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FERC Increases Filing Requirements for Power Marketers

FERC Increases Filing Requirements for Power Marketers

In an effort to improve its power market monitoring capabilities in light of the price spikes and market disruptions that occurred last summer, FERC yesterday changed the reporting requirements for 600 power marketers. The Commission said it intends to remove a waiver of its rules that was granted to power marketers and power producers with market-based rates that allowed them to refrain from filing their long-term contracts with their customers. The change puts power marketers on a more level playing field with traditional utilities, which currently have to file their long-term agreements.

"There are strong arguments here that we should support greater price visibility in the electric power market as a means of helping competitive markets grow," said Chairman James J. Hoecker. "Last summer's problems in the Midwest, for example, were exacerbated by a lack of timely information and accurate pricing data. .The time perhaps has come, as this Commission moves into more of a market-monitoring mode, to take a more comprehensive look at our data needs and our current data requirements to assess their appropriateness and effectiveness."

Commissioner Vicky A. Bailey said she has thought for some time that treating marketers differently than traditional utilities for purposes of reporting power sales transactions gave an unfair competitive advantage to the power marketers. And Commissioner William L. Massey noted that power marketers have been entering into more long-term arrangements. ".[W]e can no longer justify having one set of reporting requirements apply to power marketers and another apply to traditional utilities. Information is the fuel of the marketplace and I think that this order respects that principle," he said.

FERC now will treat power marketers much like traditional public utilities. Both would now be required to file actual service agreements for their long-term transactions within 30 days after the commencement of service. The effective date of the order is being delayed pending action on any requests for rehearing that may be filed.

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