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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Legal Resources Complaints

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You may file a complaint against a regulated energy organization or individual associated with a specific project or energy market. Complaints are filed by persons seeking action against persons or organizations alleged to be in contravention or in violation of any statute, rule, order or other law administered by the Commission or for any other alleged wrong over which the Commission may have jurisdiction.

Three easy ways to make an informal complaint are to use the Enforcement Hotline, Dispute Resolution, or Landowner Helpline.

  • The Hotline is available for help in matters involving potential violations and wrongdoing. See the Hotline section for further information.
  • Dispute Resolution uses alternative dispute resolution processes to assist energy disputants and other affected parties with solving problems and resolving disputes before or after a formal complaint is filed with the Commission.
  • The Landowner Helpline is available to assist landowners in addressing disputes associated with natural gas and hydropower jurisdictional facilities.

You can also file formal complaints with the Commission on any aspect of its regulation of the energy industry and markets, including natural gas and hydropower.

The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) amended the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 601 et seq, to require that federal agencies establish policies and programs to make their regulations more understandable to small businesses. SBREFA also contains congressional review provisions that require agencies to submit information concerning most new rules to Congress and the Comptroller General. When an agency issues a rule that requires analysis under the RFA, the agency must publish a guide explaining how small businesses are to comply with the rule. Finally, SBREFA amended the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) to allow certain small businesses to recover post-complaint attorney fees in instances in which the agency's final demand is substantially in excess of the decisions of the adjudicative officer and is unreasonable when compared with that decision, given the facts of the case (this provision is limited to adversary adjudications, judicial review of agency enforcement actions, civil penalty actions, and adversary administrative adjudications initiated on or after March 29, 1996).

The Commission works with the small business community via the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Ombudsman leaving and Regional Fairness Boards.  The Ombudsman assists small businesses that believe they have experienced excessive or unfair federal regulatory enforcement actions by a federal agency, such as excessive fines or penalties, retaliation or other unfair enforcement action.  Information is available at the Ombudsman's web site or by calling 888-734-3247.

The Ombudsman has asked all federal agencies to make clear that if a small business entity requests Ombudsman assistance on a federal agency matter, or complains about a federal agency action, that agency will not retaliate in response. The Commission regards the fair treatment of small businesses, without retaliation, as an obligation of its employees under the standards of conduct applicable to all federal employees by virtue of 5 C.F.R. § 635.101(b).