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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Economics of UVM: Balancing Preventive and Corrective Maintenance


    Utility vegetation managers face a challenge common to management in general, that being how to maximize performance with limited resources.  For vegetation managers, this has typically involved attempting to achieve an appropriate balance between investments in preventive tasks and the cost of corrective actions.  As financial resources become scarcer, an optimal balance can be achieved by optimizing cost, system performance, and levels of service. 

      In the case of most engineered systems, a great deal is known about the performance and failure rates of critical system components, making it possible to conduct in-depth quantitative analysis.  In contrast, Utility Vegetation Management (UVM) analysis is complicated by the current lack of quantitative data, and by the fact that a major component of any UVM analysis involves a biological system.   Information related to economic considerations for vegetation is generally qualitative in nature.  The quantitative cost and efficacy data that are available tend to be dated, and do not represent many of the approaches that are found in the industry today.

    This presentation will present findings of project intended to establish an analytic framework and algorithm(s) that can be used in a financial assessment of the costs and benefits of various vegetation maintenance management scenarios.  It will include an overview of literature reviewed, a business model framework identifying the most important variables to be considered in a complete analysis, and a description of the methodology that would be necessary to establish the value of all variables in the economic model.

    Conference Proceedings Documents


    John Goodfellow is a degreed forester and has 35 years’ experience in the utility industry, having held positions of increasing responsibility for Utility Vegetation Management, Transmission & Distributions (T&D) operations, maintenance, engineering, and construction at three large investor-owned electric & gas utilities. He is recognized as a leading authority on utility vegetation management and reliability, and currently manages an active portfolio of research projects related to utility vegetation management including work involving high voltage and mechanical testing of individual trees, characterizing risks in populations of trees, and the application of RCM to vegetation maintenance activities.  

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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