Summary of Advice to the

Energy Information Administration

from the

American Statistical Association Committee on Energy Statistics

at the Spring Meeting


March 21-22, 2002



1.  Weekly Natural Gas Storage Survey (Priority 1)

Presenter:        Elizabeth Campbell


The Energy Information Administration (EIA) began its first collection of weekly natural gas data in May 2002 with implementation of the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Survey.  EIA was directed to begin the new survey after the American Gas Association (AGA) announced its intent to stop operation of its voluntary weekly gas storage survey.  The AGA survey has provided the only weekly volumetric data about the U.S. natural gas industry.  EIA designed its survey to continue the basic data series which AGA has produced since the end of 1993 but will be making some changes to the survey design and release product.  The presentation described EIA’s  plans for implementation of the new survey, issues raised during the public comment period, and some of the changes which EIA is considering for the future.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice and EIA’s Intended Responses in six areas:


A.  Types of edits:      

(1)  No recommendations.  Discussed  ratio edits as useful but subject to size masking effect where small companies are going to show more variability.

            (2)  No response required.  EIA will be using a variety of edits.

B.  Approach to nonresponse:

(1)  No recommendations. Discussed  the alternatives of adjusting the ratio weights versus using imputation when the data necessary for imputation are available.  Also a caution about using exponential smoothing as imputation technique because it assumes a local linear trend.

            (2)  No response required.

C.  Revision policy:

(1)  No recommendation as there is no clear statistical rule.  Agreed it made sense to continue the AGA precedent.

            (2)  No response required.

D.  Sampling approach:

(1)  Recommendation from one committee member to use exponential weights in the estimation methodology because of belief this was an unequal probability sample.  Another committee member cautioned EIA that if EIA chose that approach, it was important to use the correct weights.

(2)  EIA will examine alternatives to its present sampling and estimation procedure before it selects its next sample (which is scheduled to occur in December 2002).  This will also coincide with approximately 8 months of weekly survey data.

E.  Design of form and instructions:

(1)  Recommendation that we review the form and instructions to see what important information we could include on the form itself, using the remaining blank space on the form.  Was also suggested that we enlarge the line space for reporting.

(2)  EIA will review the form before sending the form to OMB this fall for clearance with these recommendations in mind.

F.   Estimation methodology

(1)  Recommendation that EIA review adjusting the ratio based on recent seasonal trend data through a regression-based approach.

(2)  EIA will review a number of alternatives for the ratios including a single fixed ratio for the year, the current approach of using the most recent monthly census for a ratio, and the proposed approach which was to estimate a concurrent ratio based on past sample/frame relationships and seasonal trends.


2.  Human Capital Management  (Priority 8)

Presenter:        Steve Durbin


This session focused on development, implementation, and maintenance of work force, succession and training programs to support a turnover of approximately 40 percent of the EIA staff over the next four years.  Special attention was given to increasing the diversity of the staff and preparing staff for leadership positions in all key functional areas.  The following areas, also addressed by the EIA Quality Council, were covered:

                                                  Knowledge Management

                                                  Recruitment and Retention/Management - Employee Relations

                                                  Human Capital/Managers-Employee Development


Also covered were the methodology for tracking progress through the Department’s CHRIS and DOEINFO information systems with quarterly analysis and reports prepared by EIA’s Office of Resource Management and distributed to the EIA Senior Staff.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice:


The ASA discussant, Dr. William Moss, suggested that EIA appears to be addressing short-term problems, up to 2005, but needs to focus on longer term problems also and in dealing with people within the organization.  EIA's success in recruiting, and at what rate EIA is loosing people who are not retiring were two unclear areas.  Recruiting suggestions include going out to campuses and campus placement centers, and target recruiting by areas of needed expertise.  Suggested advertising in ASA and other needed discipline journals.  By the time retirees are leaving it may be too late to rely on EIA's legacy approach (memoranda and CD's).  Suggest skill redundancy.  Although there will be cost implications, it is the best way to "pass the torch."  Also suggested summer interns.  For the longer term, suggested models and planning devices to reduce staffing bulges, and swells in skill and training needs.

Other Committee members made suggestions too.  Dr. Sitter suggested "Co-Op" student recruiting (not necessarily in the summer), emphasize "interesting" intern programs, find out where students go in their job searches, and agreed that redundancy in job experience is best way to transfer knowledge.  Dr. Crawford emphasized making jobs interesting because Federal Service salaries are not as competitive with industry.  Dr. Khanna encouraged EIA to pay attention to Hispanic institutions, Dr. Edmonds pointed toward the importance of self development so EIA fills upper level jobs with lower level (developed) staff, suggested that EIA's demographic problem is broader that EIA, redundancy may be accomplished without more people by having two people able to do the same job, and finally, ask other agencies what they are doing.  Dr. Hengartner offered that there are transfer of knowledge experts, and Johnny Blair suggested that jobs may be too narrowly defined if we are having this problem.


EIA’s Intended Responses


The Committee made many good suggestions, and EIA will endeavor to explore these options.  In particular and within available resources, EIA will expand its intern program and recruitment advertising.  More targeted recruiting from college campuses, especially minority institutions, will be conducted in line with the recommendations of the Committee.  Finally, EIA will continue to look at its position descriptions to ensure they are not defined too narrowly and will expand the use of inter-disciplinary positions where appropriate.


3.  Information Quality Guidelines (Priority 10)

Presenters: Nancy J. Kirkendall and Jay Casselberry


On January 3, 2002, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued their government-wide guidelines that "provide policy and procedural guidance to Federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by Federal agencies."  OMB’s guidelines require that by October 1, 2002, each Federal agency must issue its own implementing guidelines that include "administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency" that does not comply with the OMB’s or the agency’s quality guidelines.


As discussed in the Fall 2002 meeting of the ASA Committee on Energy Statistics, EIA established the Committee on Information Quality Guidelines and that Committee has undertaken a project to develop EIA’s quality guidelines.  As part of this project, the Committee is revising EIA’s statistical standards.  To date, 13 standards covering interagency requirements, systems, and information collection and processing have been drafted. 


In addition, EIA is leading an interagency team of statistical agencies to address common concerns for the quality guidelines.  The statistical agencies have cooperated in developing a joint Federal Register notice to explain quality issues related to statistical agencies, to refer the public to the individual agencies’ web sites for more information on their specific quality guidelines, and to solicit public comments on the guidelines.  The Federal Register notice and the agencies draft proposals on quality guidelines must be available no later than April 1, 2002.

Summary of ASA Committee’s Advice


There appeared to be general agreement among the Committee members that EIA provides good documentation so that users may understand the data, the methods used, and any limitations of the data.  With respect to secondary data (in particular international data from less developed countries), there often is increased uncertainty regarding the data accuracy and EIA must ensure that data users have sufficient information to help in making judgments about the usability of the data for different purposes.


With respect to standards, there seemed to be general agreement that standards are an important tool to help ensure information quality, but the agency needs a program to ensure compliance.  The success of compliance activities (e.g., ensuring adequate system and model documentation) is dependent on EIA Administrator support.


Summary of EIA’s Intended Response


EIA is continuing to develop its Information Quality Guidelines and updating its standards as one part of this process.  The standards for information dissemination will include requirements for informing users of limitations so the users may assess the suitability for their needs.


The Guidelines and revised standards will be completed by October 1, 2002.  EIA is  developing a program to monitor compliance with standards.  The Director of the Statistics and Methods Group is working with the Acting EIA Administrator on the compliance strategy to help ensure support as the compliance mechanisms are implemented.  Initial thoughts are that the program will include usability testing for EIA systems focused on the documentation.  There are also plans to train EIA staff on the updated standards and their effects on EIA.


4.  Managing Risk in Energy Markets: The Derivatives Report (requested by the DOE Secretary)

Presenter: Douglas R. Hale


Abstract: The Secretary of Energy  has directed  EIA to write a report on managing risk in energy markets. The report will be a primer on the uses of  futures markets, derivatives, insurance and other tools to mitigate the financial impacts of energy price volatility. Petroleum and natural gas industries will be case studies of markets that are established and seem to work well. In addition the report will examine the prospects for the evolution of risk management in the electricity industry.“ The purpose of this presentation is to describe our just completed first draft, share our preliminary findings, and talk about options for the rest of the project.


