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Glossary of Energy Terms

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.
Active Solar Energy System   A system designed to convert solar radiation into usable energy for space, water heating, or other uses by using a pump or fan to collect energy from the sun.
Actual Peak Load Reductions   Reduction in annual peak load by consumers who participate in a DSM program that reflect changes in demand.
Adjusted Electricity   A measurement of electricity that includes the approximate amount of energy used to generate electricity. To approximate the adjusted amount of electricity, the site-value of the electricity is multiplied by a factor of 3. This conversion factor of 3 is a rough approximation of the Btu value of raw fuels used to generate electricity in a steam-generation power plant.
Adjustment Bid   A bid that is used by the ISO to adjust supply or demand when congestion is anticipated.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)   Technology that includes metering systems capable of recording and reporting energy consumption and other measurements at more frequent intervals than the customer's billing cycle (generally monthly).
Adverse Hydro   Water conditions that limit the production of hydroelectric power.
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   Any marketer, broker, public agency, city, county, or special district that combines the loads of multiple end-use customers in negotiating the purchase of electricity, the transmission of electricity, and other related services for these customers.
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 that ensure reliability and support the transmission of electricity from generation sites to customer loads. Such services may include load regulation, spinning reserve, non-spinning reserve, replacement reserve, and voltage support.
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.
Apparent Power   The product of the voltage (in volts) and the current (in amperes). It comprises both active and reactive power.  It is measured in “volt-amperes” and often expressed in “kilovolt-amperes” (kVA) or “megavolt-amperes” (MVA)
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.
Automated Meter Reading   Automated Meter Reading is a term denoting electricity meters that collect data for billing purposes only and transmit this data one way, usually from the customer to the distribution utility.
Auxilary Generator   A generator at the electric plant site that provides power for the operation of the electrical generating equipment itself, including related demands such as plant lighting, during periods when the electric plant is not operating and power is unavailable from the grid.
Auxiliary Energy Subsystem   Equipment using conventional fuel to supplement the energy output of a solar system, such as an oil-fueled generator.
Auxiliary Equipment   Extra machinery needed to support the operation of a power plant or other large facility.
Available But Not Needed Capability   Net capability of main generating units that are operable but not considered necessary to carry load and cannot be connected to load within 30 minutes.
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 Capacity   The generating equipment normally operated to serve loads on an around-the-clock basis.
Base Load Plant   A plant, usually housing high-efficiency steam-electric units, which is normally operated to take all or part of the minimum load of a system, and which consequently produces electricity at an essentially constant rate and runs continuously.
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 Period   The period of time for which data used as the base of an index number, or other ratio, have been collected.
Base Rate   The portion of the total electric or gas rate covering the general costs of doing business unrelated to fuel expenses.
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.
Bilateral Agreement   A written statement signed by two parties that specifies the terms for exchanging energy.
Bilateral Contract   A direct contract between the power producer and user or broker outside of a centralized power pool.
Bilateral Electricity Contract   A direct contract between an electric power producer and either a user or broker outside of a centralized power pool or power exchange.
Bilateral Transaction   A transaction between two willing parties who negotiate an agreement.  For example, the sale of electricity from an Independent Power Producer (IPP) to utility customers and other large customers is often the result of a bilateral transaction.
BioFuels   Liquid fuels and blending components produced from biomass feedstocks, used primarily for transportation.
Biomass   Plant materials and animal waste used as a source of fuel.
Biomass Gas   A medium Btu gas containing methane and carbon dioxide, resulting from the action of microorganisms on organic materials such as a landfill.
Blackout   A power loss affecting many electricity consumers over a large geographical area for a significant period of time.
Boiler   A closed vessel in which water is converted to pressurized steam.
Bottoming Cycle   A waste-heat recovery boiler recaptures the unused energy and uses it to produce steam to drive a steam turbine generator to produce electricity.
British Thermal Unit   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.
Bulk Power Transactions   The wholesale sale, purchase, and interchange of electricity among electric utilities.
Bundled Utility Service (electric)   A means of operation whereby energy, transmission, and distribution services, as well as ancillary and retail services, are provided by one entity
Buy Through   An agreement between utility and customer to import power when the customer's service would otherwise be interrupted.
California Power Exchange   A State-chartered, non-profit corporation which provides day-ahead and hour-ahead markets for energy and ancillary services in accordance with the power exchange tariff.
California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)   The CPUC regulates privately owned electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water, railroad, rail transit, and passenger transportation companies, in addition to authorizing video franchises.
Call-Back   A provision included in some power sale contracts that allows the supplier to stop delivery if power is needed to meet certain other obligations.
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)   The amount of energy and capacity available for purchase from outside the system.
Capacity Charge   An assessment on the amount of capacity being purchased.
Capacity Factor   The ratio of the electrical energy produced by a generating unit for the period of time considered to the electrical energy that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during the same period.
Capacity Release   A secondary market for capacity that is contracted by a customer which is not using all of its capacity.
Capacity Transaction   The acquisition of a specified quantity of generating capacity from another utility for a specified period of time. The utility selling the power is obligated to make available to the buyer a specified quantity of power.
Capacity Utilization   Capacity utilization is computed by dividing production by productive capacity and multiplying by 100.
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
Circuit-Mile   The total length in miles of separate circuits regardless of the number of conductors used per circuit.
Class Rate Schedule   An electric rate schedule applicable to one or more specified classes of service, groups of businesses, or customer uses.
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.
Cogeneration System   A system using a common energy source to produce both electricity and steam for other uses, resulting in increased fuel efficiency.
Cogenerator   A facility that produces electricity and/or other energy for heating and cooling
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.
Combined Cycle Unit   An electric generating unit that consists of one or more combustion turbines and one or more boilers with a portion of the required energy input to the boiler(s) provided by the exhaust gas of the combustion turbine(s).
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant   A plant designed to produce both heat and electricity from a single heat source.
Combined Power Supplier   An entity that owns and or operates one or more independent power facilities that are not regulated under the traditional terms.  These suppliers are regulated and monitored by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
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.
Commingling   The mixing of one utility's generated supply of electric energy with another utility's generated supply within a transmission system.
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.
Conductivity (k)   The quantity of heat that will flow through one square foot of homogeneous material, one inch thick, in one hour, when there is a temperature difference of one degree Fahrenheit between its surfaces.
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.
Congestion   A condition that occurs when insufficient transfer capacity is available to implement all of the preferred schedules for electricity transmission simultaneously.
Connected Load   The sum of the continuous ratings or the capacities for a system, part of a system, or a customer's electric power consuming apparatus.
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
Contingency   Disconnection or separation, planned or forced, of one or more components from the electric system.
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.
Conventional Hydroelectric Plant   A plant in which all of the power is produced from natural streamflow as regulated by available storage
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.
Cooling Pond   A natural or man made body of water that is used for dissipating waste heat from power plants.
Cooling System   An equipment system that provides water to the condensers and includes water intakes and outlets; cooling towers; and ponds, pumps, and pipes.
Cooperative Electric Utility   A utility established to be owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services.
Cost   The cost of field development and plant construction and the equipment required for industry operations.
Cost-of-Service Regulation   A traditional electric utility regulation under which a utility is allowed to set rates based on the cost of providing service to customers and the right to earn a limited profit.
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)   A flow of electrons in an electrical conductor. The strength or rate of movement of the electricity is measured in amperes.
Current Transformers   These are used in conjunction with metering equipment.  They are designed to permit measurement of currents beyond the range of a meter.
Daily Peak   The maximum amount of energy or service demanded in one day from a company or utility service.
Day-Ahead Market   The forward market for the supply of electrical power at least 24 hours before delivery to Buyers and End-Use Customers.
Deferred Cost   An expenditure not recognized as a cost of operation of the period in which incurred, but carried forward to be written off in future periods.
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 Bid   A bid in the PX indicating a quantity of energy or an ancillary service that an eligible customer is willing to purchase and the maximum price that the customer is will to pay.
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 Indicator   A measure of the number of energy-consuming units, or the amount of service or output, for which energy inputs are required.
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 Response   Mechanisms used to encourage consumers to reduce demand, thereby reducing the peak demand for electricity.
Demand-Side Management (DSM)   Measures or programs undertaken by a utility designed to influence the level or timing of customer demands for energy in order to optimize the use of available supply resources, thus allowing suppliers to defer the purchase of additional generating capacity.
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 has 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 load-carrying ability of a station or system under adverse conditions for a specified period of time.
Dependable 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.
Derivatives   A specialized security or contract that has no intrinsic overall value, but whose value is based on an underlying security or factor as an index. In the energy industry, this could include options, futures, forwards, etc.
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 electricity or other energy sources directly from a supplier other than their traditional supplier.
Direct Control Load Management   The magnitude of customer demand that can be interrupted at the time of the seasonal peak load by direct control of the system operator by interrupting power supply to individual appliances or equipment on customer premises. 
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.
Distributed Generator   A generator that is located close to the particular load that it is intended to serve. 
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   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.
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 some other way changing the ownership of the assets related to that function.
