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Wired Group associates Paul Alvarez and Sean Ericson co-authored an article describing the benefits of using benchmarks to set challenging yet fair performance targets and administer distribution utility performance measurement programs.  The article also includes the Wired Group's 2nd annual Electric IOU Customer Value Ranking.  "Measuring Distribution Performance?  Benchmarking Warrants Your Attention" was published in the Electricity Journal in April, 2018.

Wired Group associates Paul Alvarez and Joel Leonard co-authored an article describing econometric analyses conducted on U.S. distribution utility performance as measured by the Utility Evaluator.  The article, "Busting Myths: Investor-Owned Distribution Utility Performance Can Be Credibly Benchmarked", which includes the Wired Group's 1st annual Electric IOU Customer Value Ranking, was published in the Electricity Journal in October, 2017. 

Wired Group President Paul Alvarez is a thought leader in distribution utility business performance, regulation, and compensation. He is available for interviews on these and related subjects:

  • Distribution utility ratemaking, regulatory, and compensation models
  • Distribution utility performance assessment and measurement
  • Costs, benefits, and risks of smart grid capabilities and technologies
  • Distributed Energy technologies, grid accommodations, rate structures, and markets
  • Energy efficiency and demand response programs offered by utilities and state agencies


The Utility Evaluator simplifies utility performance evaluation and benchmarking, and makes it credible. It's an internet-based software application that combines publicly-available utility performance data from a variety of reputable sources into a single data repository. Aided by an intuitive interface, users access pre-defined performance queries or customize their own, producing valuable data for further analysis or compelling charts that can be used to tell a story. Relying on data reported by Investor-Owned Utilities on FERC Forms 1 and 2; EIA Forms 176 and 861, and regulatory filings, as well as data from JD Powers and Associates, the ACEEE, and other reputable sources, the Utility Evaluator enables users to quickly identify performance improvement opportunities. Significantly, users can define peer groups for benchmarking purposes, using utility characteristics such as size, customer density, aggregated customer energy usage profiles, and many more to deliver credible analyses that control for factors likely to impact a particular distribution utility's performance. 

The Wired Group was formed in 2012 to satisfy an unmet need among consumer and environmental advocates.  These groups lacked the technical and operational experience needed to question the investments utilities were making in grid capabilities and the benefits customers were receiving from such investments.  The disciplines represented on the Wired Group team -- including economics, electrical engineering, cost accounting, marketing, product development, and financial analysis -- are ideally suited to help consumer and environmental advocates fight ineffective utility spending and execution stemming from a variety of technical, regulatory, and market issues.  The critical, and often limiting, role electric distribution grids and businesses play in the economic and environmental sustainability of the communities they serve is becoming more apparent, and the Wired Group provides much-needed perspective, expertise, and solutions.  In 2016 the Wired Group released the Utility Evaluator, a distribution utility performance benchmarking tool designed to hold utilities accountable for value creation; in 2017 the Wired Group issued the first-ever ranking of US investor-owned utilities by customer value delivered. For more information visit   

Wired Group President Paul Alvarez has been active in the distribution utility industry for almost two decades, working for both utilities and stakeholders.  He has testified before regulatory commissions in California, Colorado, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Ohio regarding smart grid, distributed energy, and utility performance and compensation issues.  He has made multiple presentations to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.  He is also the author of Smart Grid Hype and Reality, a book which identifies missed opportunities from massive grid investments and the role of utility compensation models in utility motivations and business decisions.  His views have been captured in many industry publications and websites, from Public Utilities Fortnightly to Smart Grid Today.  Mr. Alvarez is an adjunct professor for the University of Colorado's Global Energy Management Program and at Michigan State University's Institute for Public Utilities, where he covers topics ranging from renewable energy commercialization, the smart grid, and distributed energy resource to utility performance measurement and compensation.  He holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Indiana University and a Master's degree in Management from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. 


Minneapolis June 24-26  — Paul Alvarez will attend the mid-year meeting of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.

Phoenix July 13-15 — Paul Alvarez will speak on grid investment performance at the summer policy meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.