NERC mandates regulatory programs which require utilities to protect their operations and ensure overall reliability of the bulk electric system. Non-compliance with NERC requirements puts the grid at risk of reliability issues or security breaches and puts your company at risk for significant fines.
NERC regulators oversee the links between the utility’s compliance program and the required NERC standards. This includes demonstrated evidence of the completed work with proper work order documentation as well as evidence that the procedures clearly dictate what to do. Regulators also look for evidence that employees are properly trained on how to execute these procedures and collect evidence for their company’s compliance program.
Although NERC guidelines exist to strengthen security practices, the evolving nature of the regulations can make it very challenging for utilities to implement them. As grid operations and threats to the electric grid operations change, new and reinterpreted compliance requirements are released by NERC in order to protect utilities from modern threats. If your utility does not have a continuous program for compliance and cannot meet NERC standards, then both the grid system and the company’s financial security are put at great risk.
Additionally, the changing nature of the standards can create varied responses, depending on your utility’s interpretation. Interpreting NERC standards correctly can ensure that the required work activities are incorporated into existing work activities. A complete understanding and correct implementation of the standards is both labor and cost effective.
Utilities need an organized, dynamic system for conducting NERC compliance activities to ensure that they meet these evolving requirements. An organized and strategic compliance program can ensure that self-reports are made in a timely manner, corporate-wide processes supporting compliance activities are in place and are effective, standards development activities are coordinated, and compliance work and expertise are not duplicated throughout the organization.
We bring more than 35 years of experience working with utilities across the United States and can help you address the challenges of NERC compliance and create a successful and cost-effective compliance program.
- Assess gaps in programs, procedures, and work orders and compare them to leading practices
- Address findings by improving or implementing NERC compliance program elements such as training, work orders, procedures, and program documents
- Conduct staff training on a role basis rather than position basis
- Conduct field validation of the program activities to ensure the people executing the work are able to practically apply the training, procedures, and work orders that have been developed
- Develop detailed programs, procedures, and work orders that comply with the regulations without adding significant burden or time to our client’s daily tasks
Welcome to ScottMadden!
Sussex Economic Advisors is now part of ScottMadden. We invite you to learn more about our expanded firm. Please use the Contact Us form to request additional information.