Public Utilities Reports

PUR Guide 2012 Fully Updated Version

Available NOW!
PUR Guide

This comprehensive self-study certification course is designed to teach the novice or pro everything they need to understand and succeed in every phase of the public utilities business.

Order Now

Why My Tariff is Different Than Yours: Comparing Nonprice Terms in Utility Filings Against FERC's Pro Forma Tariffs

Fortnightly Magazine - May 1 1996

reserves, operating reserves, and system losses are not transmission-related and excluded them from its open-access tariff. GPU agrees to provide losses, reactive power, and scheduling service, but would not allow wholesale customers to provide for system losses. Southwestern Public Service would require wholesale customers to take its scheduling and dispatch, reactive power, and backup power services, to the exclusion of other providers.

These provisions recall certain questions raised at the FERC's October 1995 technical conference on ancillary services: Are certain ancillary services generation- or transmission-related? May some be competitively obtained from a private market? Are some too essential to reliability to be considered competitive?

Minimum Service Terms and Flexibility. While the pro forma tariffs set a one-hour minimum term for point-to-point service, but set no maximum term, several utilities filed tariffs requiring more than a one-hour service term for point-to-point transmission: Idaho Power, Nevada Power, and Delmarva Power and Light offered one-day minimums; GPU required at least a one-month commitment; Citizens Utilities requested one year. For network service, Southwestern Public Service and Northern Indiana required 20-year minimum terms.

Some utilities also specified maximum terms for point-to-point service: GPU limited service to three years; Southwestern Public Service, 20 years.

At least three utilities removed the pro forma provision allowing customers to substitute different delivery and receipt points for nonfirm transmission service, including Florida Power, Southwestern Public Service, and Delmarva P&L.

These deviations echo the complaint of some transmitting utilities, voiced at the FERC's technical conference on pro forma tariffs, that the tariffs provide too much flexibility (em allowing customers to reserve transmission capacity far in advance while taking only nonfirm service in the present. San Diego Gas & Electric, for example, would require customers to specify a constant contract demand for the entire period of the transaction. Similarly, Portland General Electric would require customers to reserve a fixed-capacity amount for the entire transaction period, and to provide a contract or letter of intent showing that the transaction will likely take place.

Service Priorities: Some utilities changed the curtailment and service priorities in the pro forma tariffs. For instance, Florida Power, Delmarva, and Northern Indiana make firm point-to-point service subordinate to native-load and network transmission service; GPU makes point-to-point service subordinate to firm transmission and native load. Public Service Co. of Colorado and Delmarva would charge their point-to-point customers extra for using some of their transmission rights for nonfirm transactions; however, these utilities would not charge themselves or network customers for their own nonfirm transactions. Northern Indiana Public Service assigns curtailment priority based on the length of the transaction and the rate charged to the customer. Delmarva and Florida Power would not allow "designated agents" to take service on behalf of transmission customers; these utilities would also limit transmission-dependent utilities to network service.

Notice of Termination. Delmarva and Florida Power require five years' termination notice. Commonwealth Edison includes no termination provisions at all.

Related Issues

and Outlook

Deviations from the pro forma tariffs can have consequences for utilities that seek market-based rates for themselves or their affiliates. Since June 1995, the FERC has denied