(A - E) (F - J) (K - O) (P - T) (U - Z)

  • Above-market Cost : The cost of a service in excess of the price of comparable services in the market.
  • Access Charge : A charge for a power supplier, or its customer, for access to a utility's transmission or distribution system. It is a charge for the right to send electricity over another's wires.
  • Actual Peak Load Reductions : Reduction in annual peak load by consumers who participate in a DSM program that reflect changes in demand.
  • Affiliate : A company that is controlled by another or that has the same owner as another company.
  • Affiliated Power Producer : A generating company that is affiliated with a utility.
  • After-Market : Broad term that applies to any change after the original purchase, such as adding equipment not a part of the original purchase. As applied to alternative fueled vehicles, it refers to conversion devices or kits for conventional fuel vehicles.
  • Aggregation : The process of organizing small groups, businesses or residential customer into a larger, more effective bargaining unit that strengthens their purchasing power with utilities.
  • Aggregator : An entity that puts together customers into a guying group for the purchase of a commodity service. The vertically integrated investor owned utility, municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives perform this function in today's power market. Other entities such as buyer cooperatives or brokers could perform this function in a restructured power market.
  • Alaskan System Coordination Council (ASCC) : One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
  • Allowance for Funds Used During Construction (AFUD : Construction activities may be financed from internally generated funds (primarily earnings retained in the business), or from funds provided by other external sources (short- and long-term debt). The allowance for funds used during construction is intended to recognize the cost of these funds dedicated to construction activities during the construction period. To arrive at the "allowance", a common procedural method makes use of a formula that is based on the assumption that short-term debt is the first source of construction funds. The cost rate for short-term debt is based on current costs. Since a utility plant is subject to depreciation, the allowance for funds used during construction is recovered in the form of depreciation from ratepayers over the service life of the plant to which it applies.
  • Alternating Current (AC) : Flow of electricity that constantly changes director between positive and negative sides. Almost all power produced by electric utilities in the United States moves in current that shifts direction at a rate of 60 times per second.
  • Ampere : Unit that measures electrical current in a circuit by 1 volt acting through a resistance of 1 ohm.
  • Ancillary Services : Services necessary for the transmission of energy from resources to loads.
  • Annual Effects : Effects in energy use and peak load resulting from participation in DSM programs in effect during a given period of time.
  • Annual Equivalent : An equal cash flow amount that occurs every year.
  • Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency : A measure of heating efficiency, in consistent units, determined by applying the federal test method for furnaces. This value is intended to represent the ratio of heat transferred to the conditioned space by the fuel energy supplies over one year.
  • Annual Maximum Demand : The greatest of all demands of the electrical load which occurred during a prescribed interval in a calendar year.
  • Annuity : A series of equal cash flows over a number of years.
  • Appliance Saturation : The percentage of households or buildings in a service area that have the type of equipment to which the demand-side technology applies. For example, if 50 percent of the residential customers have a central air conditioner, the appliance saturation is 50 percent.
  • Applicability Factor : The percentage of end-use energy and demand used by a technology to which the demand-side management (DSM) measure applies. For example, the high-efficiency fluorescent lighting DSM measure applies to fluorescent lighting but not all lighting. Applicability therefore represents the percent of the lighting end-use attributable to fluorescence for which there could be high-efficiency replacements installed.
  • Area Load : The total amount of electricity being used at a given point in time by all consumers in a utility's service territory.
  • Attributes : Attributes are the outcomes by which the relative "goodness" of a particular expansion plan is measured e.g. fuel usage. Some attributes, such as fuel usage, are measured in well-defined parameters. Other attributes (e.g. public perception of a technology) are more subjective. Attributes may be grouped in several ways. Categories include financial, economic, performance, fuel usage, environmental, and socio-economic. The attributes chosen must measure issues that directly concern the utility and have an impact on its planning objectives. Limiting the number of attributes reduces the complexity and cost of a study.
  • Available but not Needed Capability : Capability of generating units that are operable but not necessary to carry load.
