NGI The Weekly Gas Market Report / NGI All News Access

FERC Reaffirms Ruling On AGL Unbundling

FERC Reaffirms Ruling On AGL Unbundling

FERC last week upheld an earlier order that paved the way for Georgia's largest utility to implement retail unbundling behind its citygate in late 1998.

The October order accepted Atlanta Gas Light's (AGL) tariff filing pertaining to the limited one-year certificate and waivers of federal regulations governing capacity release and "shipper-must-hold-title," which FERC had granted in a previous decision. The Commission approved the limited certificate and waivers in late July to aid AGL in implementing retail gas competition on a state-wide basis.

One of the waivers allowed AGL to make short-term allocations of capacity to retail marketers at less than the maximum pipeline rate without following the notification and bidding requirements in the Commission's capacity-release regulations. The other lifted the title restriction, enabling the utility to ship marketer-owned gas using certain storage and storage-related transportation held by AGL under a new Incremental Bundled Storage Service (IBSS).

SCANA Energy Marketing Inc. sought rehearing of the October ruling, claiming that the order failed to create an adequate framework for evaluating the Georgia unbundling experiment and left participants in the program vulnerable to affiliate abuse. It asked that AGL be required to gather data and submit monthly reports assessing the progress of its unbundling effort [RP98-2006-004].

The Commission rejected SCANA's bid, saying that it would reconsider the marketer's request when AGL's waivers and certificate come up for renewal. FERC noted it already has informed AGL of the need for it to file data showing the effects of its unbundling program at the interstate level if it seeks renewal. Such data, the Commission said, would have to include the volumes and prices that AGL's affiliates received during the year that the unbundling program was in effect. In the meantime, it believes Georgia regulations prohibiting affiliate abuse will be sufficient to shield AGL shippers from undue discrimination.

SCANA also asked that shippers be permitted to release IBSS capacity to third parties, but FERC flatly refused. "The Commission granted [AGL] a limited certificate under Section 7 of the NGA to perform IBSS service because Atlanta would be providing the type of services performed by interstate pipelines...," it said, but the certificate was not meant to allow IBSS customers to release their service rights to others.

FERC's ruling is a "confirmation that SCANA had not brought any new facts to the table," said David Donahue, an AGL regulatory analyst.

Susan Parker

©Copyright 1999 Intelligence Press, Inc. All rights reserved. The preceding news report may not be republished or redistributed in whole or in part without prior written consent of Intelligence Press, Inc.

Copyright ©2018 Natural Gas Intelligence - All Rights Reserved.
ISSN © 2577-9877 | ISSN © 1532-1266
Comments powered by Disqus