FERC to appeal ruling on energy saving incentives

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is appealing a ruling that last month struck down its program to incentivize electricity users to save energy during peak periods.

The program, also known as demand response, sought to require electric utilities to pay end users to cut their consumption when demand rises. Such a program can reduce energy use while potentially eliminating the need for new infrastructure and power plants.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in May that FERC’s program “goes too far, encroaching on the states’ exclusive jurisdiction to regulate the retail market.” FERC’s authority only extends to the wholesale electricity market, it said.

In a brief statement Wednesday, FERC said it would ask for an “en banc” rehearing, in which every judge in the circuit court hears the case that a panel of three heard in September.