While some compliance efforts are behind, the utility industry as a whole is configured to handle interruptions, blackouts, and natural disasters. A prolonged, nationwide blackout is not likely to occur. However, local and regional outages remain are possibility individual utilities are unprepared.
The nation's electric power industry comprises 3,200 independent utilities. Overall, remediation of the electric power industry is slow. According to federal regulators, only about 50 percent of the utilities had completed Y2K re-mediation as of December 1998. Failure of some parts of the electric industry's system is likely, but the committee does not the complete failure nation's power grid. Of greatest concern are approximately 1,000 small, rural electric utilities that may not have the resources to devote to Y2K compliance.
Compliance among oil and natural gas utilities is also progressing slowly. A survey by the committee, while limited in scope, indicates a lack of contingency planning, overly optimistic assertions that compliance will be complete, and a lack of knowledge about suppliers' Y2K status.
Read the committee report's section on the nation's utilities preparations for the year 2000. (Editor's note: the committee's report is in the Portable Document Format (PDF). Click here to obtain an Adobe Acrobat reader to view this file.)