Transmission & Substations

1QC Transmission Benchmarking


First Quartile Consulting (1QC) is pleased to announce an agreement for First Quartile to take on the delivery of the Transmission benchmark study that was performed by Southern Company Services from 2002 to 2012. The agreement marks the transition from the founding utility to a consulting firm dedicated to performing benchmarking studies for the utility industry.


With a significant number of long-term participants in the study wanting to assure it continues, it was obvious there is a need in the industry for this important study. First Quartile Consulting is happy to be able to provide the service, and help the participants build on the relationships they have created over the past decade. We’ll be recruiting all past participants as well as new ones.


Wendy Dobbs, the Program Manager at Southern Company Services who oversaw the study in recent years, said “Southern Company is very happy to have found a firm with the background and capabilities of First Quartile, combined with a long-term commitment to success of benchmarking in the utility industry, to take on the study, for the benefit of the entire industry. We look forward to working with First Quartile over the coming months (as part of the steering committee and a participant) to ensure the study continues to grow and meet the needs of the participant community.”


Why Participate?

  • Assess your current performance, highlighting both strengths and opportunities
  • Identify leading practices to adapt for use
  • Build links from KPIs to practices and results
  • Support your continuous improvement initiatives
  • Share insights with peer utilities and build relationships
  • Provide support for regulatory filings


Scope of the Study

The annual survey will cover Electric Transmission Lines and Substations including:

• O&M Spending

• Capital Project Costs

• Reliability

• Safety


What Are the Benefits?

  • Through our data collection analysis and reporting process, you will be able to compare yourself to your peers both nationally and regionally.
  • Your company will be able to participate in forums to discuss and share best practices. Areas of best practice include:
    • Reliability
    • Transmission Lines
    • Substations
    • Safety



Q. Is there a fee?

A. Yes, $10,000 for Leaders.


Q. How is data gathered?

A. We provide an Excel version of the questionnaire for data collection and use an on-line data entry for submitting the data to First Quartile Consulting.


Q. Is there a Confidentiality Agreement (CA) that binds all participants and third-party consultants?
A. Companies who sign the confidentiality agreement will have access to the information provided by the other participants. This is useful for developing peer groups and custom analysis. Other companies can participate without signing the agreement, but will not have access to the underlying data. For them, everything will be blinded.


Q. Can a company get access to the data without submitting their own?
A. To view data or reports gathered or generated by the 1QCTBM program, companies (1) must have a signed CA on file (2) must have submitted recent data and (3) should be fully engaged in the program.


Q. Does 1QCTBM sponsor a formal conference to release the data and allow participants to review and have assistance in interpreting the data?
A. 1QCTBM sponsors a formal conference annually to facilitate the release of the data and to discuss findings.


Q. If I have a specific topic that my company would like to address, can I poll and/or survey the participants within the 1QCTBM?
A. All 1QCTBM participants will have the ability to survey and poll each other based upon their needs. Participants are encouraged to share their survey results with all 1QCTBM members.


Q. How does the 1QCTBM facilitate discussions through forums?
A. The 1QCTBM program coordinators solicit feedback through a Core Steering Committee and through multiple working groups (e.g., Lines, Subs, Reliability and Safety). The Steering Committee and working groups are each comprised of various program participants. The Core Steering Committee assists in developing topics that the working groups will address. Participants within the working group also provide topics that their companies are dealing with and seek best practices.


For additional information, please contact Ken Buckstaff at 310-922-0783

Follow us on: