On June 16, 2016, FERC clarified some of its Electric Quarterly Report (“EQR”) reporting requirements, including EQR Data Dictionary modifications that (1) clarify certain EQR fields, (2) require all EQR users to report transactions that occur on a sub-hourly basis, and (3) emphasize the requirement for transmission providers to report transmission service information. FERC’s order also indicates that, in the future, it will post certain non-material changes to the EQR reporting requirements and EQR Data Dictionary to its website and notify EQR users via e-mail of any such changes. 

The majority of FERC’s order provides certain clarifications and modifications of the EQR reporting requirements and fields in the EQR Data Dictionary. In general, the EQR Data Dictionary defines certain terms and values used when filing EQR data and provides formal definitions for certain EQR fields. Of note, FERC clarified the method for identifying “Increment Name” in the Contract Data and Transaction Data sections of the EQR by noting that, if the price of a transaction does not change on an hourly basis, then the transaction should not be listed as “Hourly.” Conversely, if the price does change on an hourly basis, then the transaction must be listed as “Hourly.”

Additionally, FERC adopted modifications to the “Increment Name” field to add values for sub-hourly transaction increments, including for five-minute and fifteen-minute intervals. In adopting these modifications for five-minute and fifteen-minute intervals, FERC required all EQR filers to report transactions that occur on a sub-hourly basis. FERC also modified the EQR Data Dictionary definition of “Commencement Date of Contract Terms” to include additional contractual terms—namely “Seller Company Name” and “Customer Company Name.”

FERC’s order also clarified that public utilities must file transmission service information via their EQRs. FERC explained that Order No. 2001 obligated public utilities to file information about standard and non-conforming transmission agreements. According to FERC, however, many transmission providers are not filing the necessary transmission-related data. As a result, FERC emphasized the need to file this transmission-related information via the EQRs, which FERC noted includes information about generally-applicable transmission services (i.e., standard form agreements) as well as any agreements with individual terms and conditions or unexecuted agreements for any service (i.e., non-conforming agreements).

Finally, FERC indicated that, going forward, it will no longer make minor or non-material changes to the EQR reporting requirements or EQR Data Dictionary through a FERC-issued order. Rather, FERC will begin posting any non-material changes to the EQR reporting requirements or EQR Data Dictionary directly to its website, and will alert EQR users of the changes via email. FERC stated that posting directly to its website will enable it to make such changes in a more timely manner. However, consistent with its past practices, FERC noted that any significant changes to its EQR requirements or EQR Data Dictionary will be proposed via a FERC order or rulemaking, thereby allowing interested parties an opportunity to comment.

FERC’s order indicates that the updated EQR Data Dictionary shall be used beginning with the filing of the Q4 2016 EQR filings, due January 31, 2017.

A copy of FERC’s order can be found here.