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Regulatory authorities are increasingly adopting performance-based regulation (PBR) in the deregulated electricity industry. A PBR regime is intended to provide distribution utilities with incentives for economic efficiency gains. In order to discourage distribution utilities from sacrificing service reliability while pursuing economic incentives, historic utility performance is utilized as the specified service reliability standard in some places. A reward/penalty structure based on the historic reliability record could be integrated into a PBR plan. Historic reliability data are therefore, extremely important for distribution system risk assessment and remedial work in this new regime. This paper presents actual reliability data taken from the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) Service Continuity Reports. The financial risk analyzes associated with the historic reliability data are conducted by incorporating reliability index probability distributions in imposed reward/penalty policies. The major cause contributions to the service continuity indices utilizing the CEA cause code categories are analyzed and illustrated. This work should prove useful for those utilities facing the emerging application of PBR.