Electric co-ops disappointed by Supreme Court ruling on FERC Order 745

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) expressed disappointment Jan. 26 in the U. S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in setting uniform compensation levels for suppliers of demand response participating in wholesale energy markets. On behalf of America’s member-owned, not-for-profit cooperatives, NRECA had challenged  FERC Order 745 on the grounds that  FERC overstepped its jurisdictional authority.

“For decades, co-ops have been able to save co-op member-owners millions of dollars by creating robust demand response programs,” said Jay Morrison, vice president of regulatory affairs. “We are concerned that by giving this pricing authority squarely to FERC, the Court has diminished the ability of state public utility commissions and the cooperative and municipal boards to protect the interest of consumers. NRECA will continue to advocate for compensation levels that benefit co-op owner-members.”

“Electric cooperatives have aggressively pursued cost savings for consumer-members by offering a wide range of demand response programs; in fact in 2012, co-ops’ share of total retail electric sales was 11 percent, yet they were responsible for 19 percent of actual peak reduction,” said Morrison.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.