector," CEPE Working paper series 07-54, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
    5. Galdeano-Gomez, Emilio & Cespedes-Lorente, Jose & Rodriguez, Manuel Rodriguez, 2005. "Productivity and Quality-Environmental Changes in Marketing Co-operatives: An Analysis on the Horticultural Sector," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24698, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. 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.
    7. Christian Growitsch & Tooraj Jamasb & Michael Pollitt, 2009. "Quality of service, efficiency and scale in network industries: an analysis of European electricity distribution," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(20), pages 2555-2570.
    8. Astrid Cullmann & Christian Hirschhausen, 2008. "Efficiency analysis of East European electricity distribution in transition: legacy of the past?," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, pages 155-167.
    9. Christian von Hirschhausen & Astrid Cullmann & Andreas Kappeler, 2006. "Efficiency analysis of German electricity distribution utilities - non-parametric and parametric tests," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(21), pages 2553-2566.
    10. Andaluz-Alcazar, Alvaro, 2012. "Choix d'investissement sous incertitude des gestionnaires des réseaux de distribution (GRD) en Europe à l'horizon 2030," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/10862 edited by Keppler, Jan Horst, March.
    11. Simon Eckermann & Tim Coelli, 2008. "Including quality attributes in a model of health care efficiency: A net benefit approach," CEPA Working Papers Series WP032008, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    12. Darius Corbier & Frédéric Gonand & Marie Bessec, 2015. "Impacts of decentralised power generation on distribution networks: a statistical typology of European countries," Working Papers 1509, Chaire Economie du climat.
    13. Marques, Vítor & Bento, Nuno & Costa, Paulo Moisés, 2014. "The “Smart Paradox”: Stimulate the deployment of smart grids with effective regulatory instruments," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 96-103.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    quality of service; benchmarking; incentive regulation; data envelopment analysis; electricity;

    JEL classification:

    • L15 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Information and Product Quality
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities

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