  • Average Cost : The revenue requirement of a utility divided by the utility's sales. Average cost typically includes the costs of existing power plants, transmission, and distribution lines, and other facilities used by a utility to serve its customers. It also includes operations and maintenance, tax, and fuel expenses.
  • Average Demand : The energy demand in a given geographical area over a period of time. For example, the number of kilowatt-hours used in a 24-hour period, divided by 24, tells the average demand for that period.
  • Average Revenue per Kilowatt-hour : Revenue by sector and geographic area calculated by dividing the monthly revenue by monthly sales.
  • Avoided Costs : These are costs that a utility avoids by purchasing power from an independent producer rather than generating power themselves, purchasing power from another source or constructing new power plants. A Public Utility Commission calculates avoided costs for each utility, and these costs are the basis upon which independent power producers are paid for the electricity they produce. There are two parts to an avoided cost calculation: the avoided capacity cost of constructing new power plants and the avoided energy cost of fuel and operating and maintaining utility power plants.
  • Base Bill : The base bill is calculated by multiplying the rate from the electric rate by the level of consumption.
  • Base Load : The minimum load experienced by an electric utility system over a given period of time.
  • Base Load Unit : A generating unit that normally operates at a constant output to take all or part of the base load of a system.
  • Base Rate : The portion of the total electric or gas rate covering the general costs of doing business unrelated to fuel expenses.
  • Base Year : The first year of the period of analysis. The base year does not have to be the current year.
  • Baseline Forecast : A prediction of future energy needs which does not take into account the likely effects of new conservation programs that have not yet been started.
  • Baseload Capacity : Generating equipment operated to serve loads 24-hours per day.
  • Basic Service : The four charges for generation, transmission, distribution and transition that all customers must pay in order to retail their electric service.
  • Bilateral Contract : A direct contract between the power producer and user or broker outside of a centralized power pool.
  • Biomass : Plant materials and animal waste used as a source of fuel.
  • Blackout : A power loss affecting many electricity consumers over a large geographical area for a significant period of time.
  • British Thermal Unit (BTU) : The standard unit for measuring quantity of heat energy. It is the amount of heat energy necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
  • Broadband Communications : The result of utilities forming partnerships to offer consumers "one-stop-shopping" for energy-related and high-tech telecommunications services.
  • Broker : A retail agent who buys and sells power. The agent may also aggregate customers and arrange for transmission, firming and other ancillary services as needed.
  • Brownout : A controlled power reduction in which the utility decreases the voltage on the power lines, so customers receive weaker electric current. Brownouts can be used if total power demand exceeds the maximum available supply. The typical household does not notice the difference.
  • Bulk Power Market : Wholesale purchases and sales of electricity.
  • Bulk Power Supply : Often this term is used interchangeably with wholesale power supply. In broader terms, it refers to the aggregate of electric generating plants, transmission lines, and related equipment. The term may refer to those facilities within one electric utility, or within a group of utilities in which the transmission lines are interconnected.
  • Buy Through : An agreement between utility and customer to import power when the customer's service would otherwise be interrupted.
  • Capability : Maximum load that a generating unit can carry without exceeding approved limits.
  • Capacitor : This is a device that helps improve the efficiency of the flow of electricity through distribution lines by reducing energy losses. It is installed in substations and on poles. Usually it is installed to correct an unwanted condition in an electrical system
  • Capacity : The maximum load a generating unit, generating station, or other electrical apparatus is rated to carry by the user or the manufacturer or can actually carry under existing service conditions.
  • Capacity (Purchased) : Energy available for purchase from outside the system.
  • Capacity Charge : An assessment on the amount of capacity being purchased.
  • Capacity Factor : The ratio of the average load on a machine or equipment for a period of time to the capacity rating of the machine or equipment.
  • Capital Recovery Factor (CRF) : A factor used to convert a lump sum value to an annual equivalent.
  • Captive Customer : A customer who does not have realistic alternatives to buying power from the local utility, even if that customer had the legal right to buy from competitors.
  • Circuit : Conductor for electric current.
