FERC Form 1#

Source URL

https://www.ferc.gov/industries-data/electric/general-information/electric-industry-forms/form-1-electric-utility-annual

Source Description

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Form 1 is a comprehensive financial and operating report submitted annually for electric rate regulation, market oversight analysis, and financial audits by Major electric utilities, licensees and others.

Respondents

Major electric utilities and licenses.

Records Liberated

~13.2 million (116 raw tables), ~307,000 (7 clean tables)

Source Format

XBRL (.XBRL) and Visual FoxPro Database (.DBC/.DBF)

Source Years

1994-2020

Download Size

1701 MB

Years Liberated

1994-2020

PUDL Code

ferc1

Issues

Open FERC Form 1 issues

PUDL Database Tables#

We’ve segmented the processed data into the following normalized data tables. Clicking on the links will show you a description of the table as well as the names and descriptions of each of its fields.

We’ve also created the following tables mapping mannually assigned PUDL IDs to FERC respondent IDs, enabling a connection between the FERC and EIA data sets.

Background#

The FERC Form 1, otherwise known as the Electric Utility Annual Report, contains financial and operating data for major utilities and licensees. Much of it is not publicly available anywhere else.

Download the following files for further context:

How much of the data is accessible through PUDL?#

With the new XBRL format we are in the process of integrating the data into the full PUDL ETL pipeline. Previously, with the Visual FoxPro filings we had integrated 7 tables into the pipeline. We focused on the tables pertaining to power plants, their capital & operating expenses, and fuel consumption. We hope to soon be able to pull just about any other table.

Who is required to fill out the form?#

As outlined in the Commission’s Uniform System of Accounts Prescribed for Public Utilities and Licensees Subject To the Provisions of The Federal Power Act (18 C.F.R. Part 101), to qualify as a respondent, entities must exceed at least one of the following criteria for three consecutive years prior to reporting:

  • 1 million MWh of total sales

  • 100MWh of annual sales for resale

  • 500MWh of annual power exchanges delivered

  • 500MWh of annual wheeling for others (deliveries plus losses)

Annual responses are due in April of the following year. FERC typically releases the new data in October.

What does the original data look like?#

See also

Explore the full FERC Form 1 dataset at: https://data.catalyst.coop/ferc1

As of early 2021, the data is now published as a collection of XBRL filings. Previous data remains in Visual FoxPro databases. The new data remains difficult to access and we are in the process of understanding the underlying data and integrating this new format into PUDL.

Previously the data was strutured as follows:

The data is published as a collection of Visual FoxPro databases: one per year beginning in 1994. The databases all share a very similar structure and contain a total of 116 data tables and ~8GB of raw data (though 90% of that data is in 3 tables containing binary data). The final release of Visual FoxPro was v9.0 in 2007. Its extended support period ended in 2015. The bridge application which allowed this database to be used in Microsoft Access has been discontinued. FERC’s use of this database format creates a significant barrier to data access.

New data is released as a collection of XBRL filings and we are in the process of integrating this data into PUDL.

The FERC 1 database is poorly normalized and the data itself does not appear to be subject to much quality control. For more detailed context and documentation on a table-by-table basis, look at FERC Form 1 Data Dictionary.

Notable Irregularities#

Sadly, the FERC Form 1 database is not particularly… relational. The only foreign key relationships that exist map respondent_id fields in the individual data tables back to f1_respondent_id. In theory, most of the data tables use report_year, respondent_id, row_number, spplmnt_num and report_prd as a composite primary key.

In practice, there are several thousand records (out of ~12 million), including some in almost every table, that violate the uniqueness constraint on those primary keys. Since there aren’t many meaningful foreign key relationships anyway, rather than dropping the records with non-unique natural composite keys, we chose to preserve all of the records and use surrogate auto-incrementing primary keys in the cloned SQLite database.

Lots of the data included in the FERC tables is extraneous and difficult to parse. None of the tables have record identification and they sometimes contain multiple rows pertaining to the same plant or portion of a plant. For example, a utility might report values for individual plants as well as the sum total, rendering any aggregations performed on the column inaccurate. Sometimes there are values reported for the total rows and not the individual plants making them difficult to simply remove. Moreover, these duplicate rows are incredibly difficult to identify.

To improve their usability, we have developed a complex system of regional mapping in order to create ids for each of the plants that can then be compared to PUDL ids and used for integration with EIA and other data. We also remove many of the duplicate rows and are in the midst of executing a more thorough review of the extraneous rows.

Over time we will pull in and clean up additional FERC Form 1 tables. If there’s data you need from Form 1 in bulk, you can hire us to liberate it first.

PUDL Data Transformations#

The PUDL transformation process cleans the input data so that it is adjusted for uniformity, corrected for errors, and ready for bulk programmatic use.

To see the transformations applied to the data in each table, you can read the doc-strings for pudl.transform.ferc1 created for each tables’ respective transform function.