On September 21, 2012, the Commission ordered that certain non-public utilities must now file Electronic Quarterly Reports (“EQR”) with FERC.  The Commission also made certain revisions to its EQR regulations applicable to all entities.

In particular, this new EQR filing requirement applies to market participants that are excluded from the Commission’s jurisdiction under section 205 of the Federal Power Act (“FPA”) and have more than a “de minimis market presence.”  The Commission defined a “de minimis market presence” as less than 4 million MWh of annual wholesale transactions.

The Commission found that this new reporting requirement will increase price transparency in markets for the sale and transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce, as non-public utilities have a significant presence in the national and regional wholesale electricity markets.  According to the Commission, the reporting forms used most commonly by non-public utilities “do not provide sufficiently detailed or timely information to assess those market dynamics.”  Thus, not having the EQR data of non-public utilities provides an “incomplete picture of these markets, and hampers the ability of the public and the Commission to detect and address the potential exercise of market power and manipulation.” 

The Commission concluded that Section 220 of the FPA grants it the authority to obtain from “any market participant” that has more than a de minimis market presence “information about the availability and prices of wholesale electric energy and transmission service to the Commission, State commissions, buyers and sellers of wholesale electric energy, users of transmission services, and the public.” 

The Commission did exclude the following two types of transactions from the EQR requirements applicable to non-public utilities: (1) sales by a non-public utility, such as a cooperative or joint action agency, to its members; and (2) sales by a non-public utility under a long-term, cost-based agreement required to be made to certain customers under a Federal or state statute.

The Commission also made certain revisions to the EQR requirements applicable to all entities, making the following EQR fields now mandatory:

  1. The trade date and the type of rate (i.e., fixed price, index price, RTO price, or formula rate);
  2. The exchange used for a sales transaction, if applicable;
  3. The identification of the broker, if one was used to consummate a transaction;
  4. Electronic tag (e-Tag) ID data; and     
  5. Standardized prices and quantities for energy, capacity and booked out power transaction.

The Commission’s new EQR regulations will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.  A copy of the Commission order is available here.