A.              Dr. Khanna: One expositional device is to introduce an example that illustrates the problem and work out how derivatives solve it.

Response: Great idea, we are going to expand our original example of the economics of a combined cycle natural gas generator to show how derivatives would have worked out in stabilizing cash flow has they been used.


B.  Dr. Moss: Need to directly relate derivative use to the nature of the particular energy markets and to the specific risk market participants are facing.

Response: We have done that. The Oil &Gas and Electricity chapters both have sections describing the industry and the specific risk market participants face.


C.  Dr. Kent: You absolutely have to have a top accountant review the “Accounting for Derivatives” Chapter 7.

Response: We are now seeking subject matter advice from Dr. Bala Dharan, an accounting expert in the Jesse H. Jones School of Management at Rice University  through the Independent Expert Review Program at EIA.  His review is primarily on Chapter 7, the accounting chapter, but will subsequently be expanded to Chapter 4 (Derivatives in Oil & Gas), Chapter 5 (Derivatives in Electricity) and one section on financial failure in Chapter 6.


5.  Energy Situation Analysis Report (ESAR)  (Priority 2)  

Presenter:  Lowell Feld


This report is published twice a week and covers the current situation in world oil markets, plus U.S. oil, natural gas, electricity and coal markets.  It contains information on energy prices, supply, demand and inventories.  The report is an internet-only product that EIA began producing just after the start of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, given concerns over possible energy market implications of the ongoing "war on terrorism," as well as the potential for possible broadening of instability to significant Middle Eastern oil producers.  Given the uncertain nature of this situation, the Energy Situation Analysis Report can be expanded to more than its current twice-per-week frequency as events (i.e., any expansion of the conflict) warrant.


If the conflict expands to involve major oil producing countries, we would propose beginning wider-scale distribution of this report, including notification via email lists, fax, hard copy, etc., to top government officials and other policymakers, the private sector, and the general public.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice


Dr. Kent, the discusssant, recommended that EIA become "intentional" about the ESAR, and have a "clear policy" about doing an ESAR and what it aims to accomplish.  Right now the purposes and the constituency are not clear.  Also, ESAR does not appear to be a "contingency" product anymore.


Summary of EIA’s Intended Response:


Since the Spring meeting, the Secretary of Energy has directed that EIA produce and circulate the ESAR 5 times a week.  EIA will not take action on the ASA advice at this time.


6.  Natural Gas Annual Data Quality (Priority 4)

Presenter:  Elizabeth Campbell


The Natural Gas Annual (NGA) is EIA’s  most comprehensive data product describing natural gas supply and disposition in the 50 United States.  The NGA is prepared each year from a combination of annual surveys operated by the Natural Gas Division and other source information and attempts to account for all supply and disposition of natural gas in the U.S. and 50 States.  The NGA labels the difference between measured supply and disposition statistics as “the balancing item.”  In 1999 and 2000,  the U.S. balancing items were  4.1 and 3.7 percent of U.S. consumption, respectively.  In those years, the NGA was completed in September and November.   To improve data quality and report timeliness, EIA will seek to achieve in the 2001 (next) NGA a balancing item equal to or less than 2.5 percent of 2001 total gas consumption as part of  a product released in October 2002.  EIA must continue to use the data sources, survey forms, and processing system used in prior years and has consequently developed a program relying on frames maintenance work, nonrespondent and data quality follow-up, and critical issue teams to address the problem.  The presentation will describe EIA’s efforts for this priority and request suggestions for other approaches.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice and EIA’s Intended Responses:


A.  Issue of nonresponse and late response:

(1)  Following a discussion of possible causes for nonresponse and late response, the Committee proposed that EIA develop information about nonresponse patterns, perhaps through a survey of late responders and nonresponders.  One committee member recommended caution in the use of e-mails as a way to contact respondents as this mode is easier for them to never see or forget in the midst of other e-mails.

(2)  EIA will develop records about the characteristics of late responders and nonresponders which include information about the size and type of company, the quality of any late  response, and the method by which they were contacted and responded.


