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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you regulate nuclear power?
    No, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission does.
    Read more about them: External Link

  • What kind of energy sources do you regulate?
    Oil, Natural Gas, Hydropower and Electricity. Read more in: Energy We Regulate.

  • How do you protect the public?
    FERC investigates energy companies and monitors energy markets to make sure they
    are operating within the law.

  • Who appoints the Commissioners?
    The President with the consent of the Senate. Read more about that: What is FERC?

  • Do taxpayer dollars pay for FERC?
    The Commission recovers the full cost of its operations through annual charges and filing fees assessed on the industries it regulates as authorized by the Federal Power Act and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986. The Commission deposits this revenue into the Treasury as a direct offset to its appropriation, resulting in no net appropriations. Congress exercises oversight over the Commission by holding hearings on energy related topics where the Commission offers testimony.

  • When was FERC created?
    In 1977. However, the Federal Power Commission, FERC's predecessor, began in 1920. Read more: History

  • How is FERC connected to the Department of Energy?
    FERC is an independent regulatory agency within the DOE. Learn more about the DOE at External Link.

  • Does FERC determine my Electric and Natural Gas bills?
    The retail rates that you pay are usually determined by your State Public Utility Commission External . Many of the states have programs to assist you if you can't pay your bill. They may also fund the installation of more efficient energy devices.

  • Is LNG explosive?
    No, in its liquid state, LNG is not explosive. When LNG is heated and becomes a gas, the gas is not explosive if it is unconfined. Natural gas is only flammable within a narrow range of concentrations in the air (5%-to-15%). Less air does not contain enough oxygen to sustain a flame, while more air dilutes the gas too much for it to ignite.

  • What is the Commission's role in encouraging the use of wind energy?
    In general, the Commission's policies (including for interconnection) are neutral as to fuel source with the Commission's focus being on ensuring that interconnection policies are non-discriminatory. However, the Commission has made adjustments to its policies to ensure that they do not disadvantage intermittent resources such as wind by creating special rules/exceptions in the areas of small generator interconnection, penalties related to energy imbalance, and transmission pricing.

    For example, in April 2007, the Commission approved an innovative proposal by the California Independent System Operator, Inc. designed to facilitate the development of certain location-constrained resources, including wind, geothermal and solar generation. The Commission has also established an Energy Innovations Sector to help the Commission learn more about new emerging issues associated with renewables and climate change.