A Flexible Framework for Modeling Customer Damage Functions for Power Outages

Sean Ericson, Lars Lisell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus Citations


This paper develops a flexible method for estimating the customer cost of a power outage. We add to the current body of literature by outlining a framework which properly accounts for the effects of outage duration. We begin by separating costs into categories depending on whether the cost varies with outage duration and whether the cost is due to perishable inventory. We derive useful functional forms for each cost category and discuss how parameters vary by load type and outage characteristics. We derive outage cost estimates for an unexpected loss of power to both an example manufacturing plant and an example fire station. The framework described in this paper can easily be employed to model outage costs for a wide range of specific operating conditions.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)95-111
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Systems
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-6A50-71904


  • customer damage function
  • economic modeling
  • electricity
  • lost load
  • outage duration
  • power outage cost
  • resilience
  • value of lost load


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