Join our NEW Gas Distribution Benchmarking Community


First Quartile Consulting has been approached by several utilities in North America with requests to launch a gas distribution benchmarking study similar to our Electric T&D and Electric & Gas Customer Service studies. Therefore, we are excited to announce the launch a new gas distribution study.


As with our other studies, we’ll include:

  • Performance measures tracked annually to allow companies to monitor their progress
  • Demographics to understand the similarities and differences between companies, and a
  • Broad array of practices to assist in making changes to impact performance.


Core Benchmarking Subject Areas


We benchmark cost, service, and safety and will be investigating details in the following areas:

  • Infrastructure Replacement:
    • Spending (including both capital and O&M)
    • Status, plans, practices, & materials used
  • Gas Leak Management (leak inventory, backlogs, damage prevention)
  • Gas Odor Response
  • Meter maintenance and change-outs
  • Operations (patrolling, surveying, odorizing)
  • Employee Safety




Among the many benefits of benchmarking are:

  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Improve financial performance
  • Improve operational performance
  • Achieve better relationships with regulatory entities
  • Adapt and implement best practices




First Quartile provides a simple 2-tier price structure from which to choose. Pricing ranges from $21,500 for Community Membership to $29,500 for Community Leadership. More information about the benefits of Community Leadership! Add a Leadership Alignment Workshop on to your benchmarking package for the discounted price of $15,000.


Schedule Highlights

Leadership Forum March
Issue Questionnaire April
Issue Statistical Report and Performance Profile Drafts May-June
Data Review Conference Late June
Issue Statistical Report and Performance Profile Draft and Final July-August
Community Insights Conference September


During our Leadership Forum, we'll be decided what topics to include in the benchmarking questionnaire. Among the many that are under consideration are:


  • Statistics:
    • Miles of main of various sizes, materials (cast iron, steel- unprotected, steel-protected, plastic, other
    • Miles of service – ditto
    • Customers – by type
    • Through-put (mcf)
    • Revenue
    • Age of infrastructure assets
  • Financials:
    • Non-production O&M
    • Distribution O&M
    • A&G O&M
    • Asset base
    • Capital spending (not additions/FERC)
  • Capital activities – who does, performance, what materials are being replaced with what
    • New Business – cost/service, response time
    • Engineering
    • Project management
  • Construction Records, Maps and Operating History
  • Leak Management:
    • Number of known leaks – start of year, end of year, avg. during year
    • Main leaks repaired
    • Service leaks repaired
    • Main leaks scheduled for repair
    • Damage prevention
      • Mismarks
      • Utility & its contractor error
      • Third party excavator error
      • No Calls
    • Incidents: (see doc: Gas Distribution Integrity Management Program.docx)
      • Outside dig-ins
      • National force
      • Material failure
      • Incorrect operation
      • Excavation damage
      • Equipment failure (mechanical fitting failures, etc)
      • Corrosion failure
    • Damage rate per 1000 one-call tickets
    • Leak types:
      • Type 1 Leaks – Immediate hazard that must be addressed to protect life and property, continuous action must be taken to eliminate the hazard.
      • Type 2A Leaks - Monitored every two weeks and repaired within six months.
      • Type 2 Leaks – Monitored every 2-months and repaired within 1-year.
      • Type 3 Leaks – Not hazardous, must be surveyed annually, and not required to be repaired.
    • Documentation
  • Odor Response:
    • Response time per response interval (30, 45, 60 minutes)  (want both the average and the % within the 30/45/60 minutes)
    • Call volume (emergency, one-call, etc)
  • Public Education
    • Procedures for educating customers, the general public, local government officials, and excavators about natural gas safety issues must be included in the plan and the operator
  • Operations
    • Patrolling
    • Leak Surveys
    • Odorizing
    • Maximum allowable Operating pressure
    • Purging
    • Pipeline marking
  • Meter maintenance, change-outs, leak prevention
  • Revenue protection
  • Corrosion protection
  • Regulating stations
    • Testing
    • Inspections
  • Emergency Plans
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