Glossary of Terms
| Above-Market Generation
- Electricity produced at costs higher than prevailing
|Access - The
right to use part of the transmission or distribution
system to send and/or receive electricity.
| Access Charge
- A charge or fee for the customer's use of a utility's
transmission or distribution system. A delivery charge
paid to the local distribution company.
[Water] 100 cubic feet. Unit of measurement
used to record the water use of a customer in a billing
period. 1 CCF = 748 gallons. [PSC]
[Telephone] A fee charged by a local exchange carrier
to subscribers or long distance companies for the use
of its local exchange network facilities. [PSC]
- Central office line equipment, or equivalent, and all
outside plant facilities, or equivalent, required to connect
the serving central office with the customer premises
via physical connection, frequency transmission, and/or
time slot transmission. From an engineering perspective,
a channel connection is at a DSO level. A DSO level is
a 4 KHz voice channel or a 64 kilobits per second digital
|Acid Rain -
Also called acid precipitation or acid deposition, acid
rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric
and sulfuric acids formed primarily by nitrogen oxides
and sulfur oxides released into the atmosphere when fossil
fuels are burned.
|Acid Rain Program
- Instituted as a part of the 1990 amendments to the Clean
Air Act. The goal of the program is to achieve human and
environmental health benefits by reducing the emissions
that result in acid rain (i.e. nitrogen oxides and sulfur
- Sulfates and nitrates occur in particulate or droplet
form. In the droplet form they are already sulfuric acid/nitric
acid droplets. When dry particulate sulfate mixes with
water, it becomes sulfuric acid; when dry particulate
nitrate mixes with water it becomes nitric acid.
- A bid that is used by the Independent System Operator
(ISO) to adjust supply or demand when congestion on the
transmission system is anticipated.
- A utility tariff provision that allows changes in electric
rates charged a customer; these could result from increases
or decreases in certain costs that the seller incurred,
such as fuel costs.
- Allows recording of actual electric use during minutes,
hours, days or weeks useful for time-of-day, on-peak/off-peak
or other billing rates.
|Advocate - See
A company that is directly or indirectly controlled by,
or shares the same owner, as another company.
|Affiliated Power Producer
- A company that generates power and is affiliated with
- Forming a large group of consumers who together can
bargain for the lowest possible rate.
- A person or group that pools customers into a buying
group for the purpose of increasing purchasing power.
Retailers, customers, and brokers may also act as aggregators.
- Those pollutants that cause or may cause cancer or other
serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or
birth defects, or adverse environmental and ecological
effects. Examples of toxic air pollutants include asbestos,
benzene, dioxins, perchlorethlyene, methylene chloride,
toluene, and metals such as cadmium, mercury, chromium,
and lead compounds.
|Alternative Electric Supplier
- A supplier of electricity that owns or has title to
electric generation and is not the company providing electric
distribution and transmission services to the customer.
- Other energy sources that can be substituted for the
fuel in use (e.g., renewable energy sources represent
viable alternatives to fossil fuels.
|Alternative Operator Service
Providers (AOS) - Nontraditional companies
providing telephone operator services. Operator services
involve operator assistance in placing a call. The most
common services are alternative methods of paying for
a call, such as: collect calling, charging the call to
a third party, or paying by credit card (either a major
credit card or telephone company calling card.)
are resellers who also provide operator services to: payphones,
hotels, and other locations used by travelers and the
general public. [PSC]
|American Public Power Association
(APPA) - A national service organization
representing 2000 municipal and other state or local publicly-owned
electric utilities throughout the United States.
|Analog - A type
of transmission of voice or video where the signal is
sent as a stream of changing radio waves and is similar
to what is received. [PSC]
- A signal that varies in a continuous manner such as
voice or music. An analog signal must be contrasted with
a digital signal which can assume only discrete values.
