Public Utility Research Center

 

"Leadership in Infrastructure Policy"

The Public Utility Research Center (PURC), at the University of Florida Warrington College of Business, provides international training and strategic research in public utility regulation, market rules, and infrastructure management in the energy, telecommunications, and water industries. Its outreach activities support the expanded deployment and efficient delivery of telecommunications, energy and water/wastewater services, including the achievement of environmental objectives. Initiatives are based on four principles: expertise, respect, integrity, and effectiveness. To date, 1,716 participants from more than 130 nations have participated in the PURC/World Bank International Training Program in Utility Regulation and Strategy. In addition, PURC researchers have published numerous articles on incentive regulation, utility pricing, benchmarking, investor perspectives, and market reform; these studies form the foundation of training materials.

PURC provides report on Lifeline and Link-Up telephone discount plans in Florida.

 

The Body of Knowledge on Utility Regulation is a project jointly conducted by the University of Florida Public Utility Research Center , the University of Toulouse and the Pontificia Universidad CatпїЅlica del PerпїЅ for The World Bank.

    

           Upcoming Events and News                                       Recent Events

February 15-16, 2007

34th Annual PURC Conference

Gainesville, FL

Agenda

Map and directions

Attendees

Register now


February 17, 2007

PURC/CLA Leadership Program: Executive Development Series for Utility Commissioners and Congressional Staff

Providing Leadership in Energy Policy

Washington D.C.

Flier

Register now


June 11-22, 2007

22nd PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy

Gainesville, FL

Apply online


News

Congratulations!

Distinguished Service Professor Sanford V. Berg speaks at the University of Florida Spring 2006 Working Professional MBA Commencement Ceremony in April 2006. The Internet MBA 2-Year Class of 2006 selected Dr. Berg as its I2MBA06 Outstanding Faculty Award recipient. He was also chosen for the award in 2005, 2003 and 2002.

 

PURC International Programs Coordinator Araceli Castaneda, center, received a 2006 University of Florida Superior Accomplishment Award at a ceremony in April. The award recognizes UF staff and faculty members who contribute outstanding and meritorious service, efficiency and/or economy, or to the quality of life for students and employees. Above, she is congratulated by Director Mark Jamison, and Managing Director Cynthia Stehouwer after receiving a division award in March.

PURC student assistant Carlos Gomez, left, accepts the Warrington College of Business Outstanding Multicultural Servant Leader Award at UF in March from Horace Tucker, Assistant Director for Professional Development Programs at the college.


The paper, "Trait-based Imitation Among Entrepreneurial Market Entrants,” by PURC Research Associate Rich Gentry received the Booz Allen Hamilton/SMS PhD Fellowship at the recent SMS 25th Annual International Conference in Orlando.  The award is granted to the top five Ph.D. student-authored papers presented at the Strategic Management Society meeting. Gentry also hosted a luncheon table at the conference. Congratulations, Rich!


Utilities Policy, September 2005

Volume 13, Issue 3

Special Issue on Utility Service Quality

Introduction to the Special Issue on service quality by Sanford V. Berg, Ph.D., PURC Director of Water Studies

Utility service quality-Telecommunications, electricity, water by Lynne Holt, Ph.D., PURC Policy Analyst

Reviewing the impact of incentive regulation on U.S. telephone service quality by Chunrong Ai, Ph.D. and David E.M. Sappington, Ph.D.

Service quality and prospects for benchmarking: Evidence from the Peru water sector by Chen Lin, PURC Research Associate

January 2007

21st PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy

78 utility regulators and staff from 31 different nations of the world participated in the January 2007 program.

The training program is a collaboration between The World Bank and PURC and is designed to enhance the economic, financial, and strategic skills of a select group of senior utility regulators and regulatory strategists from around the world. It is offered each January and June in Gainesville. To date, 1,716 delegates from more than 130 nations have attended the course since its inception in 1997.

Program Calendar

Course Brochure

Comments from Past Participants


December 2006

PURC in Thailand

PURC delivered a week-long training program for the Thailand National Telecommunications Commission in Cha-Um, Thailand. The course provided a rigorous examination of telecommunications and regulatory economics, best practices in network interconnection and negotiations, development of price cap regulation schemes, addressing new technology issues, and assessing market competition. The 28 NTC staff, operators and other government officials enrolled in the course conducted case studies, engaged in an interconnection negotiation simulation, completed problem sets, and took two exams. Another 20 representatives of the NTC’s board, other NTC executive groups, and local universities also participated in portions of the training. Professor Xu Yan of Hong Kong Science and Technology University and Michelle Rowland of Gilbert + Tobin assisted PURC Director Mark Jamison in teaching the course. Ms. Rowland is a June 2004 graduate of the PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy.

