Yesterday, on October 10, 2013, FERC issued a long-anticipated order granting public utilities and non-public utilities an extension of time to file their third quarter (Q3) Electric Quarterly Reports (EQRs).  FERC will notify EQR filers at a time yet to be determined, when its new web-based approach is available and provide the new deadline for filing Q3 2013 EQRs.  Without the extension, Q3 2013 EQRs would have been due no later than October 31, 2013. 

Last year, FERC made several changes to its EQR filing requirements that were to be implemented in Q3 2013.  In an order issued in September 2012, FERC, among other things, required non-public utilities, i.e., market participants excluded from FERC’s jurisdiction that have more than a de minimis market presence, to file EQRs beginning with Q3 2013.  Two months later, in an order issued in November 2012, FERC revised its regulations to change, among other things, the process for filing EQRs.  FERC announced a move from the current software-based method to a web-based approach that would allow filing an EQR directly through the FERC’s website, either through a web interface or by submitting an Extensible Mark-Up Language (XML)-formatted file.  The new web-based method for filing EQRs was to apply to EQR filings beginning with the Q3 2013 EQR. 

In spite of FERC’s best efforts, transition to the web-based EQR filing process has not been smooth.  Market participants continue to experience issues with testing EQR submissions using FERC’s EQR Electronic Sandbox Test Site.  Therefore, it came as little surprise when FERC yesterday issued its order notifying public and non-public utility filers that “they are not to file Q3 2013 EQRs until the web-based approach is available.”  FERC will issue a notice at a later time to EQR filers notifying them when the new web-based approach is available and of the new deadline for filing Q3 2013 EQRs.