NERC’s compliance efforts are comprised of key activities.
Compliance Monitoring is the process used to assess, investigate, evaluate, and audit in order to measure compliance with NERC Reliability Standards. Standards are developed, adopted, and approved through the Reliability Standards Development program and placed into effect pursuant to FERC orders or to applicable authorities in other North American jurisdictions. This statutory responsibility is set forth in section 215(e) of the Federal Power Act as well as 18 C.F.R. §39.7.
Compliance Enforcement is the process by which NERC issues sanctions and ensures mitigation of confirmed violations of mandatory NERC Reliability Standards. As part of these efforts, NERC can also issue directives to immediately address and deter new or further violations, irrespective of their presence or status (i.e., confirmed or alleged). Sanctioning of confirmed violations is determined pursuant to the NERC Sanction Guidelines and is based heavily upon the Violation Risk Factors and Violation Severity Levels of the standards requirements violated and the violations’ duration. Entities found in violation of any standard must submit a mitigation plan for approval by NERC and, once approved, must execute this plan as submitted.
Organization Registration and Certification includes both the Organization Registration function and the Organization Certification function. Organization Registration identifies and registers bulk power system users, owners, and operators who are responsible for performing specified reliability functions to which requirements of mandatory NERC Reliability Standards are applicable. The Organization Certification function is the process by which NERC monitors and enforces compliance with NERC Reliability Standards for certain functions, specifically Reliability Coordinators, Transmission Operators, and Balancing Authorities. These three functions must be certified as having the necessary personnel, knowledge, facilities, programs, and other qualifications to carry out these important responsibilities. Requirements and activities for the Organization Registration and Certification Program are embodied in Section 500 (Organization Registration and Certification) and Appendices 5A and 5B of the FERC-approved NERC Rules of Procedure.
Regional Entity Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Programs NERC relies on the Regional Entities to enforce the NERC Reliability Standards with bulk power system owners, operators, and users through approved regional delegation agreements. Regional Entities are responsible for monitoring compliance of the registered entities within their regional boundaries, assuring mitigation of all violations of approved Reliability Standards and assessing penalties and sanctions for failure to comply.
Regional hearing processes are available to resolve contested violations or penalties or sanctions. If resolution cannot be achieved at the regional level, NERC maintains an appeals process to hear disputes.
Registered entities or other relevant industry stakeholders can report any perceived inconsistency in the methods, practices, or tools of two or more Regional Entities through the Regional Consistency Reporting Tool.
Who Must Comply?
All bulk power system owners, operators, and users must comply with NERC-approved Reliability Standards. These entities are required to register with NERC through the appropriate Regional Entity.
For more information about the Compliance program, please contact us.