FERC Issues Order Clarifying Reporting Requirements in the Electric Quarterly Report and Updating Data Dictionary
On June 16, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order implementing specified clarifications to existing Electric Quarterly Report (“EQR”) reporting requirements and the accompanying EQR Data Dictionary. The Commission’s order revised or affirmed the following reporting requirements and data fields: (1) Increment Name; (2) Commencement Date of Contract Terms; (3) Transmission-related data; (4) Time Zone field options; and (5) E-Tag ID-related data fields. Notably, the Commission also announced that, going forward, it will post to its website such “minor or non-material” changes to EQR reporting requirements and the EQR Data Dictionary, in addition to notifying EQR users via e-mail. It will no longer propose these types of changes in a Commission order or rulemaking and, as a result, will not provide an opportunity for comment. It explained that this will enable the agency to make minor or non-material changes in a more timely manner. What the Commission deems to be “significant changes” to the EQR reporting requirements and the EQR Data Dictionary will be proposed in a Commission Order or rulemaking.
Pursuant to the EQR reporting requirements, specified companies must electronically file EQRs summarizing the contractual terms and conditions in their agreements for jurisdictional services. This includes cost-based sales, market-based rate sales, transmission service, and transaction information for short-term and long-term market-based power sales and cost-based power sales. In its order, the Commission revised Field Numbers 28 and 61, which require EQR filers to designate the “Increment Name” or the terms of a contract as “Hourly,” “Daily,” Weekly,” “Monthly,” or “Yearly.” It clarified that if the price associated with a reported transaction does not change on an hourly basis, the transaction should not be listed as “Hourly” and, if it does so change, it must be listed as “Hourly.” In addition, the Commission added and defined sub-hourly transaction increments of five and fifteen minutes to Field Number 61. As a result, EQR filers now must report transactions that occur on a sub-hourly basis. It also deleted the term “consecutive” from the definitions listed under “Increment Name” in the Contract Data and Transaction Data sections.
The Commission further added Field Numbers 16 and 17 to the list of specified fields in the definition of “Commencement Date of Contract Terms” because it determined that this definition should include two additional terms: “Seller Company Name” (Field Number 16) and “Customer Company Name” (Field Number 17). The agency also affirmed the requirement that public utilities – as well as required non-public utilities – must file information about generally-applicable transmission service and any agreements with individual terms and conditions or unexecuted agreements for any service in the Contract Data Section. In addition, the Commission removed the “UT (Universal Time)” and “NA (Not Applicable)” options in the Time Zone field listed in Appendix D. Lastly, it deleted the fields related to the now-outdated e-Tag ID reporting requirement (Field Numbers 75 through 78) from the EQR Data Dictionary. The Commission stated its belief that these clarifications and revisions will reduce filing errors and help ensure accurate and consistent data.