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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Update. Steven D. Hunt, CPA Office of Enforcement, Division of Financial Regulation Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Accounting and Finance Lexington, Kentucky. Disclaimer.

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Federal energy regulatory commission update

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Update

Steven D. Hunt, CPA

Office of Enforcement, Division of Financial Regulation

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NARUC Staff Subcommittee on Accounting and Finance

Lexington, Kentucky


Disclaimer

Disclaimer

The views and comments presented are my own and do not represent, nor are they to be interpreted to represent the views, comments, or positions of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.


Agenda

AGENDA

Commission Members

Organizational Changes

Accounting Guidance

Forms and Data Initiatives

Significant Enforcement Actions


Chairman kelliher

Chairman Kelliher

Named chairman of the Commission by President George W. Bush effective July 9, 2005, after having served as Commissioner since November 20, 2003.

As Chairman, Kelliher is chief executive of the agency. In that role, he directs management of the agency’s 1,300 staff and its $260 million budget towards the pursuit of the agency’s five core missions: economic regulation, energy infrastructure, safety, reliability, and enforcement.

Education: Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service, B.S.F.S., 1983; American University Washington College of Law, J.D., Magna Cum Laude, 1994.


Commissioner kelly

Commissioner Kelly

Suedeen G. Kelly is a Commissioner at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, confirmed to a term that expires June 30, 2009.

Previously she was a Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she taught energy law, public utility regulation, administrative law and legislative process. She also worked with the law firm of Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk in Albuquerque from 2000 through 2003.

In 2000, Ms. Kelly served as counsel to the California Independent System Operator. In 1999, she worked as a Legislative Aide to U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman.

She received a B.A. With Distinction in Chemistry from the University of Rochester and a J.D. cum laude from Cornell Law School. She is admitted to the bars of New Mexico and the District of Columbia.


Commissioner moeller

Commissioner Moeller

Commissioner Philip D. Moeller was nominated by President Bush, and sworn into office on July 24, 2006, by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts, for a term expiring June 30, 2010.

From 1997 through 2000, Mr. Moeller served as an energy policy advisor to U.S. Senator Slade Gorton (R-Washington) where he worked on electricity policy, electric system reliability, hydropower, energy efficiency, nuclear waste, energy and water appropriations and other energy legislation.

Prior to joining Senator Gorton’s staff, he served as the Staff Coordinator for the Washington State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications, where he was responsible for a wide range of policy areas that included energy, telecommunications, conservation, water, and nuclear waste.

Mr. Moeller received a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University.


Commissioner spitzer

Commissioner Spitzer

Marc Spitzer was nominated by President Bush to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a term expiring June 30, 2011.

Mr. Spitzer was elected in 2000 to the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and in 2002 was elected ACC Chairman by his colleagues.

As ACC Chairman, he focused on policies encouraging expansion of natural gas infrastructure, specifically distribution and storage; creating a demand side management policy; enhancing the ACC’s renewables standard; and advancing consumer privacy concerns in telecommunications. As ACC Chairman, he established a legacy of balancing competing interests, while ensuring Arizonans receive safe, economical and reliable utility services.

After graduating from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he attended the University of Michigan School of Law.


Commissioner wellinghoff

Commissioner Wellinghoff

Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff was nominated by President Bush, and sworn into office on July 31, 2006, by U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. Recently re-appointed to a second term expiring June 30, 2013.

Commissioner Wellinghoff is an energy law specialist with more than 30 years experience in the field. Before joining FERC, he was in private practice and focused exclusively on client matters related to renewable energy, energy efficiency and distributed generation.

Served two terms as the State of Nevada’s first Consumer Advocate for Customers of Public Utilities. While serving in that role, Commissioner Wellinghoff represented Nevada’s utility consumers before the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada, the FERC, and in appeals before the Nevada Supreme Court. While Consumer Advocate, he authored the first comprehensive state utility integrated planning statute.

Education: Antioch School of Law, Washington, D.C., JD, 1975; Howard University, Washington, D.C., M.A.T., Mathematics, 1972; and University of Nevada, Reno, Nevada, BS, Mathematics, 1971.