B.  What is an acceptable level of error for annual multi-source products like this?

(1)  This question could really only be addressed with respect to a random source of error.  The consistent negative value of the Natural Gas Annual balancing item suggests that there is a systematic error which needs to be addressed.  The Committee suggested that EIA use new or additional sources to locate the source of the problem.

(2)  EIA will use a variety of secondary sources about States and companies to try to locate reporting errors or missing reporters for 2001.


C.  Data quality for respondents.

(1)  A committee member suggested that respondents would be better able to report correctly on a simpler, less burdensome form.

(2)  EIA will be adopting a simpler form for calendar year 2002 if the proposed annual form is approved by the Office of Management and Budget this Fall.


7.  Description of a Natural Gas Production Estimation Procedure

Presenter:  John Vetter, Ph.D.


In the previous (Fall 2001) EIA meeting with the ASA Committee on Energy Statistics, a new method of estimating natural gas production to provide earlier and more accurate information was presented to the Committee.  In the Fall 2001 paper, several questions were posed to the  Committee, including:


A.   Should EIA publish its best estimate as “final values” instead of the values reported by the State.

B.              If EIA can make estimates 90 days after the close of a production month within 1% error 90% of the time, should EIA publish an earlier estimate which may be within 2% error?

C. What are the pros and cons for publishing a five year monthly natural gas series on the EIA Web.

D.  What final production value should be estimated or calibrated to 1year, 2 years, 5 years, etc., and

E.              Are there other Committee comments, questions, suggestions or recommendations on the  methodology.


The complexity in  presenting the methodology precluded the committee from making any significant comments and recommendations on the methodology and from being able to answer the questions posed to the committee. 


The presentation at the Spring 2002 meeting was to describe the new methodology clearly and simply, and aid the Committee in making constructive comments and  recommendations, and provide some motivation for using specific model parameters.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice


The committee said that the Dallas model was doing many of the right things.  It did feel that a more flexible approach using a statistical model, in which parameters can be estimated from the data, should be explored.  Dr. Randy Sitter suggested that the data was similar to HIV data in the collection and analysis. He also mentioned warranty data had similar characteristics.  He has suggested a possible approach using a family of exponential distribution, which could be transformed into linear models for analysis. He suggested that a graduate student of his would be able to explore this approach.  The committee agreed that using a model such as this would provide more flexibility. The committee did, however, encourage continued investigation and refinement of the current deterministic approach developed by the Dallas Field Office.


Summary of EIA’s Intended Response


EIA’s Statistics and Methods Group will continue to support the Dallas Field Office, with statistical support and advice.  It has also provided a Fellowship to a Simon Fraser University graduate student, who, under the direction of Dr. Sitter, ASA Committee member, will explore various statistical approaches.  The results will be compared to the results achieved by the Dallas model.  A presentation of these results will be made at the Fall 2002 ASA Committee on Energy Statistics meeting.


8.  Current Status and Issues Related to the Development of the System for the Analysis of Global Energy markets (SAGE)  (Priority 7)

Presenters:  Pia Hartman and Andy S. Kydes


This ASA break-out session was to provide a brief summary of the SAGE model development –  where the model development is, what is currently being done to improve its simulation capabilities, what needs to get done by August 2002, and what major issues remain to be addressed. The focus of the break-out session will be technical in that we will identify and solicit ideas and/or recommendation on how to overcome technical issues we now face.

The international team has recently completed the proof of concept phase for the SAGE model.  Working prototypes for each of the 15 regions of the world energy model have been developed with reasonable placeholder data and common naming conventions.  In addition, a  friendly user interface for inputting the region-specific data and scenario drivers that ultimately define regional energy demand and consumer choices has been developed and is being refined with increased use.  A user friendly report writer has also been developed and is being refined.  The goal of these interfaces is to minimize the need for computer expertise so that the regional energy market analyst can focus on analysis and interpretation of model results rather than on technical features of the software or run-submission system.


Data quality remains an open issue as it does with any model of national or international energy markets because the data is always far less than perfect. However, we begin with best available data; our model structure is sufficiently flexible to allow more aggregate information and analyst judgement to be used initially and to be replaced later by improved data when it becomes available.