PURC in Hong Kong

The role of regulation in next generation networks was the topic of a panel featuring PURC Director Mark Jamison at the International Telecommunications Union Telecom World 2006 convention. The panel examined which role if any regulation might play in telecommunications as countries migrate towards increased broadband networks based on Internet technologies. He emphasized the need to consider the basic purposes of regulation in determining its role and that proper answers would vary across countries.The audience included 150 industry, policy makers and regulators from across the world. The foundations he encouraged them to draw upon included the need to limit political opportunism, identify fundamental sources of market power while recognizing that markets evolve quickly, ensuring that interconnection regimes are not used to limit competition not to effect tacit collusion, and to decrease information asymmetries. Several graduates of the PURC/World Bank InternationalTraining Program were in the audience, which was chaired by Mr. Man Ho Au, Director-General of Office of the Telecommunications Authority, Hong Kong, a June 1997 alumnus of the program. Dr. Jamison also presented PURC’s research on Florida’s Lifeline telecommunications discount program at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. The seminar examined the effectiveness of the program and summarized PURC’s research.


November 2006

PURC Director of Energy Studies Dr. Paul Sotkiewicz spoke before the Jacksonville Community Council Inc. (JCCI) study group working on the project E3 Energy, Environment and Economy: Managing Air Quality for the Natural Environment, Economy and Our Health, regarding energy efficiency, energy pricing and emissions control policies as they pertain to electric utilities. He noted trends in energy and pollution intensity of the economy, policies that encourage or discourage energy efficiency, existing emissions trading programs and the recently promulgated EPA Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) and Clean Air Mercury Rule (CAMR), and the possibility of carbon or climate change policies.

PURC in Peru

PURC Director of Water Studies Dr. Sanford V. Berg (seated, far right) delivered a presentation entitled “Institutional Requirements for Second-Generation Infrastructure Reform: Processes and Performance in Developing Countries” (English; Spanish) at Pontificia Universidad CatГіlica del PerГє. (Click here for the working paper.) Using the regulatory life cycle model, he outlined the institutional, economic, and political forces affecting the performance of regulators and of infrastructure service suppliers. More than 300 attended the presentation. The panel discussants consisted of the presidents of the four regulatory commissions — energy (OSINERG), telecommunications (OSIPTEL), water (SUNASS) and transportation (OSITRAN). The two-day international seminar focused on “Regulation and Political Processes in the New Global Order.” 

PURC/CLA Leadership Workshop

Leadership in Utilities Policy:

Adaptive Work for New Realities

Miami Beach, FL

PURC in Grenada

Dr. Sotkiewicz presented "Fallacies, Facts, and the Future of Revenue Decoupling for Energy Efficiency, Conservation, and Demand-side Management" at the 4th Annual Organization of Caribbean Utility Regulators Conference. He discussed the idea of revenue decoupling to promote energy efficiency programs in North America and explored many of the misconceptions about the properties of decoupling and how it can be implemented as evidenced in recent regulatory proceedings and papers. The conference was attended by nearly 90 utility and regulatory professionals from the energy, water, and telecommunications industries in the Caribbean, North America and Latin America.

PURC in Washington, D.C.

PURC co-sponsored with the Federal Communications Bar Association a program in Washington, D.C. “VoIP and Broadband Developments in Europe and Asia.” The program explored the development and regulation of VoIP and broadband in Europe and Asia, and contrasted these developments to what is happening in the United States. Speakers explained that Europe and some Asian markets are taking a more regulatory approach than is the United States because these other countries do not have a well-developed cable television industry to compete with traditional telecommunications companies.


October 2006

PURC Telecom Policy Roundtable

Telecom Policy Roundtable Report

Presentations

Photos

PURC Energy Policy Roundtable

Energy Policy Roundtable Report

Presentations

Photos

Tallahassee, FL

PURC in South Africa

Dr. Paul Sotkiewicz served as a featured lecturer and developed course material for the "Frontiers in Managing Reform and Regulation in the Electricity Sector in Africa " in Cape Town, sponsored by the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town in cooperation with the African Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR), the Regional Energy Regulators Association (RERA) and PURC. He developed and presented lectures and case studies related to the reform experience, regulatory mechanisms, rate design, and conducting price reviews for approximately 25 regulatory and utility staff from seven nations. While in South Africa, he also presented "Latin American Experience in Procurement and Contracting IPPs: Lessons in Contract Completeness and Project Simplicity" at Independent Power Projects: Frontiers of International and African Experience hosted by the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town.

