The energy industry is one of the most highly regulated in the world. Companies in the industry — including oil and gas, nuclear, natural gas, hydropower, and electric companies and utilities — have long struggled to meet the reporting and compliance requirements of US federal, state, and industry regulatory bodies.
In recent years, that struggle has intensified. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 authorized the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to increase its purview over energy reliability initiatives and to levy stiff fines to those found out of compliance. FERC would eventually authorize the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to set compliance standards for electric reliability, adding a new array of standards that energy companies must meet.
Our research shows that many companies are feeling the effects of this struggle. An insiderRESEARCH survey of 140 executives, managers, IT staffers, SAP functional and business analysts, and other professionals at a variety of energy companies found that:
- Only 6.9% reported the ability to fully automate the processes supporting FERC reporting
- More than 60% said gathering non-SAP data for FERC reporting is “somewhat” or “very” difficult
- Only 12% have automated their processes for NERC compliance
- More than half (52%) said their processes for NERC compliance are primarily or completely manual