Agenda1

AGENDA

Commission Members

Organizational Changes

Accounting Guidance

Forms and Data Initiatives

Significant Enforcement Actions


Organizational changes

Organizational Changes


Organizational changes1

Organizational Changes


Agenda2

AGENDA

Commission Members

Organizational Changes

Accounting Guidance

Forms and Data Initiatives

Significant Enforcement Actions


Accounting guidance original cost principle

Accounting GuidanceOriginal Cost Principle

  • PacifiCorp Merger

    • Docket No. EC08-82-000

    • Request for authorization for the disposition of jurisdictional facilities resulting from the merger of Chehalis Power Generation, LLC with and into PacifiCorp

      • Chehalis Facility – 520 MW generation facility, sells power at market-based rates, and granted exempt wholesale generator status


Accounting guidance original cost principle1

Accounting GuidanceOriginal Cost Principle

  • PacifiCorp Merger, continued

    • Proposed accounting for acquisition

      • Record Chehalis Facility at purchase price – not depreciated original cost

    • Support for proposed accounting

      • Chehalis Facility was never included in cost-of-service rate base

      • No binding Commission precedent stating a merchant generator making sales at market-based rates is “devoted to utility service”

      • Cited delegated orders by the Chief Accountant


Accounting guidance original cost principle2

Accounting GuidanceOriginal Cost Principle

  • PacifiCorp Merger, continued

    • Delegated orders by the Chief Accountant

      • Accepted journal entries for filing recording the acquisition of a merchant generator where the applicant stated the generator was not previously devoted to public service

        • Docket No. AC05-34-000, Issued April 6, 2005

      • Ruled that merchant generators have been devoted to public service

        • Docket No. AC06-161-000, Issued April 26, 2007

        • Docket No. AC06-19-000, Issued February 2, 2007


Accounting guidance original cost principle3

Accounting GuidanceOriginal Cost Principle

  • PacifiCorp Merger, continued

    • Commission Determination

      • Chehalis Facility must be recorded at depreciated original cost

        • Original Cost - Cost incurred by the 1st person who devoted the property to utility service

      • Purpose for the original cost principle is to protect customers from an unjust and unreasonable increases to rate base

      • Inclusion in cost-based rates, serving captive customers, or being subject to accounting regulations are not factors in determining whether a facility is devoted to public service


Accounting guidance original cost principle4

Accounting GuidanceOriginal Cost Principle

  • PacifiCorp Merger, continued

    • Commission Determination

      • Noted that prior delegated order of the Chief Accountant supporting PacifiCorp’s proposed accounting was an anomaly

        • Puget Sound Energy, Inc., Docket No. AC05-34-000 (April 6, 2005)

      • Cited to a Commission order, prior to Puget Sound, stating that plant not included in the predecessor owner’s rate base, and on which it did not earn a return or recover depreciation, be recorded on the purchaser’s books at depreciated original cost


Accounting guidance original cost principle5

Accounting GuidanceOriginal Cost Principle

  • PacifiCorp Merger, continued

    • Commission Determination

      • Cited to several delegated orders, since Puget Sound, that determined that merchant generating facilities in the same circumstances as the Chehalis Facility have been devoted to public service

    • Commission approved transaction July 17, 2008


Accounting guidance cable rehabilitation products

Accounting GuidanceCable Rehabilitation Products

  • Novinium, Inc.

    • Docket No. AC08-143-000

    • Request to capitalize the cost of installing injection rehabilitation products for underground residential distribution (URD) cable

    • Novinium Products

      • Extend the useful life of URD cable by at least 20 years from the date of injection

      • 20 year and 40 year money back warranty

      • Increases the dielectric capacity and reliability of URD cable

      • Includes enhancements to the CableCURE technology


Accounting guidance cable rehabilitation products1

Accounting GuidanceCable Rehabilitation Products

  • Novinium, Inc., continued

    • Chief Accountant approved accounting request

      • Purpose to extend the useful life of segments of URD cables beyond their original estimated useful lives

      • Minor item of property that did not previously exist and provided a substantial addition

        • Electric Plant Instruction 10 (c)(1)

    • Issued September 4, 2008


Agenda3

AGENDA

Commission Members

Organizational Changes

Accounting Guidance

Forms and Data Initiatives

Significant Enforcement Actions


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

  • Docket No. RM08-5-000

  • Implements changes to FERC Form Nos. 1, 1-F, and 3-Q

    • Notice of Inquiry issued February 15, 2007

  • NOPR Issued January 18, 2008

  • Final Rule Issued September 18, 2008


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule1

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Purpose of Form 1

Provide basic financial and operational information to allow the Commission, customers, and competitors to monitor a utility’s rates for jurisdictional services

Provide information needed to perform a preliminary rate assessment and determine whether a complaint may be warranted


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule2

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Purpose of NOPR:

To improve the forms, reports, and statements to provide, in fuller detail, the information the Commission needs to carry out its responsibilities to ensure that rates are J&R, and to provide others the information they need to assess the justness and reasonableness of electric rates

Final Rule

Effective Date - Calendar year 2009

First report containing changes in this Final Rule will be in the Form 3-Q, due in May 2009


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule3

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Final Rule

Formula Rates

NOPR – Form 1 filers should provide explanatory information when formula rate inputs differ from Form 1 reported amounts

