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FERC Moves to Modernize EQR Reporting Process

In their October 2023 Commission Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) proposed revisions to the Electric Quarterly Report (EQR) filing process that intend to update the data collection, improve data quality, increase market transparency, reduce costs of preparation, and streamline compliance with future filing requirements. Of note, the FERC proposed to implement a new collection method for EQR reporting based on the eXtensible Business Reporting Language-Comma-Separated Values (XBRL-CSV) standard.


With more than a decade of experience in EQR reporting and extensive knowledge of the XBRL standard, Systrends is excited to build upon the foundation of our market-leading eFileEQR software to meet the evolving reporting requirements.


We aim to serve as a partner to utilities through this transition and thought it might be helpful to bring you up to speed on the forthcoming changes…



Context

First, a little history. Under the Federal Power Act (FPA), the FERC regulates the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce and the sale of electric energy at wholesale in interstate commerce.


With the issuance of Order No. 2001 in 2002, the FERC established the EQR as the reporting mechanism for public utilities to electronically file data summarizing the contractual rates, terms and conditions in their agreements for all jurisdictional services. These services include market-based rate (MBR) power sales, cost-based rate power sales, transmission service (Contract Data), and transaction information for short-term and long-term MBR power sales and cost-based rate power sales (Transaction Data). Since its adoption, the EQR has played a central role in the FERC’s regulatory oversight.


In 2012, the FERC issued Order No. 768 and 770, which extended the requirement to file EQRs to non-public utilities above a de minimis market presence threshold and transitioned the filing process from a software provided by the Commission to a web-based submission portal.


In 2020, shortly following the modernization of Commission Forms to the XBRL standard, the Commission began evaluating the application of the XBRL standard to the EQR system. The FERC subsequently hosted three technical conferences in 2021 and ultimately issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) on October 19, 2023 that proposed the transition to XBRL-CSV.



Evolving Standards

The XBRL standard enables the reporting of comprehensive, consistent, interoperable data that allows data users to automate submission, extraction, and analysis. XBRL-CSV combines the efficient and widely supported CSV format, which is favored by most Sellers, with the XBRL benefits of taxonomy-backed structured data, including strong validation and dimensional data point definitions.


The existing system allows Sellers to submit EQRs via three different methods: XML, CSV, and manual data entry. The proposed revision, however, will discontinue multiple submission methods in favor of a single XBRL-CSV method.



What’s Next?

Assuming the adoption of the XBRL-CSV standard for the EQR system and following the issuance of a final rule, the FERC will publish draft FERC EQR taxonomies. At this stage, we and other industry members will review and propose revisions prior to a series of technical conferences.


Rather than spending countless hours learning a new reporting language, lean on Systrends to lead you through this transition. We will work closely with the Commission, XBRL US, our customers, and others in the industry to modernize our eFileEQR software in advance of the FERC’s implementation of the new system. In addition to maintaining the core value of our software via integrated validation rules, collaborative workflows, and a direct connection to FERC, we will look to extend our solution as new standards allow.




Looking to learn more about our existing solution, the FERC’s proposed changes, or our plans to develop a new product? Reach out to our experienced team.

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