Cost of Power Interruptions

Strengthening the reliability and resilience of the power system

Cost of Power Interruptions

We estimate the economic impacts of localized, short-duration power interruptions as well as widespread, long-duration interruptions.

EMP and our partners conduct state-of-the-art research into the economic impact of power interruptions. We design and deploy survey instruments to elicit the costs that residential, business, and public sector customers are likely to experience during interruptions ranging from localized and short duration to widespread and long duration (WLD). These survey instruments have been used to estimate the costs of power interruptions in island(ed) communities including the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico, as well as communities in Alaska. 

EMP uses the economic costs of power interruptions to develop tools that provide information to decision-makers. For localized and short-duration events, we developed the Berkeley Lab’s Interruption Cost Estimate (ICE) Calculator – the leading tool for estimating the customer cost impacts of power interruptions, which has been used extensively to justify utility investments in power system reliability. For WLD events, we pioneer new methods to estimate economic events of such events. The Power Outage Economics Tool (POET) is a best-in-class, regional economic model that incorporates survey information on customer WLD preparedness and information about the regional economy. POET estimates changes in business sector and county-level gross domestic product and gross output, as well as household consumption for WLD events over 24 hours.

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Recent Publications

Mills, Evan, and Richard B Jones."An Insurance Perspective on U.S. Electric Grid Disruption Costs."The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice 41.4 (2016) 555 - 586. DOI