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Help Arrow Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Demand Response 2012 Survey: Time-Based Rate Programs/Tariffs (DR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)

1. Why did our company receive this survey?

This survey was sent to all entities active in the electric industry.

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2. We're a small utility that only measures energy for all of our customers. What should we fill out?

If you don't offer any demand response programs or time-based rates, you should answer Question 1, Question 2 and Question 3 only. If you plan to begin such programs in the future, please also answer Question 5.

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3. We don't have any retail customers. We are wholesale only. Should I fill this out?

Yes. The survey applies to both wholesale and retail services.

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4. I received your survey and my electric business is very small. Given the very low amounts of power involved, do you really want me to report it?

Yes, please. If demand is less than 1 MW, enter the demand value using decimal points. For example, you would report 300 kW as 0.3 MW. And remember, if you don't offer any demand response programs or time-based rates, you only need to answer Questions 1, 2 and 3.

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5. Does our seasonal electric rate qualify as a time-based rate since the customers pay different prices in summer than in winter?

No. A time-based rate would have different prices within each day, except perhaps for weekends and holidays. We're looking for rates that charge different prices depending on when the energy is used during a day. Inverted block rates, declining block rates, flat rates, seasonal rates (or some combination of those) would not be considered time-based rates. Examples of time-based rates would be: time-of-use rates (with on peak and off peak rates) for energy or demand, critical peak pricing rates, critical peak rebate rates, peak time rebate rates, variable peak pricing rates, real time pricing, and hourly pricing.

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6. What is advanced metering?

A system including measurement devices and a communication network, public and/or private, that measure and record usage data at hourly intervals or more frequently, and provide usage data to both consumers and energy companies at least once daily. Data are used for billing and other purposes. Advanced meters include basic hourly interval meters, meters with one-way communication, and real-time meters with built-in two-way communication capable of recording and transmitting instantaneous data.

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7. We have a load control program that uses one-way radio-operated switches on customer devices. Should we fill out FERC-731?

Yes, that is a demand response program.

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8. We have a time-of-use rate, but only a small number of customers are on it and no more customers are allowed to sign up. Should we fill out the entire FERC-731 form for that?

Yes, please. It shouldn't take long to fill out.

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9. What if I don't know the maximum demand of customers who participate in our load control program?

We would appreciate your entity's best estimate based on available information. You may wish to consult others in your organization to develop an estimate. It could be based on the average residential customer contribution to the system peak demand for 2011, or some other estimate. You may describe how you made the estimate in comment fields on the FERC-731 form.

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10. We are a Generation and Transmission [coop or municipality]. Should we fill this out?

Yes. If you sponsor demand response programs for your members, you will need to coordinate with your associated distribution utilities to make sure only one entity reports the demand response program. Each program should be reported only once and should be reported by the entity with the best information.

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11. Can I fill out the survey on paper instead of using the FERC-731 form that I downloaded?

Yes, you may print out the form and fill it in by hand. You can print or copy as many pages as you need for the number of programs you sponsor. Before you print the form, turn off the field highlighting (the red boxes around some of the data fields) by clicking the Highlight Fields button at the top right of the screen. Please mail the completed form to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, ATTN: Office of Energy Policy and Innovation FERC-731, 888 First St. N.E., Washington DC 20426.

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12. The person you sent the survey to has left the company. I have a new contact person for this survey and for the EIA survey.

Please enter the new contact information on the FERC-731 survey form that you submit.

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13. What is the Entity ID number? I don't think we have one.

The Entity ID number is your EIA number (a unique identification number assigned by the Energy Information Administration to companies and entities who operate in the electric power industry and who respond to the EIA-861 form.) If your entity has an EIA ID number, FERC included it as your Entity ID number in the email that was sent to you. If your entity doesn't file EIA-861, FERC included an Entity ID number in the email that is a six digit number beginning with “9”. If you're not sure what your Entity ID number is, please call 1-888-595-9617.

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14. We didn't receive an email but my boss heard about it and wants me to fill it out. How do I participate?

Please call us at 1-888-595-9617 or send an email to drsurvey-help@ferc.gov. That will allow us to look up the name of your company on the list of companies to whom we sent the survey. If your company is on our list, someone else in your company may have gotten the email. We'll let you know who that person is. If we do not find your name on the list of companies, providing us with the following information about you and your company will help us determine if your company is eligible to participate:

Call back number
Your name
Company name
EIA number
Email address
Description of company business activities

To participate in the survey, your business must generate, transmit, or distribute electricity or sponsor demand response programs. Your company will not be able to participate if it sells only to electric utilities or demand response providers and does not generate, transmit, or distribute electricity or sponsor demand response programs. If your business is a utility that is active in the water or natural gas market segments, or both, but is not active in the electric segment, your business is not eligible to participate. Retail customers are not eligible to participate or respond to the survey.

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15. We'd like to participate but we read that the data will be posted online and everyone can see how many customers we serve, etc. We consider that to be proprietary information so we don't want to participate.

Please fill out as much of the form as you can without revealing proprietary information. We encourage you to use one of the comment sections in the survey to note your concern(s) about reporting proprietary information and its effect on your participation in our survey.

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16. My company has already submitted all this information to the federal government. Should I still submit a response?

Yes. Your company may have already provided information on advanced metering and demand-side management to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on their Form 861 or Form 826. FERC-731 is a separate data collection and is not part of the EIA surveys. Nevertheless, the data on advanced metering in FERC-731 closely tracks the data collected on EIA Forms 861. In most cases, the advanced metering data submitted to EIA can be entered into the appropriate locations on FERC-731. The information on demand response requested in FERC-731 is different and more granular than the data EIA collects on demand-side management.

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17. I submitted very detailed information on demand response to NERC as part of their DADS survey. Should I still submit a response?

Yes. The NERC DADS survey is a very comprehensive data collection effort that will measure demand response capability and availability. FERC does not have access to the DADS survey. In addition, the current phase of the DADS survey only collects information on a portion of demand response programs – dispatchable demand response. Along with information on dispatchable demand response, FERC-731 also collects information on demand-bidding and time-based rates. Nevertheless, several of the key demand response items requested on the FERC-731 form match the information collected on DADS. Please call the help line for more information: 1-888-595-9617.

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18. What's the difference between Megawatt (MW) and Megawatt-hour (MWh)?

A megawatt-hour (MWh) is a unit of energy and a megawatt (MW) is a unit of power (the rate of energy use at a single point in time.) MWh (or Kilowatt-hour [kWh], equal to one one-thousandth of a MWh) is used to express how much electrical energy a customer consumes during some time period: an hour, day or month, for example. MW is used to express power generating capacity or customer demand. Demand is how much electricity is needed at any given point in time to fully meet a customer(s) needs. Thus, if a customer's demand is a constant 2 MW for three hours, the customer consumes 6 MWh.

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19. What software do I need to work with the surveys?

To fill in the FERC-731 survey form on your computer, you'll need Adobe Reader version 9.0 or higher (download it for free at http://get.adobe.com/reader Leaving FERC

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David Kathan
Telephone: 202-502-6404
Email: david.kathan@ferc.gov

Michael Tita
Telephone: 202-502-6448
Email: michael.tita@ferc.gov

Dean Wight
Energy Industry Analyst Telephone: 202-502-8835
Email: dean.wight@ferc.gov

Email questions to: DRSurvey-help@ferc.gov
Demand Response
  • 2012 Survey
Documents & Filing FERC Forms Hydrokinetics

Updated: May 30, 2012