Edison Electric Institute President Thomas R. Kuhn today praised the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and its Chairman, Jon Wellinghoff, for the agency’s constructive approach to modifying its Policy Statement on Penalty Guidelines.
The modifications, announced Thursday, are the result of input FERC sought after originally issuing the Guidelines this past March. Among those providing input were investor-owned utilities and their trade association, EEI.
“We are extremely encouraged by the approach FERC and Chairman Wellinghoff took in modifying the Guidelines for energy industry penalty violations,” Kuhn said. “We believe the new Guidelines reflect the effort we and others made in providing careful input to FERC.”
Based on the agency staff presentation, Kuhn noted several encouraging improvements, including:
- The Commission will consider loss of load as one factor in evaluating the seriousness of a violation.
- Regarding electricity reliability, the Guidelines will apply only to FERC's own reliability investigations.
- In calculating penalties, FERC will allow more credit for utilities and other entities who self-report their violations and for their compliance programs.
“These and other modifications – plus the agency’s willingness in the future to hold additional technical conferences regarding enforcement and reliability issues -- reflect the collaborative approach FERC is taking,” Kuhn said.