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National Reliability Standards

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as the Electric Reliability Organization (ERO) for the United States, with the authority to enforce reliability standards on all owners, operators, and users of the bulk-power system (BPS).

NERC works with all stakeholder segments of the electric industry to develop standards for the reliable planning and operation of the BPS.

NERC Reliability Standards are the planning and operating rules that electric utilities follow to ensure the most reliable system possible. These standards are developed by the industry using a balanced, open, fair, and inclusive process managed by the NERC Standards Committee. The Committee is facilitated by NERC staff and made up of representatives from many electric industry sectors.

Proposed standards are reviewed and approved by the NERC Board of Trustees, which then submits the standards to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Canadian provincial regulators for approval. Once approved, the standards become legally binding on all owners, operators, and users of the bulk power system.

Standards must be just and reasonable, not unduly discriminatory or preferential, and in the public interest. Participation by industry experts and compliance personnel in the standards development process ensures that the standards are technically sound, fair, and balanced.

For information on mandatory NERC Reliability Standards, visit the NERC web site:

Participation in NERC Standards Development Process

Interested entities may participate in the development process in a variety of ways.

In the beginning steps of the process, stakeholders can author and sponsor a Standard Authorization Request (SAR); formally request interpretations of standards (SAR and interpretation forms are in NERC Standards Resource Documents External Link); and join or participate in the NERC standard drafting teams.

In the development steps of the process, stakeholders can comment on the NERC continent-wide standards; take part in field tests; and register in the NERC Registered Ballot Body External Link and vote on continent-wide standards.

Stakeholders can also attend NERC standards workshops and the NERC Standards Committee External Link. To receive the latest information about NERC Standards, visit NERC Standards  and subscribe to the NERC Standards mailing list.

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