The filing deadline for FERC-566, the Annual Report of a Utility’s 20 Largest Customers, is coming up on January 31, 2015.  Under this annual filing requirement, public utilities are required to prepare and publish a list that includes any company, firm, or organization that is one of the 20 largest retail purchasers of electric energy purchased (for purposes other than resale) from the public utility during any one of the three preceding calendar years.[1]  Even if no retail sales were made, under the regulations, public utilities are currently required to submit a brief filing notifying the Commission of that fact.  This requirement is codified in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (“FERC” or “Commission”) regulations at 18 C.F.R. Part 46. 

In a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) issued on December 18, 2014, under Docket No. RM15-3-000, the Commission proposes to revise its regulations to eliminate the requirement that certain public utilities submit FERC-566.  The Commission proposes to streamline this requirement by eliminating the reporting requirement for (i) regional transmission organizations and independent system operators (“RTOs”); (ii) exempt wholesale generators (“EWGs”); and (iii) public utilities that have not made any reportable sales in any of the three preceding years.[2]  FERC notes that by definition, RTOs and EWGs are focused primarily on sales of electric energy for resale, while the statute seeks information on purchasers of electric energy “for purposes other than for resale”.  The Commission also seeks to alleviate the burden placed on public utilities that do not have any reportable sales for any of the three preceding years because the underlying statutory provision, Federal Power Act Section 305(c), requires public utilities to publish a list of retail purchasers but does not require a report of the absence of purchasers, which public utilities with no reportable sales have historically been required to provide to the Commission.  The Commission estimates that these revisions will result in a reduction of 886 “no sales” responses.  Among those public utilities which would largely be relieved of the reporting requirement are merchant generation owners and wholesale power marketers that often file a “no sales” report because their business model includes no retail sales of electric energy.

The NOPR is available on FERC’s website: FERC NOPR: Revisions to Part 46 Filing Requirements.  Comments on the NOPR are due by March 2, 2015.