  • Cogeneration : Production of heat energy and electrical or mechanical power from the same fuel in the same facility. A typical cogeneration facility produces electricity and steam for industrial process use.
  • Cogenerator : A facility that produces electricity and/or other energy for heating and cooling.
  • Coincidence Factor : The ratio of the coincident maximum demand of two or more loads to the sum of their noncoincident maximum demands for a given period. The coincidence factor is the reciprocal of the diversity factor and is always less than or equal to one.
  • Coincidental Demand : Two or more demands that occur at the same time.
  • Coincidental Peak Load : Two or more peak loads that occur at the same time.
  • Combined Cycle : Similar to the combustion turbine simple cycle, but includes a heat recovery steam generator that extracts heat from the combustion turbine exhaust flow to produce steam. This steam in turn powers a steam turbine engine.
  • Combined Cycle Plant : An electric generating station that uses waste heat from its gas turbines to produce steam for conventional steam turbines.
  • Combustion Turbine : A fossil-fuel-fired power plant that uses the conversion process known as the Brayton cycle. The fuel, oil, or gas is combusted and drives a turbine-generator.
  • Commercial Operation : Commercial operation occurs when control of the generator is turned over to the system dispatcher.
  • Commercialization : Programs or activities that increase the value or decrease the cost of integrating new products or services into the electric sector.
  • Comparability : When a transmission owner provides access to transmission services at rates, terms and conditions equal to those the owner incurs for its own use.
  • Competitive Bidding : This is a procedure that utilities use to select suppliers of new electric capacity and energy. Under competitive bidding, an electric utility solicits bids from prospective power generators to meet current or future power demands. When offers from independent power producers began exceeding utility needs in the mid-1908's, utilities and state regulators began using competitive bidding systems to select more fairly among numerous supply alternatives.
  • Competitive Franchise : A process whereby a municipality (or group of municipalities) issues a franchise to supply electricity in the community to the winner of a competitive bid process. Such franchises can be for bundled electricity and transmission/distribution, or there can be separate franchises for the supply of electricity services and the transmission and distribution function. Franchises can be, but typically are not, exclusive licenses.
  • Competitive Transition Charge (CTC) : A "nonbypassable" charge generally placed on distribution services to recover utility costs incurred as a result of restructuring (stranded costs - usually associated with generation facilities and services) and not recoverable in other ways.
  • Comprehensive National Energy Policy Act : Federal legislation in 1992 that opened the U.S. electric utility industry to increase competition at the wholesale level and left authority for retail competition to the states.
  • Conductor : An object or substance which conducts or leads electric current. A wire, cable, busbar, rod, or tube can serve as a path for electricity to flow. The most common conductor is an electrical wire.
  • Connection : The connection between two electrical systems that permit the transfer of energy.
  • Conservation : A foregoing or reduction of electric usage for the purpose of saving natural energy resources and limiting peak demand in order to ultimately reduce the capacity requirements for plant and equipment.
  • Consumer Education : Efforts to provide consumers with skills and knowledge to use their resources wisely in the marketplace.
  • Consumption (Fuel) : Amount of fuel used for gross generation.
  • Contract Path : The most direct physical transmission tie between two interconnected entities. When utility systems interchange power, the transfer is presumed to take place across the "contract path" , notwithstanding the electric fact that power flow in the network will distribute in accordance with network flow conditions. This term can also mean to arrange for power transfer between systems.
  • Contract Price : Price marketed on a contract basis for one or more years.
  • Contract Receipts : Purchases that cover at least one year.
  • Control Area : A power system or systems to which an automatic control is applied.
  • Converter : Any technology that changes the potential energy in fuel into a different form of energy such as heat or motion. The term also is used to mean an apparatus that changes the quantity or quality of electric energy.
  • Cooperative Electric Utility : A utility established to be owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services.
  • Cross-subsidization : This refers to the transfer of assets or services from the regulated portion of an electric utility to its unregulated affiliates to produce an unfair competitive advantage. Also, cross-subsidization can refer to one rate class (such as industrial customers) subsidizing the rates of another class (such as residential customers).