PURC in Washington, DC

Dr. Paul Sotkiewicz delivered a presentation at the World Forum on Energy Regulation III entitled "Energy Policy and Regulation Training and Research for Regulatory and Industry Professionals: The PURC Experience and Perspective," in which he discussed the motivations for building regulatory knowledge capacity with regulatory agencies and utilities, the fundamental goals of regulation, and the evolution of the importance of various policy issues, and the role of research in building knowledge for regulators. As many as 600 energy professionals from around the world attended the World Forum.


September 2006

PURC in Washington, DC

Dr. Paul Sotkiewicz served as a reviewer for the work entitled "Determining the Economic Value of Coastal Preservation and Restoration on Critical Energy Infrastructure," prepared for The Economic and Market Impacts of Coastal Restoration: America’s Wetland Economic Forum II. The critical energy infrastructure discussed in this paper deals mostly with the prospect for protecting natural gas and oil production, processing, refining, and delivery infrastructure from severe weather events such as hurricanes through coastal restoration. This effort is related to PURC’s involvement with many of Florida’s electric utilities in hardening electricity infrastructure to better withstand hurricanes and similar weather events.


August 2006

PURC in Argentina

PURC Research Associate Maria Luisa Corton traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the third annual meeting of the benchmarking working group for ADERASA (Asociacion de Entes Regulatores de Agua Potable y Saneamiento de las Americas). The group met to review benchmarking concepts and the application of performance indicators as a regulatory tool in Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru. Presentation in EnglishPresentation in Spanish; meeting agenda.

PURC in Tobago

PURC Director Dr. Mark Jamison delivered a training workshop on telecommunications regulation for senior staff of the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. The Tobago-based program focused on assessing market competition, benchmarking, measuring telecommunications companies’ costs, and price cap regulation. The participants studied basic principles and best practices, examined case studies from several countries, and performed extensive analyses of their own situation.


July 2006

PURC/CLA Leadership Workshop

Leadership in Utilities Policy:

Adaptive Work for New Realities

San Francisco CA

Utility Ratemaking and Analysis: An Advanced Course in Regulation

Co-sponsored by PURC and OOCUR

PURC in Jamaica

In collaboration with the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators, PURC designed and delivered a one week course,“Utility Ratemaking and Analysis: An Advanced Course in Regulation," in Ocho Rios. Mark Jamison, Sandy Berg, and four regional speakers led sessions on issues addressed in rate reviews. Twenty-nine participants from the Caribbean region and three other nations learned about a number of topics, including benchmarking (using methodologies such as data envelopment and stochastic frontier analysis), price and revenue cap analysis, mechanism design for incentive regulation, financial statement analysis, quantifying cross-subsidies in the context of price affordability, designing economically efficient interconnection prices, cost analysis, and regulatory impact analysis. Session topics were identified by OOCUR leaders as important for continued professional development within their organizations.

PURC in Zambia

Paul Sotkiewicz, PURC Director of Energy Studies, developed curriculum and served as a lecturer on the Institute for Infrastructure Services (IIS) course Utility Price Reviews: Building Professional Excellence in Lusaka. He taught sessions on regulatory mechanisms, the process of price reviews, and led the three day exercise in conducting a price review for 20 participants from five Southern African countries (Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho).


June 2006

20th PURC/World Bank International Training Program on Utility Regulation and Strategy

Participants' Comments

Gainesville, FL

 

Hurricane Hardening Workshop

Gainesville, FL


April 2006

PURC Director Mark Jamison presented recent PURC research on Lifeline telephone discount programs at a workshop of the Florida Public Service Commission. Dr. Jamison provided updated data from an earlier PURC study and described PURC research on alternatives to the existing system. Approximately 40 people from the public and private sectors participated in the workshop.

Mark Jamison presented his paper “Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading Adaptive Change” at the International Industrial Organization Society conference in Boston, MA. His paper relates recent research in neuroscience to the problem of someone providing leadership in an organization that needs to adjust to changes in its environment. The research finds that having a positive vision of the future is important because the work of adaptive change is costly for both individuals and organizations. Approximately 15 academics from the US and other countries participated in the session.


March 2006

Mark Jamison presented “Telecoms Industry: Players, Structure, and Issues” to employees of Naylor Publications in Gainesville. His presentation described the companies currently involved in providing telecommunications services, compared the US companies to their foreign rivals, and explained current issues regarding mergers, universal service, competition, and net neutrality.