Final Rule – Adopted proposed change

Only pertains to formula rates for which no informational filings are required to be regularly submitted

Explanation must be in a footnote on the same page, line, and column where the specific data is reported


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule4

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Final Rule

Filing Thresholds for Form 1

NOPR

Eliminate filing requirement for utilities that are not subject to the Commission’s jurisdiction, but make sales that meet or exceed the threshold for meeting the Commission’s Forms 1 and 3-Q reporting requirements

Requested comments on whether to revise definitions for major and nonmajor utilities

Final Rule

Eliminated filing requirement for non-jurisdictional entities

No change to definition of major and nonmajor utilities


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule5

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Final Rule

Affiliate Transactions

NOPR - Add Page 429 (Transactions with Associated (Affiliated) Companies)

Description of the good or service charged or credited

Name of the associated company

FERC account charged or credited

Amount charged or credited

Final Rule – Add Page 429

$250,000 threshold for reporting individual transactions

All affiliate/associate company non-power goods & services transactions


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule6

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Final Rule

CPA Certification for a Non-Calendar Fiscal Year

NOPR - Utility may file Form 1 (unaudited) each April and file a certified set of financial statements at end of fiscal year with CPA Certification

Final Rule – Adopts NOPR proposal

Companies must request authority to file the independent accountant certification based on their fiscal year information

Certification must be filed not later than 150 days after the end of their fiscal year


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule7

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Final Rule

“Increases to Threshold Reporting Levels

NOPR

Page 216 (Construction Work in Progress) – Report projects with balances > $1 million

Pages 232, 233, 269 & 278 (Other Regulatory Assets, Misc. Deferred Debits, Other Deferred Credits & Other Regulatory Liabilities) – Raise the balance limit for grouping items to $100,000

Page 352 & 253 (Research & Development) – Raise the cost of R&D items to be listed to $50,000

Final Rule – Adopts proposed changes from the NOPR


Forms and data initiatives form 1 final rule8

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 1 Final Rule

Final Rule

“Other Revenues” (Pages 300-301)

NOPR - Revenues not otherwise specified on Pages 328-300 must be provided in a footnote to Page 300

Final Rule – Adopts proposal from NOPR

Miscellaneous Issues

Retaining Form 3-Q

Confidentiality Concerns

Executive Officer’s Salaries

Reporting Transmission Line Data (Pages 422-425)


Forms and data initiatives form 2 rehearing order

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 2 Rehearing Order

Docket No. RM07-9-000, Order No. 710

Revisions to Forms, Statements, and Reporting Requirements for Natural Gas Pipelines

NOPR Issued September 20, 2007

Final Rule Issued March 21, 2008

Effective Date – January 1, 2008

First quarter 2009 Form 3-Q

Calendar year 2008 Form 2 and 2-A


Forms and data initiatives form 2 rehearing order1

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 2 Rehearing Order

Purpose of Rulemaking:

To expand & update the forms to reflect current market and cost information relevant to pipelines and their customers

To provide, in greater detail, information the Commission needs to carry out its regulatory responsibilities

To provide pipeline customers the information they need to assess the justness and reasonableness of pipeline rates


Forms and data initiatives form 2 rehearing order2

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 2 Rehearing Order

Final Rule:

Requires additional information on costs and revenues related to the disposition of shipper-supplied gas, affiliate transactions, discounted and negotiated rate services, and deferred income taxes and state tax issues

Eliminated the FERC Form No. 11


Forms and data initiatives form 2 rehearing order3

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 2 Rehearing Order

Request for Rehearing and Clarification:

Other Gas Revenues (Page 308)

Final Rule: Revised Page 308 to provide more detail regarding revenues recorded in Account 495 (Other Gas Revenues) and eliminated a $250,000 threshold

Rehearing Request: Reinstate the $250,000 minimum threshold contained in the instructions to Page 308 prior the revisions of the form

Determination: Rehearing request granted


Forms and data initiatives form 2 rehearing order4

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 2 Rehearing Order

Request for Rehearing and Clarification:

Shipper-Supplied Gas

Final Rule: Added two new schedules to require detailed information regarding the acquisition and disposition of shipper-supplied gas

Declined to adopt additional informational requirements related to shipper-supplied gas proposed by commenters to the NOPR

New schedules should be broken down by function and include, by function, fuel that has been waived, discounted, or reduced as part of a negotiated rate

Rehearing Request: Adopt additional requirements

Determination: Rehearing request denied


Forms and data initiatives form 2 rehearing order5

Forms and Data InitiativesForm 2 Rehearing Order

Request for Rehearing and Clarification:

