I have blogged previously about the importance of data quality in the context of the smart grid and that the electric power regulator ANEEL in Brazil is getting serious about data quality.
In Argentina the power industry regulators have mandated a high level of data quality since the 1990's. Beginning with the Privatization Program in 1990 most state owned companies were transferred to the private sector including state telephone company, airlines, railroads, and electric power production and distribution. There are about 20 electric power distribution companies in Argentina, all of which were privatized at this time. After privatization, power distribution companies in Argentina were expected to be profitable. The national power Industry regulator Enre and the regulators in each of the states are responsible for overseeing the power industry. The regulators focussed on two areas, reliability and data quality, and these two factors effectively determine the rate of profitability that the power distribution companies can achieve.
The regulators require frequent reports from the power utilities, for example, equipment utilization reports are required daily, outage reports are required monthly, and so on. The regulators have their own call centers so that consumers unhappy with some aspect of electric power service can call the regulator to complain. Also the regulator does spot checks of electric service and conducts audits. The acceptable threshold for data quality is 98%. Companies not meeting this level of data quality may face fines of up to millions of US dollars and reduced rates.
I would like to thanks Alejandro Spiritoso for enlightening me about the importance of data quality in the Argentine power industry.