Docket   A formal record of a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding. These records are available for inspection and copying by the public. Each individual case proceeding is identified by an assigned number.
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 Agreement   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 Generator   A facility that produces only electricity, commonly expressed in kilowatthours (kWh) or megawatt hours (MWh). Electric generators include electric utilities and independent power producers.
Electric Industry Reregulation   The design and implementation of regulatory practices to be applied to the remaining traditional utilities after the electric power industry has been restructured.
Electric Industry Restructuring   The process of replacing a monopolistic system of electric utility suppliers with competing sellers, allowing individual retail customers to choose their supplier but still receive delivery over the power lines of the local utility. It includes the reconfiguration of vertically-integrated electric utilities.
Electric Plant (Physical)   A facility that contains all necessary equipment for converting energy into electricity.
Electric Power   The rate at which electric energy is transferred. Electric power is measured by capacity and is commonly expressed in megawatts (MW).
Electric Power Grid   A system of synchronized power providers and consumers connected by transmission and distribution lines and operated by one or more control centers.
Electric Power Plant   A station containing prime movers, electric generators, and auxiliary equipment for converting mechanical, chemical, and/or fission energy into electric energy.
Electric Power Sector   An energy-consuming sector that consists of electricity only and combined heat and power (CHP) plants whose primary business is to sell electricity, or electricity and heat, to the public.
Electric Power Supplier   Non-utility provider of electricity to a competitive marketplace.
Electric Power System   An individual electric power entity--a company; an electric cooperative; a public electric supply corporation as the Tennessee Valley Authority; a similar Federal department or agency such as the Bonneville Power Administration; the Bureau of Reclamation or the Corps of Engineers; a municipally owned electric department offering service to the public; or an electric public utility district (a "PUD"); also a jointly owned electric supply project such as the Keystone.
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 System Loss   Total energy loss from all causes for an electric utility.
Electric System Reliability   The degree to which the performance of the elements of the electrical system results in power being delivered to consumers within accepted standards and in the amount desired.
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 Utility Divestiture   The separation of one electric utility function from others through the selling of the management and ownership of the assets related to that function. It is most commonly associated with selling generation assets so they are no longer owned or controlled by the shareholders that own the company's transmission and distribution assets.
Electric Utility Generator   A generator that is owned by an electric utility.
Electric Utility Sector   The electric utility sector consists of privately and publicly owned establishments that generate, transmit, distribute, or sell electricity primarily for use by the public and that meet the definition of an electric utility.
Electric Wholesale Generator   A power producer who sells power at cost to a customer.
Electric Zone   A portion of the grid controlled by the independent system operator.
Electrical System Energy Losses   The amount of energy lost during generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, including plant and unaccounted for use.
Electricity   A form of energy characterized by the presence and motion of elementary charged particles generated by friction, induction, or chemical change.
Electricity Broker   An entity that arranges the sale and purchase of electric energy, the transmission of electricity, and/or other related services between buyers and sellers but does not take title to any of the power sold.
Electricity Congestion   A condition that occurs when insufficient transmission capacity is available to implement all of the desired transactions simultaneously.
Electricity Demand   The rate at which energy is delivered to loads and scheduling points by generation, transmission, and distribution facilities.
Electricity Demand Bid   A bid into the power exchange indicating a quantity of energy or an ancillary service that an eligible customer is willing to purchase and, if relevant, the maximum price that the customer is willing to pay.
Electricity Exchange (Energy Exchange)   A type of energy exchange in which one electric utility agrees to supply electricity to another. Electricity received is returned in kind at a later time or is accumulated as an energy balance until the end of a specified period, after which settlement may be made by monetary payment.
Electricity Generation   The process of producing electric energy or the amount of electric energy produced by transforming other forms of energy, commonly expressed in kilowatthours (kWh) or megawatt hours (MWh).
Embedded Cost   A utility's average cost of doing business, which includes the costs of fuel, personnel, plants, poles, and wires.
Emergency   The failure of an electric power system to generate or deliver electric power as normally intended, resulting in the cutoff or curtailment of service.
Emergency Backup Generation   The use of electric generators only during interruptions of normal power supply.
Emergency Energy   Electric energy provided for a limited duration, intended only for use during emergency conditions.
Emission Standards   The maximum amount of a pollutant legally permitted to be discharged from a single source.
Emissions   Anthropogenic releases of gases to the atmosphere. In the context of global climate change, they consist of radiatively important greenhouse gases (e.g., the release of carbon dioxide during fuel combustion).
Emissions Coefficient   A unique value for scaling emissions to activity data in terms of a standard rate of emissions per unit of activity (e.g., pounds of carbon dioxide emitted per Btu of fossil fuel consumed).
End-Use   The specific purpose for which electric is consumed (I.e.  heating, cooling, cooking,
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 Acronyms   For a complete list of energy acronyms, go to
Energy Charge   That portion of the charge for electric service based upon the electric energy (kWh) consumed or billed.
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 electric utility system and delivered to another system through one or more transmission lines.
Energy Demand   The requirement for energy as an input to provide products and/or services.
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 Resources Program Account - ERPA   The California state law that requires electric utility companies to gather a state energy surcharge per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed by a customer. The collected funds are used in the operation of the California Energy Commission.
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).
Energy-Use Sectors   A group of major energy-consuming components of U.S. society developed to measure and analyze energy use.
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).
Environmental Impact Statement   A report that documents the information required to evaluate the environmental impact of a project. It informs decision makers and the public of the reasonable alternatives that would avoid or minimize adverse impacts or enhance the quality of the environment.
Escape Provision   A contract provision which allows a party, such as an electric customer, to get out of it.  Usually, there is a penalty.
Exchange   Agreements between utilities providing for purchase, sale and trading of power.
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.
Exports (Electric Utility)   Power capacity or energy that a utility is required by contract to supply outside its own service area. It is not covered by general rate schedules.
Extra High Voltage - EHV   Voltage levels higher than those normally used on transmission lines (usually 345,000 volts or higher).
Facility    A location where electric energy is generated from energy sources.
Feasibility Factor   A factor used to adjust potential energy savings to account for cases where it is impractical to install new equipment.  For example, certain types of fluorescent lighting require room temperature conditions.  They are not feasible for outdoor or unheated space applications.  Some commercial applications, such as color-coded warehouses, require good color rendition, so color distortions could also make certain types of lighting infeasible.  The feasibility factor equals 100 percent minus the percent of infeasible applications.
Federal Electric Utility   A utility that is either owned or financed by the Federal Government.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)   The regulatory agency, in the U.S.  Department of Energy, that has jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale rates, licensing, etc.
Federal Power Act   An act that includes the regulation of interstate transmission of electrical energy and rates.  This act is administered by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Feeder   This is an electrical supply line, either overhead or underground, which runs from the substation, through various paths, ending with the transformers.  It is a distribution circuit, usually less that 69,000 volts, which carries power from the substation.
Feeder Line   An electrical line that extends radially from a distribution substation to supply electrical energy within an electric area or sub-area.
Feeder Lockout   This happens when a main circuit is interrupted at the substation by automatic protective devices and cannot be resorted until crews investigate.  This indicates a serious problem on the circuit, usually equipment failure or a broken conductor.
Financial Attributes   Financial attributes measure the financial health of the company.  Utility management, security analysts, investors, and regulators use these attributes to evaluate a utility's performance against its historic records and industry averages.  Key financial attributes include capital requirements, earnings per share of common equity, capitalization ratios, and interest coverage ratios.
Firm Energy   Power or power-producing capacity covered by a commitment to be available at all times during the period.
Firm Power   Power or power-producing capacity, intended to be available at all times during the period covered by a guaranteed commitment to deliver, even under adverse conditions.
Firm Transmission Service   Service that is reserved for at least one year.
Fixed Costs   The annual Costs associated with the ownership of property such as depreciation, taxes, insurance, and the cost of capital.
Flat Rate   A fixed charge for goods and services that does not vary with changes in the amount used, volume consumed, or units purchased.
Flexible Load Shape   The ability to modify your utility's load shape on short notice.  When resources are insufficient to meet load requirements, load shifting or peak clipping may be appropriate.
Flexible Retail PoolCo   This provides a model for the restructured electric industry that features an Independent System Operator (ISO) operating in parallel with a commercial Power Exchange, which allows end-use customers to buy from a spot market or "pool" or to contract directly with a particular supplier.
Forced Outage   The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility for emergency reasons or a condition in which the generating equipment is unavailable for load due to unanticipated breakdown.
Fossil Fuel   Fuel, such as oil, coal, natural gas and their by-products, formed in the earth from remains of living-cell organisms.
Franchise Area    This is the territory in which a utility system supplies service to customers.
Franchise Monopoly   Under this system, a utility has the right to be the sole or principal supplier of electric power at a retail level in a specific region or area knows as the franchise service territory.  In return for its sole supplier privilege, the utility has an obligation to serve anyone who requests service, and agrees to be accountable to state and/or federal regulatory bodies that regulate the utility's performance, accounting procedures, pricing structures, and plant planning and siting.