- Necessary services that must be provided in the generation
and delivery of electricity; they include coordination
and scheduling services; automatic generation control;
contractual agreements; and support of system integrity
- The process of adjusting a utility compay's annual historical
information to reflect a full 12-month period for known
changes reasonably expected to continue into the future.
Annualization adjustments are routinely made in the development
of a utility company's total cost of service.
The highest rank of coal; used primarily for residential
and commercial space heating; often referred to as hard
|Ash - Impurities
consisting of silica, iron, alumina, and other noncombustible
matter that are contained I coal.
|Audit - A methodical
examination and review of a utility company's books with
intent to verify the appropriateness of the company's
revenues and expenses, etc.
|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.
|Available Transfer Capability
(ATC) - The amount of capacity available
on the transmission system for use by third-parties.
- A percentage representing the number of hours a generating
unit is available to produce power (regardless of the
amount of power) in a given period, compared to the number
of hours in the period.
- 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 operating and maintenance,
tax, and fuel expenses.
|Average Revenue per Kilowatt-hour
- The average revenue per kilowatt-hour of electricity
sold by sector (residential, commercial, industrial, or
other) and geographic area (State, Census division and
national), is calculated by dividing the total monthly
revenue by the corresponding total monthly sales for each
sector and geographic area.
- The cost that a utility is expected to incur for its
customers in providing (generation) service to its customer.
This is the price paid by utilities to cogenerators in
|Back-Up Generation Service
- An optional service for customers with demands greater
than or equal to 75kW who wish to enhance their distribution
system reliability through contracting with the company
for the use of portable diesel or gas-fired backup generators.
The service provides for backup generation if customers
should ever experience a distribution-related outage.
|Back-Up Supply Service
(see Interconnected Operations Services)
The capacity of a telecom line to carry signals.
|Base Bill -
A charge calculated through multiplication of the rate
from the appropriate electric rate schedule by the level
- The amount of money a utility has invested over the
years in facilities (net of depreciation) which serve
the customers; plus, the amount of working capital required
to keep the company going.
|Base load -
A class of generating units that are assumed to run continuously
through the year. Typically these units are only shut
down for maintenance a few weeks each year. [PSC] The
minimum amount of electric power delivered or required
over a given period of time at a steady rate.
|Base load Capacity
- The generating equipment normally operated to serve
loads on an around-the-clock basis.
|Base load Generation
- Those generating facilities within a utility system
that are operated to the greatest extent possible to maximize
system mechanical and thermal efficiency and minimize
system operating costs.
|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
|Base Rate -
That part of the total electric rate covering the general
costs of doing business unrelated to fuel expenses. [See
also Base, Investment]
- The services necessary to physically deliver service
including generation, transmission and distribution. Basic
service charges include the temporary transition charge
and the monthly customer charge. [see also POTS]
| Best Available Control Technology
(BACT) - BACT is generally specified as
the most stringent emission level of these three alternative
1) the most stringent emission control contained
in any approved State Implementation Plan (SIP);
2) the most effective control achieved in practice;
3) the most efficient emission control
technique found by the district to be both technologically
feasible and cost effective.
- Written statement signed by a pair of communicating
parties that specifies what data may be exchanged between
- A contractual system between a buyer and a seller to
obtain generation and/or ancillary services of a given
type, duration, timing and reliability over a contractual
- The period of days in which a utility or supplier totals
customer energy use and produces the customer bill, the
regular schedule when the bill will be delivered to the
customer, and the due date for the customer's payment
to be received by the utility is commonly called the "billing
Biomass used in the production of energy (electricity;
liquid, solid, and gaseous fuels; and heat).
Wood, waste, and alcohol fuels produced from biomass (plant)
|Biomass - Organic
nonfossil material of biological origin constituting a
renewable energy source.
|Biopower - Releases
the energy trapped in organic material or biomass. Biopower
uses biomass energy to generate electricity.
- A dense coal, usually black, sometimes dark brown, often
with well-defined bands of bright and dull material, used
primarily as fuel in steam-electric power generation,
with substantial quantities also used for heat and power
applications in manufacturing and to make coke.
