12 May 2011

Bleg: good utility data

BW asks:
Do you know of any utility that tracks median consumption? I've seen only mean per capita and mean household.
Median consumption is a more accurate measure of "average" when there are significant outliers (heavy water users, for example).

The best measure wold be median per capita based on per meter readings that controlled for actual household sizes.


1 comment:

SS said...

The data requested by BW is available for most regulated utilities in the cost of service, rate design, and proof of revenues studies that utilities file in conjunction with rate cases. I do not know of a good general source for non-regulated utilities since this data is normally derived from in-house billing and non-regulated companies are, well, non-regulated. In that same sense, the data is only as accurate as the billing system that generated it. This is a major issue for economists/engineers studying these issues. Different states take different approaches to how the data is presented – some more exacting, or unusual, than others. In any event, a great deal of the information on regulated companies is available via the web at the state utility commissions. It would be a good start and would provide insight into average or median usage between classes, and on how pricing signals (subsidies) can trigger different average usages among otherwise similar users on different systems.

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