The main technical issues for the remainder of the SAGE development in fiscal 2002 relate to augmenting many of the relational equations on fuel flows by relational equations on technology adoption and penetration.  There are two forms of the SAGE model.  The first is a dynamic linear programming formulation that will be capable of addressing questions of “What’s best?”.  The second approach which we expect will receive much more frequent use in EIA is the Time-stepped SAGE approach.  The main technical issues relate to the Time-stepped SAGE approach where we attempt to approximate market simulation through the addition of price and demand expectations (imperfect foresight), an inter-period market diffusion and adjustment algorithm, and technology learning.  The version of SAGE that will be available at the end of fiscal 2002 will not have a macro-economic feedback capability but will rely on an elasticity representation for final energy service demand to capture first order price response of demand.  The issue for this formulation is how to develop reasonable estimates for the price elasticities.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice


The ASA committee members felt that the three important features of EIA’s new international model, SAGE, should be 1) to  provide forecasts of energy use and associated environment byproducts, 2) to provide insight on the costs of various energy-related policies to the U.S. and other policy participant, and 3) to be consistent with EIA’s other models, NEMS in particular.  In light of these three features, the committee recommended that EIA:

A.  Consider incorporating a probabilistic approach, such as a logic structure, into SAGE in order to avoid the knife-edge decision making problem that is inherent in linear programming models

B.  Base the energy service demand price elasticities on direct estimation, where possible, and employ cross-country comparisons for SAGE regions where there is poor data quality and/or lack of data

C.  Incorporate non-CO2 emissions from energy and non-energy sectors into SAGE.


Summary of EIA’s Intended Response:


EIA plans to investigate a logic structure for its market-sharing algorithm.  Price elasticities for energy service demands for the U.S., drawn from NEMS, will also serve as a reference/guide for elasticities in other regions, with adjustment being made according to economic and demographic trends, for example.  As EIA continues to develop SAGE, non-CO2 emissions (particularly, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and methane) will be also be incorporated into the model.   


9.  Redesign of the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)  (Priority 6)

Presenter: Dwight French


The Energy Consumption Division is working with Westat, Inc. to develop a comprehensive redesign of the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). The resulting frame will be the basic sampling vehicle for the next several CBECS, beginning with the 2003 survey.  Three new methodologies are currently being considered for use in the new frame.  We welcome Committee input on their advantages and drawbacks, and whether, on balance, they would benefit the redesign:


A.  Westat proposes to use a commercial energy measure of size (MOS) for selecting even Primary Sampling Units (PSU's), rather than population or housing unit totals that are commonly used for PSU selection.  The MOS would be based on county employment data by type of activity and estimates of energy use per employee from previous CBECS, for broad activity classes.  These MOS would have greater potential variability than population measures, but they are likely to be better correlated with our most important commercial energy measures.


B.  We are considering a hybrid approach to data collection units.  Facilities rather than buildings would be the collection unit for several types of multi-building establishments - schools, hospitals, hotel/resort complexes; prisons; and perhaps a couple of others, while tenants would be the collection unit for strip shopping centers.  Otherwise, buildings will continue to be the unit of data collection.  This approach will present both sampling and analysis problems.


C.  We are considering using a Fire Insurance listing of approximately 2 million buildings nationwide to increase the list portion of the frame, in order to reduce area sample design (mostly area listing) costs, and perhaps reduce the costs of developing local area large/special buildings lists as well.  However, the Fire Insurance listing is relatively expensive and has a lot of false positives because demolished buildings are not removed from the file, which will increase fieldwork costs if the list is used.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice and EIA’s intended reactions


The ASA Committee considered three separate issues regarding the redesign of the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) for 2003.  Following are their major comments and EIA's responses:


Issue 1:  Using a derived measure of commercial energy use rather than population as a first stage measure of size (MOS) for sampling.


Committee Comments:

(A)  Look at which MOS is best correlated with actual measured energy use.

(B)  It is OK to split up Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA's) in creating first-stage areas for sampling.

(C)  Compute the variation of the MOS used and potentially use it for estimation rather than just for sample selection.


