Distribution-level electricity reliability: Temporal trends using statistical analysis

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published


LBNL Report Number



This paper helps to address the lack of comprehensive, national-scale information on the reliability of the U.S. electric power system by assessing trends in U.S. electricity reliability based on the information reported by the electric utilities on power interruptions experienced by their customers. The research analyzes up to 10 years of electricity reliability information collected from 155 U.S. electric utilities, which together account for roughly 50% of total U.S. electricity sales. We find that reported annual average duration and annual average frequency of power interruptions have been increasing over time at a rate of approximately 2% annually. We find that, independent of this trend, installation or upgrade of an automated outage management system is correlated with an increase in the reported annual average duration of power interruptions. We also find that reliance on IEEE Standard 1366-2003 is correlated with higher reported reliability compared to reported reliability not using the IEEE standard. However, we caution that we cannot attribute reliance on the IEEE standard as having caused or led to higher reported reliability because we could not separate the effect of reliance on the IEEE standard from other utility-specific factors that may be correlated with reliance on the IEEE standard.


Energy Policy



Year of Publication



243 - 252



Short Title

Energy Policy
Research Areas