Frequency   The number of cycles which an alternating current moves through in each second. Standard electric utility frequency in the U.S. is 60 cycles per second, or 60 Hertz.
Fuel   A substance that can be burned to product heat.
Fuel Adjustment   A clause in the rate schedule that provides for adjustment of the amount of a bill as the cost of fuel varies from a specified base amount per unit.  The specified base amount is determined when rates are approved.  This item is shown on all customer bills and indicates the current rate for any adjustment in the cost of fuel used by the company.  It can be a credit or a debit.  The fuel adjustment lags two months behind the actual price of the fuel.  For example, the cost of oil in January will be reflected in March's fuel adjustment.
Fuel Cell   An advanced energy conversion device that converts fuels to power very efficiently and with minimal environmental impact.
Fuel Diversity   A utility or power supplier that has power stations using several different types of fuel.  Avoiding over-reliance on one fuel helps avoid the risk of supply interruption and price spikes.
Fuel Escalation   The annual rate of increase of the cost of fuel, including inflation and real escalation, resulting from resource depletion, increased demand, etc.
Fuel Expenses   Costs associated with the generation of electricity.
Fuel-Use Attributes   Fuel-use attributes are important to utilities concerned about reliance on a single fuel or reduction in usage of a particular fuel.  These attributes include annual fuel consumption by type and percent energy generation by fuel.
Full-Forced Outage   Net capability of generating units unavailable for load for emergencies.
Functional Unbundling   The functional separation of generation, transmission, and distribution transactions within a vertically integrated utility without selling of "spinning off" these functions into separate companies.
Generating Facility   An existing or planned location or site at which electricity is or will be produced.
Generating Station   A station that consists of electric generators and auxiliary equipment for converting mechanical, chemical, or nuclear energy into electric energy.
Generating Unit   Combination of connected prime movers that produce electric power.
Generation   The process of producing electric energy by transforming other forms of energy; also, the amount of electric energy produced, expressed in kilowatthours.
Generation Charges    Part of the basic service charges on every customer's bill for producing electricity.  Generation service is competitively priced and is not regulated by Public Utility Commissions.  This charge depends on the terms of service between the customer and the supplier.
Generation Company   An entity that owns or operates generating plants. The generation company may own the generation plants or interact with the short-term market on behalf of plant owners.
Generation Dispatch & Control   Aggregation and dispatching (sending off to some location) generation from various generating facilities, providing backup and reliability services.
Generator   Machine used to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Generator Capacity   The maximum output, commonly expressed in megawatts (MW), that generating equipment can supply to system load, adjusted for ambient conditions.
Generator Nameplate Capacity   The maximum rated output of a generator under specific conditions designated by the manufacturer.
Geothermal   An electric generating station in which steam tapped from the earth drives a turbine-generator, generating electricity.
Geothermal Energy   Hot water or steam extracted from geothermal reservoirs in the earth's crust.
Geothermal Plant   A plant in which the prime mover is a steam turbine. The turbine is driven either by steam produced from hot water or by natural steam that derives its energy from heat found in rock
Geyser   A special type of thermal spring that periodically ejects water with great force.
Gigawatt   This is a unit of electric power equal to one billion watts, or one thousand megawatts - enough power to supply the needs of a medium-sized city.
Global Climate Change   Gradual changing of global climates due to the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere.
Global Warming   An increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth.
Global Warming Potential   An index used to compare the relative radiative forcing of different gases without directly calculating the changes in atmospheric concentrations. GWPs are calculated as the ratio of the radiative forcing that would result from the emission of one kilogram of a greenhouse gas to that from the emission of one kilogram of carbon dioxide over a fixed period of time, such as 100 years.
Good Utility Practice   Methods and practices that are approved by a significant portion of the industry.
Green Pricing   In the case of renewable electricity, green pricing represents a market solution to the various problems associated with regulatory valuation of the nonmarket benefits of renewables.
Greenfield Plant   This refers to a new electric power generating facility built from the ground up.
Grid   Matrix of an electrical distribution system.
Gross Generation   The total amount of electric energy produced by generating units and measured at the generating terminal in kilowatthours (kWh) or megawatt hours (MWh).
Heat Rate   A measure of generating station thermal efficiency and generally expressed as Btu per net kWh.  The heat rate is computed by dividing the total Btu content of the fuel burned (or of heat released from a nuclear reactor) by the resulting net kWh generated.
High Heat Value (HHV)   The high or gross heat content of the fuel with the heat of vaporization included; the water vapor is assumed to be in a liquid state.
Hour-Ahead Market   The electric power futures market that is established 1-hour before delivery to End-Use Customers.
Hourly Metering   Tracking or recording a customer's consumption during specific periods of time that can be tied to the price of energy.
Hourly Non-Firm Transmission Service   Transmission scheduled and paid for on an as-available basis and subject to interruption.
Hydroelectric   An electric generating station in which a water wheel is driven by falling water, thus generating electricity.
Imbalance Energy   The real-time change in generation output or demand requested by the ISO to maintain reliability of the ISO-controlled grid.
Imports   Power capacity or energy obtained by one utility from others under purchase or exchange agreement.
Incentive   A rebate or some form of payment used to encourage people to implement a given demand-side management (DSM) technology.  The incentive is calculated as the amount of the technology costs that must be paid by the utility for the participant test to equal one and achieve the desired benefit/cost ratio to drive the market.
Incremental Effects   Annual effects in energy use and peak load caused by new participants in existing DSM programs and all participants in new DSM programs during a given year.
Incremental Energy Costs   The additional cost of producing and/or transmitting electric energy above some previously determined base cost.
Independent Power Producers (IPPs)   A type of competitive power supplier.  The term is synonymous with merchant generator, cogenerator, non-utility generator, private power producer, Qualifying Facility (QF) and exempt wholesale generator.
Independent System Operator (ISO)   An ISO is a non-profit entity established by AB-1890 to operate the transmission system in a safe, reliable manner; one form of a Regional Transmission Organization.
Indigenous Energy Resources   Power and heat derived from sources that are native to California. Examples are geothermal, hydro, biomass, solar and wind energy.
Indirect Utility Cost   Any cost that is not identified with a specific DSM category such as Administration, Marketing, etc.
Installed Capacity   The total generating units' capacities in a power plant or on a total utility system.  The capacity can be based on the nameplate rating or the net dependable capacity.
Intangible Transition Charge   The amounts on all customer bills, collected by the electric utility to recover transition bond expenses.
Integrated Resource Plan (IRP)   A comprehensive and systematic blueprint developed by a supplier, distributor, or end-user of energy who has evaluated demand-side and supply-side resource options and economic parameters and determined which options will best help them meet their energy goals at the lowest reasonable energy, environmental, and societal cost.
Interchange (Electric Utility)   The agreement among interconnected utilities under which they buy, sell and exchange power among themselves.  This can, for example, provide for economy energy and emergency power supplies.
Interconnected System   A system consisting of two or more individual power systems normally operating with connecting tie lines.
Interconnection (Electric Utility)   In a competitive power producer context, the point at which the transmission lines carrying the electricity output of a power facility connects with the utility grid, usually the local utilities nearest substation.
Interdepartmental Service (Electric)   Amounts charged by the electric department at specified rates for electricity supplied by other utility departments.
Intermediate Load (electric system)   The range from base load to a point between base load and peak. This point may be the midpoint, a percent of the peak load, or the load over a specified time period.
Intermittent Resources    Resources whose output depends on some other factory that cannot be controlled by the utility e.g.  wind or sun.  Thus, the capacity varies by day and by hour.
Interruptible Loads    Loads that can be interrupted in the event of capacity or energy deficiencies on the supplying system.
Interruptible Power   This refers to power whose delivery can be curtailed by the supplier, usually under some sort of agreement by the parties involved.
Interruptible Rates   These provide power at a lower rate to large industrial and commercial customers who agree to reduce their electricity use in times of peak demand.
Intertie   A transmission line that links two or more regional electric power systems.
Interval Metering   The process by which power consumption is measured at regular intervals in order that specific load usage for a set period of time can be determined
Investor-Owned Utility (IOU)   An IOU is a form of electric utility owned by a group of investors.  Shares of IOUs are traded on public stock markets.
Joint Implementation (JI)   Agreements made between two or more nations under the auspices of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) whereby a developed country can receive "emissions reduction units" when it helps to finance projects that reduce net emissions in another developed country (including countries with economies in transition).
Jurisdictional   Utilities, ratepayers and regulators (and impacts on those parties) that are subject to state regulation in a state considering restructuring.
Jurisdictional Utilities   Utilities regulated by public laws.
Killowatt-Hour (kWh)   The basic unit of electric energy equal to one kilowatt of power supplied to or taken from an electric circuit for one hour.
Kilovolt ampere (kVA)   The practical unit of apparent power, which is 1,000 volt-amperes.  The volt-amperes of an electric circuit are the mathematical products of the volts and amperes of the client.
