|NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/01/2018|
Energy — Both physical and financial transactions are entered into to optimize the financial performance of the Company's generating facilities. Electric energy revenue is recognized upon transmission to the customer. Physical transactions, or the sale of generated electricity to meet supply and demand, are recorded on a gross basis in the Company's consolidated statements of operations. Financial transactions, or the buying and selling of energy for trading purposes, are recorded net within operating revenues in the consolidated statements of operations in accordance with ASC 815.
Capacity — Capacity revenues are recognized when contractually earned, and consist of revenues billed to a third party at either the market or a negotiated contract price for making installed generation capacity available in order to satisfy system integrity and reliability requirements.
Sale of Emission Allowances — The Company records its bank of emission allowances as part of intangible assets. From time to time, management may authorize the transfer of emission allowances in excess of usage from the Company's emission bank to intangible assets held-for-sale for trading purposes. The Company records the sale of emission allowances on a net basis within operating revenue in the Company's consolidated statements of operations.
Contract Amortization — Assets and liabilities recognized from power sales agreements assumed at Fresh Start and through acquisitions related to the sale of electric capacity and energy in future periods for which the fair value has been determined to be significantly less (more) than market are amortized to revenue over the term of each underlying contract based on actual generation and/or contracted volumes.
Retail revenues — Gross revenues for energy sales and services to retail customers are recognized upon delivery under the accrual method. Energy sales and services that have been delivered but not billed by period end are estimated. Gross revenues also includes energy revenues from resales of purchased power, which were $187 million, $154 million and $165 million for the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively. These revenues represent the sale of excess supply to third parties in the market.
Accrued unbilled revenues are based on estimates of customer usage since the date of the last meter reading provided by the independent system operators or electric distribution companies. Volume estimates are based on daily forecasted volumes and estimated customer usage by class. Unbilled revenues are calculated by multiplying these volume estimates by the applicable rate by customer class. Estimated amounts are adjusted when actual usage is known and billed. The Company recorded receivables for unbilled revenues of $376 million, $321 million and $307 million as of December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively, for retail energy sales and services.
Consumer product revenues are recognized when title and risk of loss pass to the retailer, distributor, or end-customer and when all of the following have occurred: a firm sales agreement is in place, delivery has occurred, pricing is fixed and determinable, and collection is reasonably assured. Revenue is recognized as the net amount expected to be received after deducting estimated amounts for product returns, discounts, and allowances based on historical return rates and reasonable judgment.
Certain of the Company’s revenues are obtained through PPAs or other contractual agreements. Many of these agreements are accounted for as operating leases under ASC 840 Leases.
Certain of these leases have no minimum lease payments and all of the rent is recorded as contingent rent on an actual basis when the electricity is delivered. Judgment is required by management in determining the economic life of each generating facility, in evaluating whether certain lease provisions constitute minimum payments or represent contingent rent and other factors in determining whether a contract contains a lease and whether the lease is an operating lease or capital lease. Contingent rental income recognized in the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015 was $879 million, $912 million, and $753 million, respectively.
Gross Receipts and Sales Taxes
In connection with its retail business, the Company records gross receipts taxes on a gross basis in revenues and cost of operations in its consolidated statements of operations. During the years ended December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015, the Company's revenues and cost of operations included gross receipts taxes of $92 million, $101 million, and $110 million, respectively. Additionally, the retail business records sales taxes collected from its taxable customers and remitted to the various governmental entities on a net basis; thus, there is no impact on the Company's consolidated statement of operations.