Reliability standard compliance monitoring

In May 2009, the Régie de l’énergie signed a first agreement with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) to provide a framework for the reliability standards development and compliance expertise those two organizations would provide. A second, more detailed agreement, signed in 2014, established a framework for reliability standard compliance monitoring and enforcement in Québec. This mandatory regime came into effect on April 1, 2015. On that date, the Régie made effective 12 standards for the various functions of the Reliability Coordinator, and the Québec Reliability Standards Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Program (QCMEP) came into force.

Compliance monitoring process

Toward the end of each year, NERC announces the standards that will part of the annual program for the next year. To this, NPCC adds any required regional standards. After consulting with the two organizations, the Régie publishes its action plan to be applied by the NPCC compliance committee in the coming calendar year.

The action plan can include schedules for:

  • Audits (remote or on-site)
  • Self-certification
  • Spot checks
  • Periodic data submittals

In addition to planned measures, it can include the following compliance monitoring activities:

  • Investigations into complaints or incidents
  • Unscheduled spot checks
  • Exception reporting

Penalties and sanctions for noncompliance

The Reliability Coordinator must submit to the Régie guidelines describing criteria to be considered in determining a sanction and table of applicable sanctions for reliability standard noncompliance. The Sanctions guide came into effect on November 1, 2016.

If NERC or the NPCC deems that an entity is in violation of a reliability standard, the entity must be given at least 20 days to submit its arguments. The regulatory agency must then report its findings to the Régie and may recommend that a sanction be imposed.

After allowing the entity to present its arguments, the Régie decides whether the noncompliance was a violation of reliability standards. If so, it can order the entity to implement a mitigation plan and impose a sanction. Régie decisions are published on its Web site Electric Power Transmission Reliability Standards Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement

Examples of sanctions:

  • Publication of a letter of reprimand
  • Imposition by the Régie of conditions to the exercise of certain activities
  • A monetary sanction of up to $500,000 a day. The table below shows the monetary sanctions that may be imposed by the Régie.

It is important to note that the monetary sanctions collected by the Régie are deposited in a separate account and are used to maintain the reliability of the transmission system.

Base penalty amount table

The reference table below shows the monetary sanctions that may be imposed by the Régie based on risk factor and violation severity.

Violation Severity Level

Violation Risk Factor Lower (1) Moderate (2) High (3) Severe (4)
Lower ($) Upper  ($) Lower ($) Upper ($) Lower ($) Upper ($) Lower ($) Upper ($)
Low 0 1,500 1,000 4,000 1,500 8,000 2,500 15,000
Medium 1,000 15,000 2,000 50,000 3,000 100,000 5,000 150,000
High 2,000 60,000 4,000 150,000 6,000 300,000 10,000 500,000

Note: This table indicates the sanction amount applicable for each day that a violation continues, subject to the provisions of section 2.15 of the Sanctions Guide regarding frequency and duration of violations.

Consult the Sanction Guide for the Enforcement of the Reliability Standards in Effect in Québec [In French only]