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House Republicans urge FERC to conduct holistic review of RTO markets, with an eye on consumer benefits

From the September 25, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published September 25, 2013

By Robert Varela
Editorial Director

It "is time for a broader review of the experience with organized electricity markets, including an assessment of how best to ensure that consumers will continue to receive reliable electricity at affordable rates," House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In a Sept. 23 joint letter noting FERC’s Sept. 25 technical conference on capacity markets, the 13 GOP members urged FERC "to complete a careful, holistic examination of the performance" of the organized markets run by regional transmission organizations.

That review should determine how best to "promote efficiency in wholesale markets and to ensure that electricity consumers pay the lowest prices possible for reliable service" [emphasis in original], the letter said. At a minimum, the review should address the following issues:

  • the functioning, effectiveness, and flexibility of energy and capacity markets to ensure resource adequacy and facilitate cost-effective retention and development of needed generation;
  • the impact of capacity markets on fuel diversity and grid reliability;
  • the equitable treatment of all generation resources and business models;
  • RTO/ISO governance and stakeholder processes;
  • natural gas and electric coordination, interdependency, and the capability of markets to facilitate the development of needed natural gas infrastructure;
  • transmission operations and planning;
  • the integration of demand-side management services and technologies;
  • impacts on state and local resource planning;
  • the impact of existing and proposed environmental regulations on resource adequacy and grid reliability; and
  • customer benefits and protection.

Noting that they support open and competitive markets, the GOP members said they want to work with the commission to ensure "that restructured electricity markets operate pursuant to legitimate market forces and are not becoming mere administrative constructs dependent on an increasing amount of commission-approved rules and processes."

The letter is posted on the committee's website.



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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

Communications Assistant
Fallon W. Forbush

Manager, Integrated Media 
David L. Blaylock

Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro