FERC Prepares for Web-Based Filing of Electronic Quarterly Reports


FERC recently issued a reminder that entities responsible for filing Electronic Quarterly Reports (EQRs) must complete the Company Registration prior to filing.

Filing entities may obtain a Company Identifier (CID) number from the FERC by completing a Company Registration on the FERC website. FERC extended the deadlines to file the EQRs for Q3 2013 and Q4 2013 to allow for the roll out the new web-based system. FERC will issue an order announcing the new filing deadlines after it launches the new system.

In 2012, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) ordered a change to a web-based system for EQRs beginning with Q3 2013 EQRs. The FERC has also issued orders in 2012 and 2013 requiring certain non-public utilities including municipal agencies and electric power cooperatives to file EQRs for the first time beginning with the Q3 2013 EQR.

With the development period of the new web-based system nearing completion, the FERC staff held a Technical Conference in late January 2014 to review the EQR Users Guide, which explains the functions of the new EQR system. At the Technical Conference, the FERC staff explained how to file EQRs using the new system and demonstrated some of the data management and data integrity features built into the system. An archived webcast of the Technical Conference is available.

FERC staff recommends accessing the new EQR system using Internet Explorer. The new EQR system will allow users to upload the EQR data as it becomes available rather than wait until the end of the quarter to upload all of the required data. The system will save uploaded EQR data which can be corrected or revised at a later time until the EQR data is filed with the FERC.

The new EQR system will verify in three stages that the EQR filer has uploaded EQR data with the correct formatting before the data is filed with the FERC. First, the EQR program sends a Receipt email confirming the successful upload. Second, the EQR program sends a Validation email that will show a report of Errors and Warnings. If there are any Errors, then the filing will not be processed further and must be corrected and uploaded again. Warnings will not prevent further processing of the EQR filing, but alert the EQR filer that there may be some issues present in the uploaded EQR data. Third, the EQR program will send an Acceptance email accepting the EQR data for filing with the FERC. Filers are reminded that the EQR data is not considered “filed” with the FERC until the EQR filer receives the acceptance email.

EQR filers should check that their EQR data complies with all of the data formatting rules before attempting to file their EQR data with the FERC by selecting the “Test” option when uploading the EQR data. In addition, uploading EQR data through the “Test” option will allow EQR filers to practice uploading data. The “Test” option will generate Receipt and Validation emails, as appropriate. However, the “Test” option will not generate an Acceptance email and the data will not be submitted to the FERC. The FERC staff suggests that EQR filers use the “Test” option to check EQR files before all of the data is available to find out as soon as possible whether any data is missing.

Although the FERC has not set a date for to launch the new web-based EQR filing system, the FERC staff expects that the new system will become available in either February or March 2014. Once the new EQR program is completed, FERC expects to issue orders directing EQR filers to file their EQRs for Q3 2013 and for Q4 2013. Additional EQR updates are available on the FERC EQR webpage.

If you have questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this article, please feel free to contact us.

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