EIA Responses:


(A)  EIA will see if Westat can do this (we can't because we don't have PSU identifiers on our files).  One problem with such an assessment is that we have to do it using historical data, and of course, measures of size created from historical energy ratios should look better than an independent population measure when compared on the basis of the same historical data from which the defining ratios were created.  The question is whether the historical ratios will produce measures of size that are more correlated for the future.

(B)  EIA and Westat are planning to split up MSA's, especially large, diverse ones, in forming PSU's for first stage sampling.

(C)  EIA is not clear about this suggestion.  The MOS will be reflected in estimation in that it will be used to weight sample observations from the PSU level to the national level.  Ordinarily, size measures used for estimation adjustment (such as poststratification) use information about numbers of sampling units in a population, rather than the size of a PSU relative to the population.


Issue 2:  Using a hybrid approach to units of data collection and analysis (building/facility/tenant) rather than a single type of unit.


Committee Comments:


 A(1)  EIA needs to identify a common, lowest-level unit as the unit of data collection/analysis, rather than having different types of units, or else analysis will be hopelessly complicated.

(B)  Perhaps the meter could serve as the common unit?


EIA Responses:


(A)  EIA sees problems with the hybrid approach also, and as a result of our research, it appears that we will not be using a straight facility approach to deal with college/university campuses.  For strip shopping centers, tenants are a lower-level unit than buildings, but they can be weighted up to the building level.  Also, because the same information can theoretically be collected for a tenant as for a building, the data records will be easier to aggregate and put on a consistent basis with individual building records.  Making consistent data records was going to be a big problem with facility-level reporting.


(B) The meter is not likely to be a useful unit.  Meters sometimes are equivalent to a facility, building, or tenant.  Some units will have 100 electric meters but one gas meter - what is the unit level in that case?  Also, it is impossible to attach physical characteristics (floor space, age, hours of operation, age of heating equipment, etc.) to a meter record.


Issue 3:  Use of a national building list for Fire Insurance companies as a list sampling frame.


Committee Comments:


(A)  There might be a problem with out-of-date contact information on the list, if the file is not kept up to date.

(B)  There might be a problem keeping the list up to date for later cycles of CBECS.

(C)  Use tabulations of total floor space from the files in particular areas as an estimation tool.


EIA Responses:


      (A)  The comment is valid.  There will be both a name and telephone number on the contact records; the odds that one or the other of these two fields remains valid is greater than either of them alone remaining valid.  EIA thinks that the organization providing the list would have a reason for keeping its contact information up to date (after all, they are selling the records for $40+ apiece to insurance companies, who might not be pleased to pay that much money for out-of-date information), but if it is not, EIA will have to start from scratch in approaching these buildings, just as we do with buildings from the area sample.

      (B)  EIA hopes that there is potential to use new entries to the list as a means of updating for new construction in later cycles, and will certainly try to use that as an updating approach.  If we can't use the insurance list for later cycle updates (because the data aren't up to date, the dates of opening aren't precise enough to determine what buildings opened in the time interval between surveys, or for some other reason), we will have to resort to the area and list updating approaches we have been using for the past 20 years.

(C)  This is an interesting idea, and EIA will check out the possibility of using summary tabulations.  However, our experience with the company providing the list is that they are prepared to provide records or sets of records, but not statistical summaries of aggregates for a set of records.


10.  Extension of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) to 2025 (Priority 9)

Presenters: Daniel Skelly and Scott Sitzer


EIA is in the process of extending the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS)forecast horizon from 2020 to 2025.  Forecasts with the extended horizon are planned for the Annual Energy Outlook 2003, scheduled for release in December 2002.  The 24-year projection span will match EIA’s longest previous forecast of AEO98, when NEMS was first extended to 2020.  By comparison, EIA’s midterm forecasts through most of the 1980s were between 11 and 15 years.


The planned extension has been motivated by customer requests for longer-term analysis and a general interest in how new technology adoption and resource availability may affect future energy markets.  The extension requires a reassessment of assumptions about new technology availability and their characteristics, fossil energy resources, and energy transportation infrastructure.  EIA will present a status report on the project and examples of technology assumptions under review in the demand, supply, and conversion areas. 