Kilowatt (kW)   The electrical unit of power equal to 1,000 watts
Landfill Gas   Gas that is generated by decomposition of organic material at landfill disposal sites.
Lay Up   Another term for cold storage, and describes the status of equipment (such as power plants) that have been placed in storage for later use.
Layoff   Excess capacity of a generating unit, available for a limited time under the terms of a sales agreement
Levelized   A lump sum that has been divided into equal amounts over period of time.
Levelized Cost   The present value of the total cost of building and operating a generating plant over its economic life, converted to equal annual payments. Costs are levelized in real dollars (i.e., adjusted to remove the impact of inflation).
Leverage Ratio   A measure that indicates the financial ability to meet debt service requirements and increase the value of the investment to the stockholders. (i.e. the ratio of total debt to total assets).
Lift   The force that pulls a wind turbine blade, as opposed to drag.
Lightning Arrestor   This protects lines, transformers, and equipment from lightning surges by carrying the charge to the ground.  Lightning arrestors serve the same purpose on a line as a safety valve on a steam boiler.
Line   A line is a system of poles, conduits, wires, cables, transformers, fixtures, and accessory equipment used for the distribution of electricity to the public.
Line Loss   Electric energy lost because of the transmission of electricity. Much of the loss is thermal in nature.
Load   An end-use device or an end-use customer that receives power from the electric system.  Load should not be confused with Demand, which is the measure of power that a Load receives or requires.
Load (electric)   The amount of electric power delivered or required at any specific point or points on a system.
Load Building   Programs aimed at increasing use of existing electric equipment or the addition of new equipment.
Load Centers   A limited geographical area where large amounts of power are used by customers.
Load Control Program   A program in which the utility company offers a lower rate in return for having permission to turn off the air conditioner or water heater for short periods of time by remote control, allowing the utility to reduce peak demand.
Load Curve   The relationship of power supplied to the time of occurrence. Illustrates the varying magnitude of the load during the period covered.
Load Diversity   The condition that exists when the peak demands of a variety of electric customers occur at different times.  This is the objective of "load molding" strategies, ultimately curbing the total capacity requirements of a utility.
Load Duration Curve   A curve that displays load values on the horizontal axis in descending order of magnitude against percent of time (on the vertical axis) the load values are exceeded.
Load Factor   The ratio of the average load to peak load during a specified time interval.
Load Following   Regulation of the power output of electric generators within a prescribed area in response to changes in system frequency, tieline loading, or the relation of these to each other, so as to maintain the scheduled system frequency and/or established interchange with other areas within predetermined limits.
Load Forecast    Estimate of electrical demand or energy consumption at some future time.
Load Leveling   Any load control technique that dampens the cyclical daily load flows and increases baseload generation. Peak load pricing and time-of-day charges are two techniques that electric utilities use to reduce peak load and to maximize efficient generation of electricity.
Load Loss (3 hours)   Any significant incident on an electric utility system that results in a continuous outage of 3 hours or longer to more than 50,000 customers or more than one half of the total customers being served immediately prior to the incident, whichever is less.
Load Management   Influencing the level and shape of demand for electrical energy so that demand conforms to present supply situations and long-run objectives and constraints.
Load Management Technique   Utility demand management practices directed at reducing the maximum kilowatt demand on an electric system and/or modifying the coincident peak demand of one or more classes of service to better meet the utility system capability for a given hour, day, week, season, or year.
Load on Equipment   One hundred percent load is the maximum continuous net output of the unit at normal operating conditions during the annual peak load month.
Load Profile   Information on a customer's usage over a period of time, sometimes shown as a graph
Load Ratio Share   Ratio of a transmission customer's network load to the provider's total load calculated on a rolling twelve-month basis.
Load Reduction Request   The issuance of any public or private request to any customer or the general public to reduce the use of electricity for the reasons of maintaining the continuity of service of the reporting entity's bulk electric power supply system.
Load Serving Entities (LSE)   Utilities, marketers or aggregators who provide electric power to a large number of end-use customers.
Load Shape   A method of describing peak load demand and the relationship of power supplied to the time of occurrence.
Load Shedding   Intentional action by a utility that results in the reduction of more than 100 megawatts (MW) of firm customer load for reasons of maintaining the continuity of service of the reporting entity's bulk electric power supply system.
Load Shifting   A load shape objective that involves moving loads from peak periods to off-peak periods.  If a utility does not expect to meet its demand during peak periods but has excess capacity in the off-peak periods, this strategy might be considered.
Local Publicly Owned Electric Utilities   A municipal corporation, a municipal utility district, an irrigation district, or a joint power authority (which can include one or more of the agencies mentioned above) furnishing electric services over its own transmission facilities, or furnishing electric service over its own or its members' distribution system.
Long-Term Fixed   A bilateral transaction often for an extended period of time at a set amount.  For example, these contracts may be 1-year, 5-years, 10-years, and could be a peak (hours ending 7-22) or off-peak (hours ending 1-6, 23 & 24) hours or a full day contract.
Loop Flow   The difference between scheduled and actual power flows on electric transmission lines.
Loss of Load Probability (LOLP)   A measure of the probability that system demand will exceed capacity during a given period; this period is often expressed as the expected number of days per year over a long period, frequently taken as ten consecutive years.  An example of LOLP is one day in ten years.
Losses   The general term applied to energy (kWh) and capacity (kW) lost in the operation of an electric system.  Losses occur principally as energy transformations from kWh to waste-heat in electrical conductors and apparatus.  This waste-heat in electrical conductors and apparatus.  This power expended without accomplishing useful work occurs primarily on the transmission and distribution system.
Low Heat Value (LHV)    The low or net heat of combustion for a fuel assumes that all products of combustion, including water vapor, are in a gaseous state.
Magnetic Hydro Dynamics   Producing electricity by moving liquids or gases through a magnetic field.
Major Electric Utility   A utility that, in the last 3 consecutive calendar years, had sales or transmission services exceeding one of the following (1) 1 million megawatt hours of total annual sales; (2) 100 megawatt hours of annual sales for resale; (3) 500 megawatt hours of annual gross interchange out; or (4) 500 megawatt hours of wheeling (deliveries plus losses) for others.
Marginal Cost   The sum that has to be paid the next increment of product of service.  The marginal cost of electricity is the price to be paid for kilowatt-hours above and beyond those supplied by presently available generating capacity.
Market Clearing Price   The price at which supply equals demand for the Day-ahead or hour-ahead markets.
Market Eligibility   The percentage of equipment still available for retrofit to the demand-side management measure.  For example, if 20 percent of customers where demand controllers are feasible have already purchased demand controllers, then the eligible market eligibility factor is 80 percent.
Market Participant   An entity, including a Scheduling Coordinator, who participates in the energy marketplace through the buying, selling, transmission, or distribution of energy or ancillary services into, out of, or through the ISO-controlled grid.
Market-Based Price   A price set by the mutual decisions of many buyers and sellers in a competitive market.
Market-Based Pricing   Prices of electric power or other forms of energy determined in an open market system of supply and demand under which prices are set solely by agreement as to what buyers will pay and sellers will accept.
Marketer   An agent for generation projects who markets power on behalf of the generator. The marketer may also arrange transmission, firming or other ancillary services as needed.
Master File   A file maintained by the PX for use in bidding and bid evaluation protocol that contains information on generating units, loads, and other resources eligible to bid into the PX.
Maximum Deliverability   The maximum deliverability rate (Mcf/d) estimated at the present developed maximum operating capacity.
Maximum Demand   Highest demand of the load occurring within a specified period of time.
Maximum Generator Nameplate Capacity    The maximum rated output of a generator, prime mover, or other electric power production equipment under specific conditions designated by the manufacturer.
Maximum Hourly Load   This is determined by the interval in which the 60-minute integrated demand is the greatest.
Measure Life   The length of time that the demand-side management technology will last before requiring replacement.  The measure life equals the technology life.  These terms are used synonymously.
Megawatt   One million watts.
Megawatt-hour   One thousand kilowatt-hours or one million-watt hours.
Member System   An eligible customer operating as part of an agency composed exclusively of other eligible customers.
Meter Constant   This represents the ratio between instrument transformers (CTs, PTs) and the meter.  It is used as a multiplier of the difference between meter readings to determine the kWh used.  The meter constant is also used as a multiplier of the demand reading to determine the actual demand.
Mid-America Interconnected Network (MAIN)   One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
Mid-Atlantic Area Council (MAAC)   One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP)   One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
Mill   One mill is equal to one-thousandth of a dollar.
Minimum Generation   The lowest level of operation of oil-fired and gas-fired units at which they can be currently available to meet peak load needs.
Mobile Substation   This is a movable substation which is used when a substation is not working or additional power is needed.
Monopoly   The only seller with control over market sales.
Monopsony   The only buyer with control over market purchases.
Municipal Electric Utility   A power utility system owned and operated by a local jurisdiction.
Municipal Solid Waste   A Biomass resource that can be used to produce energy by the process of incineration.
Municipalization   The process by which a municipal entity assumes responsibility for supplying utility service to its constituents.  In supplying electricity, the municipality may generate and distribute the power or purchase wholesale power from other generators and distribute it.
Must Take Resources   Generation resources including QF generating units, nuclear units, and pre-existing power purchase contracts with minimum energy take requirements that are dispatched by the ISO before PX or Direct Access Generation.
Native Load Customers   Wholesale and retail customers that the transmission provider constructs and operates a system to provide electric needs.
Net Capability   Maximum load carrying ability of the equipment,
Net Generation   Gross generation minus the energy consumed at the generating station for its use.
Net Power   Remaining amounts of unclaimed supplies.
Network   A system of transmission and distribution lines cross-connected and operated to permit multiple power supply to any principal point on it.  A network is usually installed in urban areas.  It makes it possible to restore power quickly to customers by switching them to another circuit.
Network Customers   Customers receiving service under the terms of the Transmission Provider's Network Integration Tariff.
Network Integration Transmission Service   A service that allows the customer to integrate, plan, dispatch, and regulate its Network Resources.
Network Load   Designated load of a transmission customer.
New England Power Exchange (NEPEX)   This is the operating arm of the New England Power Pool.
New England Power Pool (NEPOOL)   A regional consortium of 98 utilities who coordinate, monitor and direct the operations of major generation and transmission facilities in New England.
Non-basic Service   Any category of service not related to basic services (generation, transmission, distribution and transition charges).
Non-bypassable Wires Charge   A 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.
Noncoincidental Peak Load   The sum of two or more peak loads on individual systems, not occurring in the same time period.
Non-Firm Power   Power supplied or available under terms with limited or no assured availability.
Non-Firm Transmission Service   Point-to-point service reserved and/or scheduled on an as-available basis.
Non-Jurisdictional   Utilities, ratepayers and regulators (and impacts on those parties) other than state-regulated utilities, regulators and ratepayers in a jurisdiction considering restructuring.  Examples include utilities in adjacent state and non-state regulated, publicly owned utilities within restructuring states.
Non-utility Generator   Independent power producers, exempt wholesale generators and other companies in the power generation business that have been exempted from traditional utility regulation.
Nonutility Power Producer   A legal entity that owns electric generating capacity, but it not an electric utility.
North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC)   Council formed by electric utility industry in 1968 to promote the reliability and adequacy of bulk power supply in utility systems of North America.  NERC consists of ten regional reliability councils: Alaskan System Coordination Council (ASCC); East Central Area Reliability Coordination Agreement (ECAR); Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT); Mid-America Interconnected Network (MAIN); Mid-Atlantic Area Council (MAAC); Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP); Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC); Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (SERC); Southwest Power Pool (SPP); Western systems Coordinating Council (WSCC).
North/South   Technology factors are provided for North and South because some equipment and technologies are temperature sensitive.  A North designation generally represents a utility that experiences cold winters and has average annual heating degree days of at least 5,000 (based on a 65 degree base).  A South designation has relatively mild winters but a significant saturation of air conditioning.  This geographical designation is very general, but it is intended to separate out areas that are warmer than others.
Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC)   One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking   A designation used by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for some of its dockets.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission   This is the federal agency responsible for the licensing of nuclear facilities.  They oversee these facilities and make sure regulations and standards are followed.
NUG   A non-utility generator.
Obligation to Serve   A regulatory obligation of a utility to provide electric planning services for all customers and to assure adequate supply of electricity now and in the future.
Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion   The process or technologies for producing energy by harnessing the temperature differences (thermal gradients) between ocean surface waters and that of ocean depths. Warm surface water is pumped through an evaporator containing a working fluid in a closed Rankine-cycle system. The vaporized fluid drives a turbine/generator.
Off Peak   Period of relatively low system demand.
Ohm   A measure of the electrical resistance of a material equal to the resistance of a circuit in which the potential difference of 1 volt produces a current of 1 ampere.
Ohm's Law   In a given electrical circuit, the amount of current in amperes is equal to the pressure in volts divided by the resistance, in ohms. The principle is named after the German scientist Georg Simon Ohm.
On-Peak Energy    Energy supplied during periods of relatively high system demand as specified by the supplier.
Open Access   Access to the electric transmission system by any legitimate market participant, including utilities, independent power producers, cogenerators, and power marketers.
Operation and Maintenance Expenses    Costs that relate to the normal operating, maintenance and administrative activities of a business.
Options   Options are potential decisions over which a utility has a reasonable degree of control.  One option might be to build a new coal-fired power plant; another option might be to refurbish an old power plant.  Each option has one of more values to be specified.  A specified option has a specified value such as year of implementation or size of plant.  A plan is a set of specified options.  A plan contains a set of decisions or commitments the utility can make, given the options available.
Outage   The period during which a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility is out of service.
Overload   The flow of electricity into conductors or devices when normal load exceeds capacity.
Parallel Path Flow   This refers to the flow of electric power on an electric system's transmission facilities resulting from scheduled electric power transfers between two other electric systems.  (Electric power flows on all interconnected parallel paths in amounts inversely proportional to each path's resistance.)
Partial Load   An electrical demand that uses only part of the electrical power available.
Payback   The length of time it takes for the savings received to cover the cost of implementing the technology.
Peak   Periods of relatively high system demands.
Peak Clipping   Peak clipping reduces a utility's system peak, reducing the need to operate peaking units with relatively high fuel costs.  Peak clipping is typically pursued only for the days the system peak is likely to occur, and the resources
Peak Day Withdrawal   The maximum daily withdrawal rate (Mcf/d) experienced during the reporting period.
Peak Demand   The maximum load during a specified period of time.
Peak Kilowatt   One thousand peak watts.
Peak Load   The maximum load during a specified period of time.
Peak Load Month   The month of greatest plant electrical generation during the winter heating season (Oct-Mar) and summer cooling season (Apr-Sept), respectively.
Peak Load Plant   A plant usually housing old, low-efficiency steam units, gas turbines, diesels, or pumped-storage hydroelectric equipment normally used during the peak-load periods.
Peak Load Power Plant   A power generating station that is normally used to produce extra electricity during peak load times.
Peak Megawatt   One million peak watts.
Peak Watt   A manufacturer's unit indicating the amount of power a photovoltaic cell or module will produce at standard test conditions (normally 1,000 watts per square meter and 25 degrees Celsius).
Peaking Capacity   Capacity of generating equipment normally reserved for operation during the hours of highest daily, weekly, or seasonal loads.
Peaking Unit   A power generator used by a utility to produce extra electricity during peak load times.
Performance Attributes   Performance attributes measure the quality of service and operating efficiency.  Loss of load probability, expected energy curtailment, and reserve margin are all performance attributes.
Performance Based Ratemaking (PBR)   Regulated rates based on performances objectives, not actual costs.
Period of Analysis   The number of years considered in the study.
Phase   One of the characteristics of the electric service supplied or the equipment used.  Practically all residential customers have single-phase service.  Large commercial and industrial customers have either two-phase or three-phase service.
Photovoltaic   A technology that directly converts light into electricity.  The process uses modules, which are usually made up of many cells (thin layers of semiconductors).
Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal   Energy (as used at electric utilities) Energy radiated by the sun as electromagnetic waves (electromagnetic radiation) that is converted at electric utilities into electricity by means of solar (photovoltaic) cells or concentrating (focusing) collectors.
Photovoltaic Cell   An electronic device consisting of layers of semiconductor materials fabricated to form a junction (adjacent layers of materials with different electronic characteristics) and electrical contacts and being capable of converting incident light directly into electricity (direct current).
Photovoltaic Cell Net Shipments   Represents the difference between photovoltaic cell shipments and photovoltaic cell purchases.
Photovoltaic Module   An integrated assembly of interconnected photovoltaic cells designed to deliver a selected level of working voltage and current at its output terminals, packaged for protection against environmental degradation, and suited for incorporation in photovoltaic power systems.
Pilot   A utility program offering a limited group of customers their choice of certified or licensed energy suppliers on a one year minimum trial basis.
Planned Generator   Proposal to install generating equipment at an existing or planned facility or site.
Plant   A facility containing prime movers, electric generators, and other equipment for producing electric energy.
Point(s) of Delivery   Point(s) for interconnection on the Transmission Provider's System where capacity and/or energy are made available to the end user.
Point(s) of Receipt   Point(s) of connection to the transmission system where capacity and/or energy will be made available to the transmission providers.
Point-to-Point Transmission Service   Reservation and/or transmission of energy from point(s) of receipt to point(s) of delivery.
PoolCo   This will serve as a model for the restructured electric industry that combines the functions of an ISO and a Power Exchange.  In its least flexible form, a PoolCo also prohibits direct transactions between buyers and sellers (I.e.  all producers selling to the Pool and all consumers buy from the Pool.)
Portfolio Management   The functions of resource planning and procurement under a traditional utility structure.
Power   The rate at which energy is transferred
Power Broker   An entity authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to engage in market-based wholesale electricity transactions.
Power Exchange (PX)   An independent agency responsible for conducting an auction for the generators seeking to sell energy and for loads, which are not otherwise being served by bilateral contracts.  The Power Exchange will be responsible for scheduling generation in its scheduling (e.g., day-ahead, hour-ahead) markets, for determining hourly market clearing prices for its market, and for settlement and billing for suppliers and Utility Distribution Companies (UDCs) using its market.
Power Grid   A network of power lines and associated equipment used to transmit and distribute electricity over a geographic area.
Power Marketers   Entities engaged in buying and selling electricity.
Power Plant   A generating station where electricity is produced.
Power Pool   Two or more interconnected electric systems that agree to coordinate operations.
Power Purchase Agreement   This refers to a contract entered into by an independent power producer and an electric utility.  The power purchase agreement specifies the terms and conditions under which electric power will be generated and purchased.  Power purchase agreements require the independent power producer to supply power at a specified price for the life of the agreement.  While power purchase agreements vary, their common elements include: specification of the size and operating parameters of the generation facility; milestones in-service dates, and contract terms; price mechanisms; service and performance obligations; dispatchability options; and conditions of termination or default.
Preferred Schedule   The initial schedule produced by a Scheduling Coordinator that represents its preferred mix of generation to meet demand.
Present Value   The amount of money required to secure a specified cash flow on a future date at a given rate of return.
Present Worth Factor   The adjustment factor that discounts a sum of future dollars back to the current year.
Price Cap    Situation where a price has been determined and fixed.
Primary Circuit   This is the distribution circuit (less than 69,000 volts) on the high voltage side of the transformer.
Primary Energy   Energy in the form that it is first accounted for in a statistical energy balance, before any transformation to secondary or tertiary forms of energy. 
Prime Mover   A device such as an engine or water wheel that drives an electric generator.
Production   The act or process of generating electric energy.
Production Costing   A method used to determine the most economical way to operate a given system of power resources under given load conditions.
Program Life   The length of time that the utility will be actively involved in promoting a demand-side management program (I.e.  financing the marketing activities and the incentives of the program.)
Program Maturity    The time it takes for the full benefits of a demand-side management measure or program to be realized.
Project Financing   This is the most commonly used method to finance the construction of independent power facilities.  Typically, the developer pledges the value of the plant and part or all of its expected revenues as collateral to secure financing from private lenders.
Prorated Bills   The computation of a bill based upon proportionate distribution of the applicable billing schedule.  A prorated bill is less than 25 days ore more than 38 days.
Provider of Last Resort   A legal obligation (traditionally given to utilities) to provide service to a customer where competitors have decided they do not want that customer's business.
Public Authority Service to Public Authorities   Electric services supplied to public entities such as municipalities or divisions of state or federal governments.
Public Utility   A utility operated by a non-profit governmental or quasi-governmental entity.  Public utilities include municipal utilities, cooperatives, and power marketing authorities.
Public Utility District   Municipal corporations organized to provide electric service to both incorporated cities and towns and unincorporated rural areas.
Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA)   PUHCA was enacted by the U.S.  Congress to regulate the large interstate holding companies that monopolized the electric utility industry during the early 20th century.
Public Utility Regulators Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA)   PURPA promotes energy efficiency and increased use of alternative energy sources by encouraging companies to build cogeneration facilities and renewable energy projects using wind power, solar energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, biomass, and waste fuels.
Publicly Owned Utilities   Municipal utilities (utilities owned by branches of local government) and/or co-ops (utilities owned cooperatively by customers).
Pumped Storage   A facility designed to generate electric power during peak load periods with a hydroelectric plant using water pumped into a storage reservoir during off-peak periods.
Purchased Power Adjustment   A clause in a rate schedule that provides for adjustments to a bill when energy from another system is acquired.
Qualifying Facilities   An individual (or corporation) who owns and/or operates a generation facility, but is not primarily engaged in the generation or sale of electric power.  QFs are either renewable power production or cogeneration facilities that qualify under Section 201 of Public Utility Regulators Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA).
Ramp Rate   The rate at which you can increase load on a power plant.  The ramp rate for a hydroelectric facility may be dependent on how rapidly water surface elevation on the river changes.
Ramp Up (Demand-Side)   Implementing a demand-side management program over time until the program is considered fully installed.
Ramp Up (Supply-Side)    Increasing load on a generating unit at a rate called the ramp rate.
Rate Base   Value of property upon which a utility is permitted to earn a specific rate of return.
Rate Class   A group of customers identified as a class and subject to a rate different from the rates of other groups.
Rate Structure   The design and organization of billing charges by customer class to distribute the revenue requirement among customer classes and rating period.
Rate-Basing   The practice by utilities of allotting funds invested in utility Research Development Demonstration and Commercialization and other programs from ratepayers, as opposed to allocating these costs to shareholders.
Ratemaking Authority   The utility commission's authority as designated by a State or Federal legislature to fix, modify, and/or approve rates.
Rate-of-Return Rates    Rates set to the average cost of electricity as an incentive for regulated utilities to operate more efficiently at lower rates where costs are minimized.
Ratepayer   This is a retail consumer of the electricity distributed by an electric utility.  This includes residential, commercial and industrial users of electricity.
Real-Time Market   The competitive generation market controlled and coordinated by the ISO for arranging real-time imbalance power.
Real-Time Pricing   The instantaneous pricing of electricity based on the cost of the electricity available for use at the time the electricity is demanded by the customer.
Receiving Parts   Entity receiving the capacity and/or energy transmitted by the transmission provider to the point(s) of delivery.
Recovered Energy   Reused heat or energy that otherwise would be lost.  For example, a combined cycle power plant recaptures some of its own waste heat and reuses it to make extra electric power.
Regional Power Exchange   An entity established to coordinate short-term operations to maintain system stability and achieve least-cost dispatch.  The dispatch provides back-up supplies, short-term excess sales, reactive power support, and spinning reserve.  The pool may own, manager and/or operate the transmission lines or be an independent entity that manages the transactions between entities.
Regional Reliability Councils   Regional organizations charged with maintaining system reliability even during abnormal bulk power conditions such as outages and unexpectedly high loads.
Regional Transmission Group   An organization approved by a Commission to coordinate transmission planning (and expansion), operation, and use on a regional basis.
Regional Transmission Organization (RTO)   A regional transmission organization established to operate the high-voltage interstate transmission system in a reliable, non-discriminatory manner, and to coordinate with other critical entities, such as participating utilities and generators, neighboring RTO's and power exchanges.
Regulation   An activity of government to control or direct economic entities by rulemaking and adjudication.
Regulators Compact   Under this compact, utilities are granted service territories in which they have the exclusive right to serve retail customers.  In exchange for this right, utilities have an obligation to serve all consumers in that territory on demand.
Reliability    Electric system reliability has two components - adequacy and security.  Adequacy is the ability of the electric system to supply the aggregate electric demand and energy requirements of the customers at all times, taking into account scheduled and unscheduled outages of system facilities.  Security is the ability of the electric system to withstand sudden disturbances such as electric short circuits or unanticipated loss of system facilities.
Reliability (electric system)   A measure of the ability of the system to continue operation while some lines or generators are out of service. Reliability deals with the performance of the system under stress.
Renewable Energy   Energy that is capable of being renewed by the natural ecological cycle.
Renewable Energy Resources   Energy resources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited. They are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time. Renewable energy resources include biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar, wind, ocean thermal, wave action, and tidal action.
Replacements   The substitution of a unit for another unit generally of a like or improved character.
Repowered Plant   This is an existing power facility that has been substantially rebuilt to extend its useful life.
Repowering   Refurbishment of a plant by replacement of the combustion technology with a new combustion technology, usually resulting in better performance and greater capacity.
Reregulation   The design and implementation of regulatory practices to be applied to the remaining regulated entities after restructuring of the vertically-integrated electric utility.  The remaining Regulated entities would be those that continue to exhibit characteristics of a natural monopoly, where imperfections in the market prevent the realization of more competitive results, and where, in light of other policy considerations, competitive results are unsatisfactory in one or more respects.  Reregulation could employ the same or different regulatory practices as those used before restructuring.
Resellers   Companies that purchase utility service from a wholesaler and resell it to consumers.
Reserve Capacity   Capacity in excess of that required to carry peak load.
Reserve Generating Capacity   The amount of power that can be produced at a given point in time by generating units that are kept available in case of special need.  This capacity may e used when unusually high power demand occurs, or when other generating units are off-line for maintenance, repair or refueling.
Reserve Margin   The percentage of installed capacity exceeding the expected peak demand during a specified period.
Restructuring   The reconfiguration of the vertically-integrated electric utility.  Restructuring usually refers to separation of the various utility functions into individually-operated and-owned entities.
Retail    Sales of electric energy to the ultimate customer.
Retail Competition   A system under which more than one electric provider can offer to sell to retail customers, and retail customers are allowed to choose more than one provider from whom to purchase their electricity.
Retail Transaction   The sale of electric power from a generating company or wholesale entity to the customer.
Retail Wheeling   This refers to the ability of end-use customers of any size to purchase electric capacity, energy or both from anyone other than the local electric utility by moving or wheeling such power over the local utility's transmission and/or distribution lines.
