On September 24, 2007, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") adopted an Electronic Quarterly Report ("EQR") Data Dictionary, which describes in detail the terms and parameters which parties with market-based rate authority must use in their EQRs. The purpose of the "dictionary" is to assist entities with market-based rate authority to complete the mandatory EQRs by clarifying and adjusting the parameters of filed data to better match FERC requirements and the reality of jurisdictional transactions and related information. This Order is important because failure to comply with the EQR filing requirements as clarified by this Order may result in loss of market-based rate authorization and/or refund obligations.

One clarification of note involves the definition of an "Exchange." FERC clarified the definition of an "Exchange" (i) to ensure that simultaneous trades at different locations continue to be reported and (ii) explicitly to exclude sales in which a company sells power into a regional transmission organization's ("RTO") or independent system operator's ("ISO"). An "Exchange" is now defined as a "[t]ransaction whereby the receiver accepts delivery of energy for a supplier's account and returns energy at times, rates, and in amounts as mutually agreed if the receiver is not an RTO/ISO." FERC clarified that the "change in definition should not be interpreted to exclude reporting activities in real-time markets that offset sales in day-ahead markets," which "will continue to be considered the organized market's equivalent to bookouts."

The Order has not modified FERC's existing policy with respect to booked out power sales (reportable) and purely financial transactions (not reportable). The definition of a "booked out power" transaction has not changed and involves the offsetting of opposing buy-sell transactions whereby energy or capacity is "contractually committed bilaterally for delivery but not actually delivered due to some offsetting or countervailing energy trade." These should be reported in the EQR as transactions on a disaggregated basis. In addition, this order does not modify existing FERC policy whereby purely financial transactions, such as futures, options and virtual energy transactions that do not result in the actual delivery of electricity, need not be reported in the EQRs. Nevertheless, an entity with market-based rate authority engaging only in purely financial transactions must still file the ID data portion of the EQR with FERC on a quarterly basis.

The EQR Data Dictionary will be effective for the first quarter of 2008. Companies filing EQRs will have until the April 30, 2008 filing deadline to make their internal filing processes compliant with the dictionary. A party subject to EQR filing requirements should review the Order and its attached EQR Data Dictionary carefully to ensure compliance with all changes. This order will be effective upon publication in the Federal Register (Docket No. RM01-8-000).

For More Information Click here for the complete order (PDF)

Click here for additional reports on actions taken by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission at its September 20, 2007 meeting.