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Standards of Conduct

Radical changes to the electric utility industry have recently taken place, and Western responded by making changes to our power marketing policies to continue to accomplish our mission and meet customer needs.

SNR and Western changes were initiated by regulations issued in April I996 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; FERC Orders No. 888 and No. 889. FERC (a Federal agency that oversees many aspects of the nation's utility industry) regulates price, terms, and conditions of power and transmission services sold by entities subject to its jurisdiction. These regulations were developed to bring low-cost power to consumers, ensure continued reliability of the electric power industry, and provide for open and fair electric transmission services by public utilities.

Under FERC Order No. 888, public utilities under FERC jurisdiction must offer open and comparable access to their transmission systems. In other words, utilities must offer others the same transmission service they provide themselves. FERC's order was designed for utilities that operate a single integrated power system, and Western's challenge was to integrate the unique characteristics and legal requirements of five regional systems (SNR being one of them) into a single tariff.

FERC Order No. 889 required transmission functions be separate from power marketing functions. At SNR, power marketing staff develop and implement power marketing plans and policies, whereas transmission staff plan, build, operate, and maintain power facilities and systems. Order No. 889 also restricted communication between power marketing and transmission operation employees within any one company, and required the development of an electronic, Internet-based OASIS tool for sharing transmission prices and product availability information.

FERC does not have jurisdiction over Western, but because Western is a major transmission system owner, and provides wholesale electricity across the West, we voluntarily chose to follow FERC's rules. Western shows good faith by complying with rules other wholesale power and transmission utilities must follow. Western's Open Access Transmission Service Tariff (PDF - 975K), which applies to all regions, including SNR, became effective Feb. 5, 1998.

Western filed Standards of Conduct with FERC in December 1998. FERC approved these standards on March 31, 1999.

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