On February 3, 2010, FERC issued a Notice Requesting Comments (“Notice”) on their proposed performance metrics for Regional Transmission Organizations (“RTOs”) and Independent System Operators (“ISOs”) to use when they submit annual reports to FERC. 

In September 2008, the United States Government Accountability Office (“GAO”) issued a report called “Electricity Restructuring: FERC Could Take Additional Steps to Analyze Regional Transmission Organizations’ Benefits and Performance,” which recommended that the FERC Chairman work with RTOs, ISOs and other stakeholders and experts to come up with standardized performance metrics for annual reporting.  GAO conducted this study after stakeholders expressed concerns about RTO benefits and how expenses and decisions influence electricity prices.  GAO recommended that FERC (1) develop an approach for regularly reviewing RTO budgets and annual financial reports, and (2) develop and report on standardized measures that track RTO’s performance.

In response to the GAO report, FERC staff worked with ISO and RTO staff to come up with performance metrics for annual reporting.  These groups also met with interested stakeholders to get their perspectives and comments.  The proposed performance metrics include: 6 Reliability metrics, 5 Markets metrics and 3 Organizational Effectiveness metrics. 

Each category is broken down into more specific metrics:

  • Under Reliability, the performance metrics look to National or Regional Reliability Standards Compliance, Dispatch Reliability, Operational Planning- Load Forecast Authority, Long-Term Reliability Planning-Transmission, Long-Term Reliability Planning-Generation, and Transmission Outage Coordination. 
  •  Under Markets, the performance metrics review Market Pricing, Generator Availability, Congestion Management, Demand Response and Renewables.
  • Under Organizational Effectiveness, the performance metrics include Administrative Costs, Customer Satisfaction and Billing Controls.
    In addition to the performance metrics, RTOs and ISOs must submit data about infrastructure investment, special protection schemes, wind forecasting authority, unscheduled flow, system lambda, fuel diversity, energy market price convergence and backup facilities. 

A copy of FERC’s Notice can be found at www.ferc.gov under Docket No. AD10-5-000.  A copy of the performance metrics can be found at www.ferc.gov at accession No. 20100203-4008
A copy of the GAO report, GAO-08-987 can be found at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08987.pdf.