Rolling Blackouts   A controlled and temporary interruption of electrical service.  These are necessary when a utility is unable to meet heavy peak demands because of an extreme deficiency in power supply.
Running and Quick-Start Capability   Generally refers to generating units that can be available for load within a 30-minute period.
Rural Electric Cooperative   A nonprofit, customer-owned electric utility that distributes power in a rural area.
Sales for Resale   Energy supplied to other utilities and agencies for resale.
Savings Fraction   The percentage of consumption from using the old technology that can be saved by replacing it with the new, more efficient demand-side management technology.  For example, if a 60-watt incandescent lamp were replaced with a 15-watt compact fluorescent lamp, the savings fraction would be 75 percent because the compact fluorescent lamp uses only 25 percent of the energy used by the incandescent lamp.
Scheduled Outage   The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line, or other facility for inspection or maintenance, in accordance with an advance schedule.
Scheduling Coordinator   An entity authorized to submit to the ISO a balanced generation or demand schedule on behalf of one or more generators, and one or more end-users customers.
Seasonal Pricing   A special electric rate feature under which the price per unit of energy depends on the season of the year.
Seasonal Rates   Different seasons of the year are structured into an electric rate schedule whereby an electric utility provides service to consumers at different rates.
Securitization   The act of pledging assets to a creditor through a note, lien or bond.  This is a mechanism to allow a utility to recover stranded costs up front in a single lump sum payment.  Under a securitization scheme, the legislature or utility commission orders customers to pay a surcharge as part of their electric bill.  That surcharge must be paid within the utility's original service territory, regardless of who supplies the electricity to customers.
Self-Generation   A generation facility dedicated to serving a particular retail customer, usually located on the customer's premises.  The facility may either be owned directly by the retail customer or owned by a third party with a contractual arrangement to provide electricity to meet some or all of the customer's load.
Service Agreement   An agreement entered into by the transmission customer and transmission provider.
Service Area   The territory a utility system is required or has the right to supply electric service to ultimate customers.
Service Drop   The lines running to a customer's house.  Usually a service drop is made up of two 120 volt lines and a neutral line, from which the customer can obtain either 120 or 240 volts of power.  When these lines are insulated and twisted together, the installation is called triplex cable.
Service Life   The length of time a piece of equipment can be expected to perform at its full capacity.
Service Territory   This is the state, area or region served exclusively by a single electric utility.
Short Circuit   An electric current taking a shorter or different path than intended.
Short Circuit Current   The current flowing freely through an external circuit that has no load or resistance; the maximum current possible.
Single Phase Line   This carriers electrical loads capable of serving the needs of residential customers, small commercial customers, and streetlights.  It carrier a relatively light load as compared to heavy duty three phrase constructs.
Site   Any location on which a facility is constructed or is proposed to be constructed.
Site Energy   The energy consumed at a building location or other end-use site.
Small Power Producer   Refers to a producer that generates at least 75% of its energy from renewable sources.
Smart Grid   Delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce cost and increase technology.
Solar Power   Electricity generated from solar radiation.
Solar Thermal Electric   A process that generates electricity by converting incoming solar radiation to thermal energy.
Source Energy   All the energy used in delivering energy to a site, including power generation and transmission and distribution losses, to perform a specific function, such as space conditioning, lighting, or water heating.  Approximately three watts (or 10.239 Btus) of energy is consumed to deliver one watt of usable electricity.
Southeastern Electric Reliability Council (SERC)   One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
Southwest Power Pool (SPP)   One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
Spinning Reserve   Reserve generating capacity running at zero load.
Split-the-Savings   The basis for settling economy-energy transactions between utilities.  The added cost of the supplier are subtracted from the avoided costs of the buyer, and the difference is evenly divided.
Spot Market   Refer to Real-Time Market
Spot Purchases   Single shipment of fuel purchased for delivery within 1 year.
Stable Prices   Prices that do not vary greatly over short time periods.
Standard Rate   The basic rate customers would take service under if they were not on real-time pricing.
Standby Facility   A facility that supports a system and generally running under no load.
Stocks   A supply of fuel accumulated for future use.
Stranded Benefits   Special collection programs, renewable energy and demand side management programs, lifeline rates and other utility resources funded by a monopoly utility that may not be funded if the utility's competition does not have smaller costs.
Stranded Commitment   Assets and contracts associated with shifting to competition which are above market prices and result in non-competitive conditions for the utility.
Stranded Investments/Costs   Utility investments in facilities built to serve customers under traditional regulation may become unrecoverable or "stranded" if those assets are deregulated and their cost of generation exceeds the actual price of power in a competitive market.  These include prior investments allowed by regulators that are currently being recovered through regulated rates.
Stranded/Strandable Costs   These are costs inherent in the existing electric utility industry rendered potentially unrecoverable in a competitive market.
Strategic Conservation   Strategic conservation results from load reductions occurring in all or nearly all time periods.  This strategy can be induced by price of electricity, energy-efficient equipment, or decreasing usage of equipment.
Strategic Load Growth   A form of load building designed to increase efficiency in a power system.  This load shape objective can be induced by the price of electricity and by the switching of fuel technologies (from gas to electric).
Substation   A facility used for switching and/or changing or regulating the voltage of electricity.  Service equipment, line transformer installations, or minor distribution or transmission equipment are not classified as substations.
Summer Peak   The greatest load on an electric system during any prescribed demand interval in the summer.
Supplier   A person or corporation, generator, broker, marketer, aggregator or any other entity, that sells electricity to customers, using the transmission or distribution facilities of an electric distribution company.
Supply-Side   Technologies that pertain to the generation of electricity
Surplus   Excess firm energy available from a utility or region for which there is no market at the established rates.
Switching Station   Facility used to connect two or more electric circuits through switches.
System (Electric)   Physically connected generation, transmission, and distribution facilities operating as a single unit.
System Interconnection   A physical connection between two electric systems that permits the transfer of electric energy in either direction.
System Peak Demand   The highest demand value that has occurred during a specified period for the utility system.
Systems Benefits Charge   This is a per-customer charge intended to recover the costs of utility demand-side management reach and development, renewable resources or low-income programs.
Target Market   A specific group of people or geographical area that has been identified as the primary buyers of a product or service.
Tariff   A document, approved by the responsible regulatory agency, listing the terms and conditions, including a schedule or prices, under which utility services will be provided.
Tax Credits   Credits established by the federal and state government to assist the development of the alternative energy industry.
Thermal Power Plant   Any stationary or floating electrical generating facility using any source of thermal energy with a generating capacity of 50 megawatts or more, and any facilities appurtenant thereto.
Three Phase Line   This is capable of carrying heavy loads of electricity, usually to larger commercial customers.
Time-of-Use Rates   Electricity prices that vary depending on the time periods in which the energy is consumed.  In a time-of-use rate structure, higher prices are charged during utility peak-load times.  Such rates can provide an incentive for consumers to curb power use during peak times.
Tipping Fee   A credit received by municipal solid waste companies for accepting and disposing of solid waste.
Total Incentives   The incentive a utility offers is expressed as a percentage of the technology cost.  The utility can assume any level between 0 and 100 percent.  A value greater than 100 percent is possible if the utility decides to pay for all the equipment and give a rebate as an additional incentive.  You can calculate the required incentive by setting the participant test to one by using the following formula: Total Incentives = (Technology Costs - Bill Reductions)/2.
Total Nonutility Costs   Cash expenditures incurred through participation in a DSM program that are not reimbursed by the utility.
Total Resource Cost (TRC) Test   A ratio used to assess the cost effectiveness of a demand-side management program.  Although this economic desirability test provides information about the relative merits of different DSM programs, several important issues are not addressed in this analysis.  First, this cost-effectiveness test does not indicate the level of program participation that will be achieved.  Second, the most cost-effective mix of DSM technologies is not determined by this test because this methodology only evaluates one specific measure at a time.  Finally, these tests are static; they do not include a feedback mechanism to account for changes in demand due to the DSM program.  The TRC Test measures the ratio of total benefits to the costs incurred by both the utility and the participant.  The TRC test is applicable to conservation, load management, and fuel substitution technologies.  For fuel substitution technologies, the test compares the impact from the fuel not selected to the impact of the fuel that is chosen as a result of implementing the technologies.  The TRC Test includes benefits occurring to both participants and nonparticipants.  Benefits include avoided supply costs (I.e.  transmission, distribution, generation, and capacity costs).  Costs include those incurred by both the utility and program participant.
Total Utility Costs   Total direct and indirect utility costs
Tower   A steel structure found along transmission lines which is used to support conductors
Transfer   To move electric energy from one utility system to another over transmission lines.
Transformer   An electrical device for changing the voltage of alternating current.
Transition Charge   A charge on every customer's bill designed to recover an electric utility's transition or stranded costs as determined by a Public Utility Commission.