EIA would like to get comments on forecasting and technology assessment issues related to the planned extension, including comments on specific modeling assumptions or approaches.  Additional comments of a more general nature are solicited on, for example,


A.  Whether EIA modeling approaches are adequate for capturing new technology developments over the time span considered,

B.  How the forecast uncertainty might vary with time and the implications of that uncertainty range on how the forecasts are presented,

C.  How to construct alternate scenarios that span a reasonable range of future technology possibilities, and

D.  The extent to which autonomous energy efficiency improvement or unspecified “breakthrough” technologies should be incorporated into the modeling.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice:


The ASA Committee suggested that we review our technology forecasts over the past 10 or more years, that we "backcast" the results from our model given all of the inputs that actually occurred, and that we think about what questions are likely to be asked of us as we determine what new technologies should be assessed post-2020.


Summary of EIA’s Intended Responses:


We will definitely look at the first item, and prepare a short paper showing what kinds of technologies we predicted in the last several AEOs, compared to what actually penetrated the market over the last few years.  "Backcasting" the model is a difficult exercise; we will consider it, but the resources may be too high for us to execute it.  Finally, thinking about the technologies that may penetrate 2020 is an integral part of the extension exercise, and we will be doing that over the next several months in preparation for the AEO2003.


11.  Improve the Quality of the Annual Nonutility Data: Implement New Electric Power Data Forms, Processing Systems and Information Products (Priority 3)

 Presenter: Robert Schnapp


The U.S. electric power industry has been restructuring since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opened the electricity transmission system to all power producers, and many States have opened their retail sales to competition.  To accommodate these and other dynamic changes in the industry, EIA is redesigning its electric power information collection systems consisting of 8 distinct forms.



To assist the providers of the information, EIA is making an electronic reporting option available to the respondents.  This effort will be in full compliance with the Government Paperwork Elimination Act.


EIA is also redesigning the computer processing systems to produce the forms, mail them out, process them, provide performance statistics, and produce aggregate electric industry statistics.  The final data will be made available in newly designed information dissemination products (both hard copy (monthly and annual) and on the Internet) and make the information available in a timely manner in a wider variety of formats than previously available.


Summary of the Committee’s Advice:


The ASA Committee commented on their concern about IT security of submitting the data collection forms over the Internet.  They also raised the concern that keeping the latitude and longitude of the electric power plants confidential, is not consistent with reality, as they can be obtained through a variety of Internet sources.


Summary of EIA’s Intended Response:


EIA does not plan to make any immediate changes to its work as a result of these comments.  It was pointed out that CNEAF has worked extensively with both EIA and DOE IT groups to make the site as safe as possible.  EIA also acknowledged that while the latitude and longitude information can be obtained from the Internet in other more indirect routes.  However, EIA wanted to make sure that we do not make it any easier to obtain this information for national security reasons.


12.  Improve the Quality of the Annual Nonutility Data (Form EIA-860B) and Implement Consistent Use of These Data Throughout EIA (Priority 5)

 Presenter: Robert Schnapp


This project is designed to improve the accuracy of the data on electricity generation, fuel consumption and useful thermal output of the 1989-2000 annual nonutility data and display these data in all EIA products in a consistent manner.  Outlier data from the Form EIA-860B “Annual Electric Generator Report - Nonutility” is being analyzed and corrected.  A methodology was developed to apportion the total fuel consumption between electricity generation and useful thermal output.  EIA Program Offices will test the revised data to ensure that it is consistent with the natural gas, petroleum, coal and renewable data.  This includes comparing the data to the EIA-176, “Annual Report of Natural and Supplemental Gas Supply and Disposition” and EIA-3, “Quarterly Coal Consumption Report--Manufacturing Plants” form data.  All EIA Program Offices will then modify their systems, publications, models and forecasts to use the same data and definitions.



Summary of the Committee’s Advice:


On the Nonutility data, the ASA Committee suggested that EIA make a concerted effort to alert its users to what has changed in the data and publications, and why and how we made those changes.


Summary of EIA’s Intended Response:


In response to this comment, EIA is currently putting together a technical document to explain what, how and why changes were made to EIA data.  We will also document how this has impacted our publications.  We will make available on the various Internet sites a button that will lead the user to this documentation.