Regulators release updated energy primer

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has released an updated version of its "resource manual",  Energy Primer: A Handbook of Energy Market Basics.

The FERC is an independent federal agency that regulates a variety of aspects of the U.S. energy industry, including the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil, proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and interstate natural gas pipelines, and hydropower projects, as well as engaging in strategic planning.

FERC's Office of Enforcement is charged with encouraging compliance with the Commission’s statutes, rules, and orders.  Within the enforcement office, the Division of Energy Market Oversight is responsible for monitoring and overseeing the nation’s wholesale natural gas and electric power markets.

In 2012, the Division of Energy Market Oversight (or DEMO) issued the first edition of its Energy Primer.  This week, DEMO issued an updated 2015 version of the Energy Primer.  As with the previous edition, the 2015 Energy Primer gives the public a broad overview of the physical wholesale markets for natural gas and electricity and energy-related financial markets.  As FERC has noted, the revised edition reflects some of the changes that have occurred in the industry since 2012, including the growth in natural gas supplies and the expansion of organized electric markets under Independent System Operators (ISO) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO).

The 2015 FERC Energy Primer offers a useful introduction to the U.S. energy industry as it is regulated by FERC.  As with the 2012 version, FERC staff states that the 2015 edition is intended to be used as either a text or a reference guide.  FERC's website also notes that the Energy Primer is a product of FERC staff and does not reflect the views of the Commission or any individual Commissioner.  Nevertheless it may offer careful readers insight into how Commission staff view the markets' continuing evolution.

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