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T&D Reliability: The Next Battleground in Re-Regulation

Fortnightly Magazine - March 1 1999

described the CPUC's efforts to prevent future incidents through new and tightened regulations. He cited Rulemaking 96-11-004, an ongoing proceeding to develop and refine standards to promote safety and reliability of the state's distribution system.

In addition, the commission has adopted incentives to encourage utilities to make investments that will prevent outages. "Every time a customer experiences an outage there's a $15 penalty plus an additional $15 for every hour they're affected," says Ziering. The incentives, which apply to Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, reward utilities with SAIDI and SAIFI measures at or below a certain target value, and penalize utilities that exceed the value. "We understand SoCalEd is using this for planning," he notes.

Other key areas include:

Maintenance. Decisions 96-11-021 and 97-03-070 establish inspection cycles and record- keeping requirements for utility distribution equipment.

Tree-Trimming. Decisions 97-01-044 and 97-10-056 concern requirements for trimming trees near power lines.

Systems Jurisdiction. In Decision 98-03-036, the CPUC asserted jurisdiction over the distribution systems of publicly owned utilities to oversee reliability.

Emergency Actions. Decision 98-07-097 formalized the standards for operation, reliability and safety during emergencies and disasters. - R.R.J.

1 Source documents are available in electronic form from the author. He can be contacted at

2 For examples, readers may request copies of reliability reports filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission or the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control.


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