Measuring the cost of gas supply interruptions

The challenge

Ofgem was considering introducing Value of Lost Load (VoLL) as part of their review of gas supply security. To do this, they needed to establish the value/price that customers place on the continuity of their gas supply.

The solution

We worked in collaboration with London Economics and YouGov to deliver this project, with OMB responsible for designing and implementing a survey of UK businesses. This survey involved a ‘choice experiment’ where respondents selected their favoured option from a variety of scenarios relating to gas supply interruptions (covering length of interruption, frequency, season, compensation, etc).

The research required a creative and mixed-mode approach to fieldwork. The initial contact and core interview was conducted by telephone. However, this was supplemented with email, fax and postal contact so that respondents could view the detailed choice scenarios at the same time as talking to the interviewer. The use of visual stimulus ensured that respondents were able to give a considered response, and the mixed mode approach enabled us to include a representative sample of firms regardless of their technological capabilities.

The survey data allowed the analysis team to calculate an estimate of the Value of Lost Load for business gas customers.

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