Reinstatement of Periodic Rate Filing Requirement

Final Rule: Declined a request to reinstate a periodic rate-refiling requirement

Rehearing Request: Final Rule did not address its proposal to reinstate periodic rate filings as a condition to issuance of a blanket certificate for open access transportation service under Part 284

Determination: Rehearing request denied

Commission may not compromise the limits of section 5 of the NGA on the Commission’s power to revise rates


Agenda4

AGENDA

Commission Members

Organizational Changes

Accounting Guidance

Forms and Data Initiatives

Significant Enforcement Actions


Enforcement actions obtaining guidance on regulatory requirements

Enforcement ActionsObtaining Guidance on Regulatory Requirements

Interpretive Order Modifying No-Action Letter Process and Reviewing Other Mechanisms for Obtaining Guidance

Docket No. PL08-2-000, Issued May 15, 2008

Expansion of No-Action Letter Process

Mechanism for Obtaining Commission and Staff Guidance

Petition for Declaratory Order

No-Action Letter Process

General Counsel Option Letters


Enforcement actions obtaining guidance on regulatory requirements1

Enforcement ActionsObtaining Guidance on Regulatory Requirements

Interpretive Order, continued

Mechanism for Obtaining Commission and Staff Guidance, continued

Accounting Interpretations

Enforcement Hotline

Meetings, Commpliance Help Desk Inquiries, and Other Informal Contacts

Guidance on the Application of Regulations and Orders


Federal energy regulatory commission update

Revised Policy Statement on Enforcement

Docket No. PL08-3-000, Issued May 15, 2008

Builds on 2005 enforcement policy statement by providing further guidance on factors the Commission considers in its enforcement decisions

Provides a detailed picture of the Commission’s investigative process (open, closed, with or w/o sanctions)

Provides the factors that are considered in determining whether, and how much of, a penalty is appropriate

Annual statistical report of investigations and audits for the proceeding year

Enforcement ActionsEnforcement of Statutes, Regulations, and Orders


Federal energy regulatory commission update

Notice of Proposed Rule Making

Docket No. RM08-8-000, Issued May 15, 2008

Clarify rules governing ex parte contacts and separation of functions as they apply to proceedings arising out of investigations initiated under Part 1b of the Commissions regulations

Clarify regulations governing intervention to specify intervention is not permitted as a matter of right in proceedings arising from Part 1b investigations

Enforcement ActionsEx Parte Contacts and Separation of Functions


Federal energy regulatory commission update

Final Rule, Order No. 711

Docket No. RM08-10-000, Issued May 15, 2008

In the event Commission staff intends to recommend to the Commission that it initiate a proceeding under 18 CFR 385 against the subject of an investigation being conducted under the provisions of 18 CFR Part 1b, or to recommend that the Commission make the subject of an investigation a defendant in a civil action to be brought by the Commission, the subject of that investigation shall have the right to be so informed and provide the Commission with written non-public response to staff’s recommendation

Enforcement ActionsSubmissions to the Commission upon Staff Intention to Seek an Order to Show Cause


Reliability violation severity levels north american electric reliability corporation

Reliability Violation Severity LevelsNorth American Electric Reliability Corporation

  • Docket No. RR08-4-000, Issued June 19, 2008

  • Commission completed a penalty-setting matrix for violations of mandatory electric reliability standards

    • Approved Violation Severity Level assignments filed by NERC for the 83 Commission-approved Reliability Standards

      • Violation Severity Levels will be used by NERC and the Regional Entities in the determination of a penalty for an individual violation of a requirement of a Reliability Standard

    • Established guidelines for evaluating the validity of Violation Severity Level assignments


Recent ferc orders of interest

Recent FERC Orders of Interest

  • Order No. 712, Promotion of a More Efficient Capacity Release Market

    • Docket No. RM08-1-000 ,Issued June 19, 2008

  • Order No. 890-B, Preventing Undue Discrimination and Preference in Transmission Service

    • Docket Nos. RM05-17-003 and RM05-25-003, Issued June 23, 2008


Recent ferc orders of interest1

Recent FERC Orders of Interest

  • Order No. 707-A, Cross-Subsidization Restrictions on Affiliate Transactions

    • Docket No. RM07-15-001, Issued July 17, 2008

  • Order No. 708-B, Blanket Authorization under FPA Section 203

    • Docket No. RM07-21-001, Issued July 17, 2008

  • Order No. 714, Electronic Tariff Filings

    • Docket No. RM01-5-000, Issued September 19, 2008


Where to find more information

Where to Find More Information


Where to find more information1

Where to Find More Information


Compliance and clarification filings

Compliance and Clarification Filings


Thank you for your attention

Thank you for your attention!

  • Steven D. Hunt

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

  • 888 First Street, NE

  • Washington, DC 20426

  • (202) 502-6084

  • [email protected]


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