Electricity Regulation:

Factors Affecting the Processing of Electric Power Applications

T-RCED-93-65: Published: Aug 6, 1993. Publicly Released: Aug 6, 1993.

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GAO discussed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) processing of applications for wholesale electricity transactions, focusing on: (1) factors that affect FERC application processing time; (2) how the Energy Policy Act of 1992 could affect FERC workload; and (3) potential procedural changes that could reduce application processing time. GAO noted that: (1) the processing time for electric power applications depends on the applications' characteristics and whether factual, legal, or policy issues or objections by the public are involved; (2) energy legislation will probably increase the number of wholesale electricity sellers and transactions that need FERC approval, but its effect on the FERC workload depends on the complexity of the applications; (3) FERC has authority to require utility companies to provide electricity transmission services; and (4) FERC could improve its application processing time by revising its method of tracking applications in its management information system, analyzing the number of and reasons for incomplete applications, and increasing the use of voluntary settlement procedures.

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