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What are the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) responsibilities for regulating electricity?

  • Approving rates for wholesale interstate electric power and transmission;
  • Overseeing issuance of certain stock and debt securities, assumption of obligations and liabilities, and mergers;
  • Reviewing rates set by the Bonneville Power Administration External Link and federal power marketing administrations;
  • Certifying qualified small power production and cogenerators which uses energy for both production of electricity and industrial process.

What FERC does not regulate

  • The physical siting of electrical generation, transmission, or distribution facilities except for hydroelectric projects and under certain circumstances transmission lines; nor
  • Regulation of activities of municipal power systems, the Tennessee Valley Authority External Link, and most rural electric cooperatives.

Brief History of Electricity Regulation

The Commission acts under the legal authority of three different Federal Laws passed by Congress. They are:

FERC and Open Energy Markets

FERC issued a series of orders to create greater accessibility of electric generation resources. This restructured the electric utility market, moving the industry from the traditional franchised utility service to an open market where customers are not held to one service provider for power.

Additionally, new regional transmission organizations (RTO's) allow customers to purchase power from sellers outside their traditional electric utility service territory.


Do you want to learn more about electricity? See these other helpful Web sites.
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