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Underground Distribution Reliability: The 5•Ps

May 7, 2007

Insulated Conductors Committee (ICC)
Subcommittee C
by Glen J. Bertini
May 7, 2007

Reconciling the financial considerations of the underground distribution circuit owner with the reliability needs of its customers has traditionally been viewed as a zero-sumgame with the circuit owner on one side and the electrical customer and the regulator on the other. This paper introduces a hierarchy of needs which allows an appropriate balance to be optimized and sustained … maximum reliability with the highest capital efficiency. Various strategic and tactical options may be viewed through the prism of the hierarchy of the 5•Ps (i.e. 5 cable populations: post-failure, problematic, preemptive, proactive, and preventative). A simple net present value (NPV) analysis is overlaid on the 5•Ps and quickly leads the circuit owner to the optimum strategic and tactical choices. Data from field experience provides validation of the models employed and benchmarks for the circuit owner to compare their own strategies and tactics.

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