The Natural Gas Act (NGA) establishes the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) role in regulating gas utilities, just as the Federal Power Act (FPA) does for electric utilities. Part of both laws outline the processes to deal with over-collections , instances in which shippers are charged an “unjust and unreasonable” rate as determined by FERC.
For electric utilities if FERC finds that an electric transmission company has charged an “unjust and unreasonable” rate, then FERC may order that entity to refund overcharged funds from the time that the complaint was filed.
The NGA offers no such protections for gas consumers. Under Section 5 of the NGA, entities can still file a complaint against an interstate natural gas pipeline – just like the FPA. However, unlike the FPA, FERC does not have authority to order refunds of over-collections under Section 5. This has resulted in billions of dollars in overcharges to gas consumers, and no recourse to recoup those losses.