The Iowa Utilities Board (Board) Action Plan to Develop a Competitive Model for the Electric Industry in Iowa (Action Plan)1 stated that the Board will establish a Board staff team to:

  • Assess the need for new service/safety/quality/reliability standards; and
  • Draft minimum service/safety/quality/reliability standards if deemed necessary.

This Board staff2 report explores the reliability, safety, and quality of service standards of an operational electric system and addresses the changes needed as the industry restructures and Iowa considers retail competition. However, nothing in this report actually argues that retail competition is or is not in the best interest of Iowa ratepayers.

This report addresses four main categories relating to the reliable operation of an electric system: (1) the bulk power system, (2) certification of Competitive Electric Service Providers (CESPs) and aggregators, (3) reliability standards, and (4) customer service quality and monitoring. Most of these four categories also have further breakdowns. For each of these issues, staff summarizes current Iowa statute and rules, provides staff analysis, and presents some policy considerations.

The draft version of this report was distributed to the Advisory Group members for comment on September 15, 1998....