  • Current (Electric) : Flow of electrons in an electric conductor.
  • Current Transformers : These are used in conjunction with metering equipment. They are designed to permit measurement of currents beyond the range of a meter.
  • Customer Assistance Programs : Alternative collection program set up between a utility company and a customer that allows customers to pay utility bills on a percentage-of-the-bill they owe or percentage-of-customer-income instead of paying the full amount owed. These programs are for low-income people who can't pay their bills. These customers must agree to make regular monthly payments based on their new payment plans.
  • Customer Class : A distinction between users of electric energy. Customer class is usually defined by usage patterns, usage levels, and conditions of service. Classes are usually categorized generically by customer activity (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, street lighting).
  • Customer Costs : Costs that are related to and vary with the number of customers. Customer costs include meters, meter readers, or service equipment costs.
  • Customer Service Charge : That portion of the customer's bill which remains the same from month to month. The charge is determined separately from the amount of energy used. It is based on the costs associated with connecting a customer to the company's distribution system, including the service connection and metering equipment. This charge also recovers expenses such as meter reading, billing costs, customer accounting expenses records and collections, and a portion of general plant items such as office space for customer service personnel.
  • Customer Service Protection : The rules governing grounds for denial of service, credit determination, deposit and guarantee practices, meter reading and accuracy, bill contents, billing frequency, billing accuracy, collection practices, notices, grounds for termination of service, termination procedures, rights to reconnection, late charges, disconnection/reconnection fees, access to budget billing and payment arrangements, extreme weather, illness or other vulnerable customer disconnection protections, and the like. In a retail competition model, would include protections against "slamming" and other hard-sell abuses.
  • Daily Peak : The maximum amount of energy or service demanded in one day from a company or utility service.
  • Degree-day : A unit measuring the extent to which the outdoor mean (average of maximum and minimum) daily dry-bulb temperature falls below (in the case of heating) or rises above (in the case of cooling) an assumed base. The base is normally taken as 65 degrees for heating and cooling unless otherwise designated.
  • Demand (electric) : The rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system, part of a system, or a piece of equipment. Demand is expressed in kW, kVA, or other suitable units at a given instant or over any designated period of time. The primary source of "demand" is the power-consuming equipment of the customers.
  • Demand Billing : The electric capacity requirement for which a large user pays. It may be based on the customer's peak demand during the contract year, on a previous maximum or on an agreed minimum. It is measured in kilowatts.
  • Demand Charge : The sum to be paid by a large electricity consumer for its peak usage level.
  • Demand Controller : An electrical, mechanical, or electromechanical device or system that monitors the customer demand and causes that demand to be leveled and/or limited.
  • Demand Ratchet : This is the minimum billing demand based upon a given percentage of the actual demand use, recorded during the last eleven months of demand history.
  • Demand-Side Management (DSM) : A technology or program that encourages customers to use electricity differently.
  • Demonstration : The application and integration of a new product or service into an existing or new system. Most commonly, demonstration involves the construction and operation of a new electric technology interconnected with the electric utility system to demonstrate how it interacts with the system. This includes the impacts the technology may have on the system and the impacts that the larger utility system may have on the functioning of the technology.
  • Departing Member : A member consumer served at retail by an electric cooperative corporation that hs given notice of intent to receive generation services from another source or that is otherwise in the process of changing generation suppliers. These persons shall nonetheless remain members of the electric distribution cooperative corporation for purposes of distribution service.
  • Dependable Capacity : The system's ability to carry the electric power for the time interval and period specified. Dependable capacity is determined by such factors as capability, operating power factor and portion of the load the station is to supply.
  • Depletable Energy Sources : This includes: 1) electricity purchased from a public utility and 2) energy obtained from burning coal, oil, natural gas or liquefied petroleum gasses.
  • Depreciation, Straight-line : Straight-line depreciation takes the cost of the asset less the estimated salvage value and allocates the cost in equal amounts over the asset's estimated useful life.
  • Deregulation : The elimination of regulation from a previously regulated industry or sector of an industry.
