Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) proposes to amend a Rule which governs the filing of Electric Quarterly Reports (EQRs), to change the process for filing EQRs. Currently, EQRs are filed by downloading EQR software from the Commission's Web site, installing it on the filer's Microsoft Windows-based computer, entering the EQR data into the software, and then submitting the EQR data to the Commission. The EQR software is designed in Microsoft Visual FoxPro. Technological changes and limitations will render the current filing process outmoded, ineffective, and unsustainable. Microsoft has discontinued Visual FoxPro and will not support the software after 2015. Visual FoxPro also is constrained by data size limitations that will soon restrict the Commission's ability to add data fields in the EQR. Therefore, the Commission proposes a new filing system that will provide EQR filers with two new options for filing EQRs. One option would allow an EQR filer to use a web interface on the Commission's Web site to file its EQR. This web interface would look and operate like the current EQR software that uses Visual FoxPro. However, an EQR filer would not need to download and install software from the Commission's Web site to file because the data would be filed directly with the Commission through the web interface. The other option would allow an EQR filer to file its EQR in an Extensible Mark- Up Language (XML) format via the Commission's Web site. By proposing a process with two options for filing EQRs, the Commission seeks to provide the flexibility needed to accommodate EQR filers' technical preferences. Under both options, the Commission proposes to require EQR filers to use the company identification number (Company Identifier) assigned through the Commission's Company Registration System, which was developed for the Commission's eTariff system. The Company Identifier would replace the personal identification numbers that are currently used and that are unique to the existing EQR filing process. The Commission also proposes that implementation of any changes to the process for filing EQRs will apply to EQR filings beginning with the third quarter 2013 EQR, providing data for July through September 2013. The Commission will convene a staff-led public conference on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 to demonstrate the two new options for filing EQRs to industry participants and assist participants in preparing their comments to this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.