On February 6, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order on Rehearing of its Order No. 768, in which FERC expanded its Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) filing requirements by, among other things, requiring EQR filers to submit electronic tag ID (“e-Tag ID”) information for each transaction reported in an EQR if an e-Tag1 were used to schedule the transaction. The e-Tag ID requirement was to become effective with the EQR for the third quarter of 2013, but FERC delayed its implementation pending FERC action on requests for rehearing of the new requirement. Last week, on rehearing, FERC determined that the potential benefits of the e-Tag ID requirement do not justify the likely substantial costs and burdens of complying with it. Accordingly, FERC eliminated the e-Tag ID requirement.
In Order No. 768, FERC found that the importance of price transparency in jurisdictional markets justified the increased burdens associated with matching transactions reported in EQRs with e-Tag IDs. Several parties requested a rehearing of the e-Tag ID requirement, arguing that FERC overestimated the transparency benefits and underestimated the substantial burdens and costs of requiring e-Tag ID information in EQRs. Those parties and other commenters requested that FERC eliminate or stay the e-Tag ID requirement, the latter of which FERC did to allow it to perform a full assessment of the benefits and burdens.
On rehearing, FERC found that “the initial and ongoing compliance burdens and costs” of the e-Tag ID requirement “may be significantly higher than [FERC estimated] in Order No. 768.” Accordingly, while noting that the e-Tag ID requirement “could improve the usefulness of EQR data,” FERC granted a rehearing regarding the e-Tag ID requirement and determined to not require EQR filers to submit e-Tag IDs for transactions reported in EQRs and for which an e-Tag was used to schedule the transaction, which will save public-utility and non-public-utility EQR filers from shouldering the significant burdens and costs of doing so going forward. The Order on Rehearing did not alter any other EQR-related filing requirements.