FERC’s budget request for FY13 includes zero net increase over FY12

FERC’s budget request for fiscal year 2013 represents no net increase over its budget estimate for FY12 and a 2.2% increase over FY11.

According to the “FY 2013 Congressional Performance Budget Request,” FERC is seeking $304.6m to support its activities for FY 2013.

“This request will support FERC in its reliability and critical infrastructure protection standards development and compliance processes; infrastructure siting and inspection responsibilities; enforcement efforts; and policy reforms related to competitive energy markets and regulatory policies, including removal of barriers to renewable resources and advanced technologies,” FERC said in the request.

The proposed budget requests funds for two major areas, which the document calls “goals”: just and reasonable rates, terms and conditions; and infrastructure.

The 101-page budget request seeks $167m for the first goal to “[e]nsure that rates, terms and conditions are just, reasonable and not unduly discriminatory or preferential,” FERC said.

Funds for the first goal will be divided between two categories. Approximately $124m will be used for  “regulatory and market means,” and approximately $43m for “oversight and enforcement.” The total request for this goal represents a 0.3% increase over the FY 2012 estimate.

The first goal includes two specific objectives: ensure implementation of appropriate regulatory and market means for establishing rates, and increase compliance with the Commission’s rules and deter market manipulation, FERC said.

The commission is also requesting approximately $137.5m for the second goal to promote the development of safe, reliable, and efficient infrastructure that serves the public interest, according to FERC.

Funds for the second goal would be divided among three categories: infrastructure development and siting, safety, and reliability. Approximately $73.8m would be used for Infrastructure development and siting, $32.6m for safety, and $31.1m for reliability.

The second goal includes three specific objectives: increase efficient infrastructure consistent with demand, minimize risk to the public, and provide for the reliable operation of the bulk power system through oversight of the development and implementation of mandatory and enforceable standards, FERC said. Success will be measured by 14 performance measures across both goals.

FERC’s budget request for FY 2013 includes an estimated 1,480 full-time equivalents (FTEs), which is a reduction of 20 FTEs, or a 1.3% decline, from FY 2012 levels.

FERC’s budget is revenue-neutral. “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 (FPA) and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986,” the commission said. “The Commission deposits this revenue into the Treasury as a direct offset to its appropriation, resulting in no net appropriation.”