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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

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Commissioner John R. Norris Statement
May 16, 2013
Docket No. EL12-35-000
Item No. E-7

MISO Formula Rate Protocols

“I support continued use of formula rates for all the efficiency attributes and benefits they provide to the multiple parties involved with setting and implementing transmission rates. Timely recovery of new transmission investment through the formula rate mechanism is important as we continue to respond to the need for additional transmission in our nation.

“All MISO transmission owners have formula rates, as do upwards of 75 percent of the more than 130 public utility transmission owners across the country. I do not view today’s action as retreating from the utilization of formula rates. In fact, I see it as a necessary step in preserving the continuation of the formula rates and the benefits they provide.

“The key to this continuance is balance. We must balance on one hand the ease and efficiency formula rates provide – not only to transmission owners but also to consumers, state commissions and other interested stakeholders who may have limited resources to engage in full blown rate cases – with, on the other hand, the assurance that the formula rates remain just and reasonable. That assurance, I believe, is dependent upon a set of formula rate protocols that provide sufficient transparency and access to the data necessary for those paying the rates to confirm that the formula rates are fairly and accurately administered.

“As today’s order points out, the MISO formula rate protocols were accepted in 1998 and were among the earliest protocols filed with the Commission. Recognizing that the MISO formula rate protocols have become insufficient to ensure just and reasonable rates, we are taking the action necessary today to maintain confidence in the continued use of this efficient rate procedure that provides the basis of the transmission owners’ revenue requirement.”