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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has proposed new rules to improve operations in organized electric markets, boost competition and bring additional benefits to consumers.

The proposed reforms, outlined in a notice of proposed rulemaking on competition, are designed to ensure just and reasonable rates and to remedy undue discrimination and preference and improve wholesale competition in organized markets. They address demand response and market pricing during a period of reserve shortage, long-term power contracting, market-monitoring policies and responsiveness of regional transmission operators (RTOs) and independent system operators (ISOs) to stakeholders and customers.

The specific proposals include:

- accepting bids from demand response resources in their markets for certain ancillary services comparable to other resources,

- requiring RTOs and ISOs to dedicate a portion of their Web sites for market participants to post offers to buy or sell power on a long-term basis,

- requiring each RTO and ISO to provide its market monitoring unit with access to market data, resources and personnel necessary to carry out its duties, and

- adopting principles for RTOs and ISOs to ensure inclusiveness, fairness in balancing diverse interests, representation of minority positions and ongoing responsiveness.

As the proposed reforms are not the final effort to strengthen competition in organized markets, FERC encouraged each RTO or ISO to study whether further reforms are necessary to eliminate barriers to demand response. According to FERC, any reforms must ensure that demand response resources are treated on a comparable basis as other resources.


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