On July 16, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) eliminated the requirement for certain public utilities, including regional transmission organizations (RTOs), independent system operators (ISOs) and exempt wholesale generators (EWGs)—approximately 900 entities in total—to file FERC-566, an annual report of such public utilities’ 20 largest retail customers for each of the three years preceding the filing date. FERC also eliminated the FERC-566 filing requirement for any public utility that has not made any reportable sales (i.e., any retail sales) in any of the preceding three years. In addition, for the approximately 200 public utilities that remain subject to the filing requirement because they make retail sales, FERC eliminated the requirements to identify individual residential customers by name and address and to notify all customers identified in FERC-566 filings.  These changes will become effective on October 6, 2015.

FERC explained in its Final Rule that it eliminated the FERC-566 filing requirement for RTOs and ISOs because those entities focus primarily on sales of electric energy for resale.  Similarly, FERC explained that it eliminated the FERC-566 filing requirement for EWGs because EWGs, by definition, do not have retail customers. FERC eliminated the FERC-566 filing requirement for any public utility that has not made any reportable retail sales in any of the preceding three years because Section 305 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) “requires public utilities to publish a list of purchasers; it does not require a report of the absence of purchasers.”

For public utilities still subject to the FERC-566 filing requirement, rather than identifying individual residential customers by name and address, FERC now will “allow public utilities to identify individual residential customers as ‘Residential Customer’ and provide a zip code in lieu of an address.” FERC found that requiring such detailed information exceeds the requirements of Section 305 of the FPA and therefore is unduly burdensome. FERC also eliminated the requirement for public utilities filing FERC-566 to notify the customers identified in those reports, finding that requirement “unnecessary,” likely because FERC-566 filings are publicly available in any event.