  • Designated Agent : An agent that acts on behalf of a transmission provider, customer or transmission customer as required under the tariff.
  • Direct Access : The ability of a retail customer to purchase commodity electricity directly from the wholesale market rather than through a local distribution utility.
  • Direct Current (DC) : Electric that flows continuously in the same direction.
  • Direct Energy Conversion : Production of electricity from an energy source without transferring the energy to a working fluid or steam. For example, photovoltaic cells transform light directly into electricity. Direct conversion systems have no moving parts and usually produce direct current.
  • Direct Load Control : Activities that can interrupt load at the time of peak by interrupting power supply on consumer premises, usually applied to residential consumers.
  • Direct Utility Cost : A cost identified with one of the DSM categories.
  • Disaggregation : The functional separation of the vertically integrated utility into smaller, individually owned business units (I.e. generation, dispatch/control, transmission, distribution). The terms "deintegration", "disintegration" and "delimitation" are sometimes used to mean the same thing.
  • Discount/Interest Rate : The discount rate is used to determine the present value of future or past cash flows. The rate accounts for inflation and the potential earning power of money.
  • Dispatchability : This is the ability of a generating unit to increase or decrease generation, or to be brought on line or shut down at the request or a utility's system operator.
  • Distributed Generation : A distributed generation system involves small amounts of generation located on a utility's distribution system for the purpose of meeting local (substation level) peak loads and/or displacing the need to build additional (or upgrade) local distribution lines.
  • Distribution : The system of wires, switches, and transformers that serve neighborhoods and business, typically lower than 69,000 volts. A distribution system reduces or downgrades power from high-voltage transmission lines to a level that can be used in homes or businesses.
  • Distribution Line : This is a line or system for distributing power from a transmission system to a customer. It is any line operating at less than 69,000 volts.
  • Distribution System : That part of the electric system that delivers electric energy to consumers.
  • Distribution Utility (Disco) : The regulated electric utility entity that constructs and maintains the distribution wires connecting the transmission grid to the final customer. The Disco can also perform other services such as aggregating customers, purchasing power supply and transmission services for customers, billing customers and reimbursing suppliers, and offering other regulated or non-regulated energy services to retail customers. The "wires" and "customer service" functions provided by a distribution utility could be split so that two totally separate entities are used to supply these two types of distribution services.
  • Distributive Power : A packaged power unit located at the point of demand. While the technology is still evolving, examples include fuel cells and photovoltaic applications.
  • Diversity Exchange : Exchange of capacity or energy between systems that have peak loads occurring at different times.
  • Diversity Factor : The ratio of the sum of the non-coincident maximum demands of two or more loads to their coincident maximum demand for the same period.
  • Divestiture : The stripping off of one utility function from the others by selling (spinning-off) or in most other way changing the ownership of the assets related to that function. Most commonly associated with spinning-off generation assets so they are no longer owned by the shareholders that own the transmission and distribution assets.
  • DSM Measure Technology Program : Single devices, equipment, or rates as listed in the Reference Data. A demand-side management program is usually a group of DSM measures or technologies. However, a DSM program could in some cases be a single measure.
  • East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreeme : One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
  • Economic Dispatch : The distribution of total generation requirements among alternative sources for optimum system economy with consideration to both incremental generating costs and incremental transmission losses.
  • Economic Efficiency : A term that refers to the optimal production and consumption of goods and services. This generally occurs when prices of products and services reflect their marginal costs. Economic efficiency gains can be achieved through cost reduction, but it is better to think of the concept as actions that promote an increase in overall net value (which includes, but is not limited to, cost reductions).
  • Economy Energy : Energy produced and substituted for the traditional but less economical source of energy. Economic energy is usually sold without capacity and is priced at variable costs plus administration costs.
  • Efficiency Service Company : A company that offers to reduce a client's electricity consumption with the cost savings being split with the client.
  • Elasticity of Demand : The ratio of the percentage change in the quantity demanded of a good to the percentage change in price.
