By the attorneys at Feller Energy Law Group, PLLC.
Now is the time for all market-based rate entities to become familiar with the new, updated Electric Quarterly Report (“EQR”) submission process. Starting in the third quarter of 2013, the old filing system will be gone and the new filing dates have been released. For more information on past-due EQRs, see our recent article on FERC’s crackdown on delinquent EQR filings.
Under normal circumstances, the deadline for the third quarter would have been October 31, 2013 and the deadline for fourth quarter would normally be January 31, 2014. However, on February 28, 2014, FERC released an order stating:
- The period for filing Q3 2013 EQRs will be April 1, 2014 to April 30, 2014.
- The period for filing Q4 2013 EQRs will be May 1, 2014 to May 31, 2014.
- The period for filing Q1 2014 EQRs is extended to June 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014.
- The period for filing Q2 2014 EQRs, will remain July 1, 2014 to July 31, 2014.
Going forward from Q2 2014, all EQR filing dates will follow the normal schedule. While the overall EQR requirements remain the same, it behooves any industry participant to take this time to review the new system and be prepared to file in an accurate, timely, and compliant manner. FERC stated in the February 28, 2014 order that parties making best efforts to submit Q3 2013, Q4 2013, and Q1 2014 will not be penalized. Nonetheless, with just under a month until EQR filings are due, parties should utilize this time to get familiar with the new system and file early to troubleshoot any issues. Further, FERC will be holding a technical conference on March 26, 2014, to demonstrate the new filing system.
In an Order released on October 10, 2013, FERC noted that the technology changes will render the previous filing system “outmoded, ineffective, and unsustainable” and that “the Commission will discontinue the use of Commission-distributed software to file an EQR.” Now that the new system is ready, all EQR filings going forward will be submitted directly through FERC’s website.
Initially established in Order 2001, the EQR filing requirement generally mandates that all market participants, including those without sales, must file quarterly reports on their energy transactions. This includes all public utilities as well as non-public utilities with more than a de minimus market presence. The term public utility basically refers to any facility subject to FERC’s jurisdiction. Although this article is focused on market based rate entities, it should be noted that non-public utilities, like cooperatives and coops that are not under FERC’s jurisdiction under section 205 of the Federal Power Act, are required to file EQRs under FERC Order 768.