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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Legal Resources Major Orders & Regulations Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers

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Standards of Conduct for Transmission Providers

Final Rule: On October 16, 2008, FERC issued Order No. 717 PDF adopting a series of reforms to the Standards of Conduct for transmission providers that will simplify and strengthen the rules. The new rules are designed to:

  1. Foster compliance,
  2. Facilitate Commission enforcement, and
  3. Conform the Standards of Conduct to the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation v. FERC External.

The Standards include three primary rules:

  1. The "independent functioning rule," which requires transmission function and marketing function employees to operate independently of each other;
  2. The "no-conduit rule," which prohibits passing non-public transmission function information to marketing function employees; and
  3. The "transparency rule," which imposes posting requirements to help detect any instances of undue preference due to the improper disclosure of non-public transmission function information.

Recent Developments:

On March 19, 2015, FERC issued Order No. 807 PDF amending its regulations to waive the Open Access Transmission Tariff, Open Access Same-Time Information System, and Standards of Conduct requirements, under certain conditions, for the ownership, control or operation of Interconnection Customer’s Interconnection Facilities.

On November 15, 2013, FERC issued Order No. 787 PDF amending its regulations to provide explicit authority to interstate natural gas pipelines and public utilities that own, operate, or control facilities used for the transmission of electric energy in interstate commerce to share non-public, operational information with each other for the purpose of promoting reliable service or operational planning on either the public utility's or pipeline's system. As a protection against the disclosure of non-public, operational information not covered by FERC's Standards of Conduct, Order No. 787 also adopted a “no-conduit rule” that prohibits subsequent disclosure of information received under the rule to a third party or the transmission operator's marketing function employees.