State Response Matters
Danny Kermode is CPA and an assistant director at the Washington UTC. He has acted as a senior energy policy advisor, accounting advisor, and appeared as an expert witness. He has been a visiting faculty member at Michigan State University’s Institute of Public Utility’s Annual Advanced Regulatory Studies Programs, NARUC’s Rate School in San Diego, and an adjunct professor at a private University.
FERC invites states to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in developing a comprehensive data-reporting structure. The question is, how will states respond to the invitation?
With its recent decision adopting the new digital reporting standard, eXtensible Business Reporting Language or XBRL, FERC has created a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change how regulated companies gather and transfer financial and operational information and more important, how regulators store, extract and use the information. However, it is not just the change inside FERC that makes its decision so important. It's the impact the change can have on each and every state commission.
As FERC begins its process of adopting the new data standard, it opened the opportunity for the states to become active in the process. In fact, it is critical they do so. The data structure design has the potential to dramatically change how state public utility commissions are able to oversee the utilities they regulate.
Commissions should recognize that the advantages FERC will experience with this change can also be the same advantages gained by the states. FERC, working together with NARUC and the states have the ability to develop a standardized intrastate extension of the new interstate regulatory framework.