Transition Costs   Costs incurred by electric utilities to meet obligations, which required the utilities to meet current and future load demand.  The utilities ensured sufficient power generating capacity by building additional power plants, whose debts are currently recovered through a regulated rate of return that would not continue in a competitive marketplace.  They could be recovered with a special charge during the transition to competition.
Transmission   The act or process of transporting electric energy in bulk.
Transmission & Distribution (T&D) System   An interconnected group of electric transmission lines and associated equipment for the movement or transfer or electric energy in bulk between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery to the ultimate customers.
Transmission and Distribution Loss   Electric energy lost due to the transmission and distribution of electricity. Much of the loss is thermal in nature.
Transmission Charge   Part of the basic service charges on every customer's bill for transporting electricity from the source of supply to the electric distribution company.  Public Utility Commissions regulate retail transmission prices and services.  The charge will vary with source of supply.
Transmission Circuit   A conductor used to transport electricity from generating stations to load.
Transmission Line   A set of conductors, insulators, supporting structures, and associated equipment used to move large quantities of power at high voltage.
Transmission Lines   Heavy wires that carry large amounts of electricity over long distances from a generating station to places where electricity is needed.  Transmission lines are held high above the ground on tall towers called transmission towers.
Transmission Network   A system of transmission or distribution lines so cross-connected and operated as to permit multiple power supply to any principal point.
Transmission System (electric)   An interconnected group of electric transmission lines and associated equipment for moving or transferring electric energy in bulk between points of supply and points at which it is transformed for delivery over the distribution system lines to consumers or is delivered to other electric systems.
Transmission Type (engine)   The transmission is the part of a vehicle that transmits motive force from the engine to the wheels, usually by means of gears for different speeds using either a hydraulic "torque-converter" (automatic) or clutch assembly (manual).
Transmitting Utility   This is a regulated entity which owns, and may construct and maintain, wire used to transmit wholesale power.  It may or may not handle the power dispatch and coordination functions.  It is regulated to provide non-discriminatory connections, comparable service and cost recovery.  Any electric utility, qualifying cogeneration facility, qualifying small power production facility, or Federal power marketing agency which owns or operates electric power transmission facilities which are used for the sale of electric energy at wholesale.
Transparent Price   The most recent price contract available to any buyer or seller in the market.
Turbine   A machine for generating rotary mechanical power from the energy of a stream of fluid (such as water, steam, or hot gas). Turbines convert the kinetic energy of fluids to mechanical energy through the principles of impulse and reaction, or a mixture of the two.
Turbine Generator   A device that uses steam, heated gases, water flow or wind to cause spinning motion that activates electromagnetic forces and generates electricity.
U.S.  Department of Energy (DOE)   The DOE managers programs of research, development and commercialization for various energy technologies, and associated environmental, regulatory and defense programs.  DOE announces energy policies and acts as a principal advisor to the President on energy matters.
U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)   The EPA administers federal environmental policies, enforces environmental laws and regulations, performs research, and provides information on environmental subjects.  The agency also acts as chief advisor to the President on U.S.  environmental policy and issues.
Ultrahigh Voltage Transmission   Transporting electricity over bulk-power lines at voltage greater than 800 kilovolts.
Unbundled Services   Separating and itemizing the costs of generation, transmission and distribution of a customer's bill.
Unbundling   Disaggregating electric utility service into its basic components and offering each component separately for sale with separate rates for each component.  For example, generation, transmission and distribution could be unbundled and offered as discrete services.
Uncertainties   Uncertainties are factors over which the utility has little or no foreknowledge, and include load growth, fuel prices, or regulatory changes.  Uncertainties are modeled in a probabilistic manner.  However, in the Detailed Workbook, you may find it is more convenient to treat uncertainties as "unknown but bounded" variables without assuming a probabilistic structure.  A specified uncertainty is a specific value taken on by an uncertainty factor (e.g.  3 percent per year for load growth).  A future uncertainty is a combination of specified uncertainties (e.g.  3 percent per year load growth, 1 percent per year real coal and oil price escalation, and 2.5 percent increase in housing starts).
Unit Energy Consumption (UEC)   The annual amount of energy that is used by the electrical device or appliance.
Universal Service   Electric service sufficient for basic needs (an evolving bundle of basic services) available to virtually all members of the population regardless of income.
Unserved or Unmet Energy   The average energy that will be demanded but not served during a specified period due to inadequate available generating capacity.
Upgrade   Replacement or addition of electrical equipment resulting in increased generation or transmission capability.
Utility   A regulated entity which exhibits the characteristics of a natural monopoly.  For the purposes of electric industry restructuring "utility" refers to the regulated, vertically-integrated electric company.  "Transmission utility" refers to the regulated owner/operator of the transmission system only.  "Distribution utility" refers to the regulated owner/operator of the distribution system which serves retail customers.
Utility Distribution Companies   The entities that will continue to provide regulated services for the distribution of electricity to customers and serve customers who do not choose direct access.
Utility Generation   Generation by electric systems engaged in selling electric energy to the public.
Utility-Earned Incentives   Costs paid to a utility for achieving consumer participation in DSM programs.
Utilization Factor   The ratio of the maximum demand of a system or part of a system to the rated capacity of the system or part of the system.
Valley Filling   Valley filling is a form of load management that increases or builds, off-peak loads.  This load shape objective is desirable if a utility has surplus capacity in the off-peak hours.  If this strategy is combined with time-or-use rates, the average rate for electricity can be lowered.
Variable Costs   Costs, such as fuel costs, that depend upon the amount of electric energy supplied.
Variable Prices   Prices that vary frequently.  Prices that are not stable.
Variable-Speed Wind Turbines   Turbines in which the rotor speed increases and decreases with changing wind speed, producing electricity with a variable frequency.
Vertical Integration   An arrangement whereby the same company owns all the different aspects of making, selling, and delivering a product or service.  In the electric industry, it refers to the historically common arrangement whereby a utility would own its own generating plants, transmission system, and distribution lines to provide all aspects of electric service.
Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine (VAWT)   A type of wind turbine in which the axis of rotation is perpendicular to the wind stream and the ground.
Volt   A unit of electrical pressure.  It measures the force or push of electricity.  Volts represent pressure, correspondent to the pressure of water in a pipe.  A volt is the unit of electromotive force or electric pressure analogous to water pressure in pounds per square inch.  It is the electromotive force which, if steadily applied to a circuit having a resistance of one ohm, will produce a current one ampere.
Voltage   Measure of the force of moving energy.
Volt-amperes   The volt-amperes of an electric circuit are the mathematical products of the volts and amperes of the client.
Waste-to-Energy   This is a technology that uses refuse to generate electricity.  In mass burn plants, untreated waste is burned to produce steam, which is used to drive a steam turbine generator.  In refuse-derived fuel plants, refuse is pre-treated, partially to enhance its energy content prior to burning.
Water Turbine   A turbine that uses water pressure to rotate its blades; the primary types are the Pelton wheel, for high heads (pressure); the Francis turbine, for low to medium heads; and the Kaplan for a wide range of heads. Primarily used to power an electric generator.
Watt   The electric unit of power or rate of doing work.  One horsepower is equivalent to approximately 746 watts.
Watt-Hour   One watt of power expended for one hour.
Wattmeter   A device for measuring power consumption.
Western Systems Coordinating Council (WSCC)   One of the ten regional reliability councils that make up the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC).
Wheeling   The use of the transmission facilities of one system to transmit power for another system.
Wheeling Charge   An amount charged by one electrical system to transmit the energy of, and for, another system or systems.
Wholesale Bulk Power   Very large electric sales for resale from generation sources to wholesale market participants and electricity marketers and brokers.
Wholesale Competition   A system whereby a distributor of power would have the option to buy its power from a variety of power producers, and the power producers would be able to compete to sell their power to a variety of distribution companies.
Wholesale Electric Power Market   The purchase and sale of electricity from generators to resellers (retailers), along with the ancillary services needed to maintain reliability and power quality at the transmission level.
Wholesale Transmission Services   The transmission of electric energy sold, or to be sold, in the wholesale electric power market.
Wholesale Wheeling   An arrangement in which electricity is transmitted from a generator to a utility through the transmission facilities of an intervening system.
Wind Energy   Kinetic energy present in wind motion that can be converted to mechanical energy for driving pumps, mills, and electric power generators.
Wind Energy Conversion    A process that uses energy from the wind and converts it into mechanical energy and then electricity.
Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) or Device   An apparatus for converting the energy available in the wind to mechanical energy that can be used to power machinery (grain mills, water pumps) and to operate an electrical generator.
Wind Power Plant   A group of wind turbines interconnected to a common utility system through a system of transformers, distribution lines, and (usually) one substation. Operation, control, and maintenance functions are often centralized through a network of computerized monitoring systems, supplemented by visual inspection.
Wind Turbine   Wind energy conversion device that produces electricity; typically three blades rotating about a horizontal axis and positioned up-wind of the supporting tower.
Winter Peak   The greatest load on an electric system during any prescribed demand interval in the winter season or months.
Wires Charge   A broad term which refers to charges levied on power suppliers or their customers for the use of the transmission or distribution wires.


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