The North American Electric Reliability Corp (NERC) has been around for four decades now, but only recently has been granted authority and enforcement powers comparable to those of the other federal energy regulators. NERC's enforcement powers are substantial. They include punishing violators with fines ranging from $1,000-$1 million per day per violation. With monetary penalties escalating in severity, its only a matter of time before cases are litigated and the hearing and appeals process kicks in at full speed. Registered entities shouldn't wait until the eve of a hearing or appeal. A series of practices and actions can help utility companies manage their compliance obligations and avoid or minimize NERC-enforcement penalties, including: 1. Mind the timelines. 2. Follow instructions. 3. Be cooperative. 4. Develop a thorough record. 5. Develop a culture of compliance. A few measures taken now can go a long way in avoiding violations and hefty penalties.
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