  • Electric Capacity : This refers to the ability of a power plant to produce a given output of electric energy at an instant in time, measured in kilowatts or megawatts (1,000 kilowatts).
  • Electric Distribution Company : The company that owns the power lines and equipment necessary to deliver purchased electricity to the customer.
  • Electric Plant (Physical) : A facility that contains all necessary equipment for converting energy into electricity.
  • Electric Power Supplier : Non-utility provider of electricity to a competitive marketplace.
  • Electric Rate Schedule : An electric rate and its contract terms accepted by a regulatory agency.
  • Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) : One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
  • Electric System : This term refers to all of the elements needed to distribute electrical power. It includes overhead and underground lines, poles, transformers, and other equipment.
  • Electric Utility : A legal entity that owns and/or operates facilities for the generation, transmission, distribution, or sale of electric energy.
  • Electric Utility Affiliate : This refers to a subsidiary or affiliate of an electric utility. Many utilities form affiliates to develop, own, and operate independent power facilities.
  • Electric Wholesale Generator : A power producer who sells power at cost to a customer.
  • Embedded Cost : A utility's average cost of doing business, which includes the costs of fuel, personnel, plants, poles, and wires.
  • End-Use : The specific purpose for which electric is consumed (I.e. heating, cooling, cooking, etc.).
  • Energy : This is broadly defined as the capability of doing work. In the electric power industry, energy is more narrowly defined as electricity supplied over time, express in kilowatt-hours.
  • Energy Charge : The amount of money owed by an electric customer for kilowatt-hours consumed.
  • Energy Consumption : The amount of energy consumed in the form in which it is acquired by the user. The term excludes electrical generation and distribution losses.
  • Energy Costs : Costs, such as for fuel, that are related to and vary with energy production or consumption.
  • Energy Deliveries : Energy generated by one system delivered to another system.
  • Energy Effects : Changes at the consumer meter that reflect activities undertaken in response to utility-administered programs.
  • Energy Efficiency : Programs that reduce consumption.
  • Energy Policy Act of 1992 : This act which was the first comprehensive federal energy law promulgated in more than a decade will help create a more competitive U.S. electric power marketplace by removing barriers to competition. By doing so, this act allows a broad spectrum of independent energy producers to compete in wholesale electric power markets. The act also made significant changes in the way power transmission grids are regulated. Specifically, the law gives the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission the authority to order electric utilities to provide access to their transmission facilities to other power suppliers.
  • Energy Receipts : Energy generated by one utility system that is received by another through transmission lines.
  • Energy Reserves : The portion of total energy resources that is known and can be recovered with presently available technology at an affordable cost.
  • Energy Resources : Everything that could be used by society as a source of energy.
  • Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) : ESCOs would be created in a deregulated, openly competitive electric marketplace. The Energy Services industry would be made up of power aggregators, power marketers and brokers, whose job is to match buyers and sellers, tailor both physical and financial instruments to suit the needs of particular customers, and to allow even the smallest residential customers to form buying groups or cooperatives that will give them the same bargaining power as large industrial customers.
  • Energy Source : A source that provides the power to be converted to electricity.
  • Energy Use : Energy consumed during a specified time period for a specific purpose (usually expressed in kWh).
  • Entitlement : Electric energy or generating capacity that a utility has a right to access under power exchange or sales agreements.
  • Entrance Cable/Service Entrance Conductor : This is the cable running down the side of a customer's house into the meter. This cable is owned by the customer and its maintenance is the customer's responsibility. Work on this cable should be performed only by a licensed electrician.
  • Environmental Attributes : Environmental attributes quantity the impact of various options on the environment. These attributes include particulate emissions, SO2 or Nox, and thermal discharge (air and water).
  • Escape Provision : A contract provision which allows a party, such as an electric customer, to get out of it. Usually, there is a penalty.
  • Exempt Wholesale Generator (EWG) : An EWG is a category of power producer defined by the Energy Policy Act of 1992. EWG's are independent power facilities that generate electricity for sale in wholesale power markets at market-based rates. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is responsible for determining EWG status.

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