Changing Measurement and Standards Needs in a Deregulated Electric Utility Industry
The primary objective of this study is two-fold: to identify areas in which measurement and standards will be needed to capture the full benefits of wholesale and retail deregulation of the electric power industry in the U.S., and to identify, on a preliminary basis, the economic impacts of not meeting those needs. Preliminary findings were presented at NIST’s workshop on “Challenges for Measurement and Standards in a Deregulated Electric Power Industry” held December 6-8, 1999. Measurement and standards can provide infrastructure enhancements that will help facilitate deregulation, secure its benefits, and avoid its potential pitfalls. The need for measurement and standards in this new environment is primarily related to the increased growth in the number and complexity of transactions, the increased number of market players and their information needs, and a shift from reliance on voluntary agreements among formerly integrated utilities to explicit contracts among many providers of different services. We estimate that the economic impact of prospective opportunities that may be lost by not meeting these needs ranges from $3.1 to $6.5 billion. These estimates are more illustrative than precise because the U.S. is in an early phase of electric industry deregulation, and they are based on a limited number of survey responses from a sample of electric industry experts.