The Importance of Distribution Performance Standards

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Ontario Energy Board aims to set new regulation for the province’s utilities.

BY PHILL FELTHAM, Executive Editor
Electricity Today Magazine

In accordance with current practices, Ontario’s local distribution companies (LDCs) are required to submit a reliability performance report on their power systems and their day-to-day operations to the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) every year. However, this tried-and-true reporting system is expected to change with new standards that will monitor and benchmark each LDC’s reliability performance. According to the OEB, the overseer of Ontario’s electricity and natural gas sectors, the intent of the current initiative is to establish regulated performance targets.

“The establishment of distribution performance standards targets will provide LDCs an opportunity to demonstrate to consumers that they can continue to deliver electricity on a reliable basis, and that their investment in infrastructure has been efficient and effective,” said Paul Gasparatto, the Policy Advisor of Regulatory Policy for the OEB in an interview with Electricity Today Magazine.

This outcome-based approach to regulation of the province’s electricity distribution sector focuses on four reliability performance areas: the importance of a customer focus, public policy responsiveness, financial performance, and operational effectiveness. Operational effectiveness, the last outcome of this initiative, requires that Ontario’s 75 distribution utilities deliver on system reliability and quality objectives.

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