Refers to a condition when all electrical power is disrupted
to your area.
- Per unit price that will change according to customer
usage level. Generally three types: Declining Block rate,
Inverted Block Rate, and Promotional Block Rate.
|Boiler - A device
for generating steam for power, processing, or heating
purposes or for producing hot water for heating purposes
or hot water supply.
- A form of long-term loan, including in debt capital,
which is secured by the general credit worthiness of the
- A form of long-term loan, included in debt capital,
which is secured by the utility's property.
- A point on the system, such as a transmission line,
through which all electricity must pass to get to its
intended buyers. If there is limited capacity at this
point, some priorities must be developed to decide whose
power gets through. It also must be decided if the owner
of the bottleneck may, or must, build additional facilities
to relieve the constraint.
A descriptive term for evolving digital technologies that
provide consumers a signal switched facility offering
integrated access to voice, high-speed data service, video-demand
services, and interactive delivery services.
|Broker - An
entity that arranges the sale and purchase of electric
energy, transmission, and other services between buyers
and sellers, but does not take title to any of the power
- An electronic marketplace in which electric generation
is priced and purchased.
Refers to a condition when the system voltage drops below
acceptable levels causing lights to dim and potentially
causing other electrical equipment to function improperly
or to be damaged.
|Bulk Power Market
- Purchases and sales of electricity among utilities.
|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
|Bundled Utility Service
- All generation, transmission, and distribution services
provided by one entity for a single charge. Includes ancillary
services and retail services.
|Bundling - Combining
the cost of generation, transmission and distribution
and other services into a single rate charged to the retail
|Burner Tip Price
- When a natural gas fired furnace or stove is turned
on, gas is burned to create heat. This burning of the
fuel marks the end of a process that sent natural gas
from places such as Louisiana, Oklahoma, or Canada, through
interstate pipelines and through local distribution utility
pipes to Wisconsin residences and businesses. The price
paid for the gas that is burned is referred to as the
"burner tip price". Since this is the end of
the process, this price must reflect not only the cost
of the natural gas itself, but also all the costs of finding,
pumping, transporting, and delivering the gas.
- An agreement between utility and customer to import
power when the customer's service would otherwise be interrupted.
|Bypass - Refers
generally to a customer obtaining service from a new supplier
without utilizing any facility of the former supplier,
i.e. bypassing the former supplier. Whereas the Federal
Power Commission used to discourage bypass of local distribution
companies ("LDC's"), the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC), under its "open access" policies
since 1985, has reversed tht policy.
- An option that gives the buyer (holder) the right, but
not the obligation, to buy a futures contract (enter into
a long futures position) for a specified price within
a specified period of time in exchange for a one-time
premium payment. It obligates the seller (writer) of an
option to sell the underlying futures contract (enter
into a short futures position) at the designated price,
should the option be exercised at that price. [see Put
The maximum load that a generating unit, generating station,
or other electrical apparatus can carry under specified
conditions for a given period of time without exceeding
approved limits of temperature and stress.
An electrical device that maintains or increases voltage
in power lines.
|Capacity - The
amount of electric power delivered or required for which
a generator, turbine, transformer, transmission circuit,
station, or system is rated by the manufacturer.
- The amount of energy and capacity available for purchase
fro outside the system.
- The assignment of a right to firm transportation (or
storage) on an interstate pipeline to another entity.
- An element in a two-part pricing method used in capacity
transactions (energy charge is the other element); [See
also Demand Charge]
- The sale of capacity (the right to transport natural
gas) on interstate pipelines when it is not needed for
|Capital - The
money a utility has invested in its facilities.
- The cost of field development and plant construction
and the equipment required for the generation of electricity.
- A term expressing the fact that utilities need a comparatively
large amount of money to build their systems in relation
to annual revenues.
- 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.
- The full-load continuous rating of a generator, prime
mover, or other electric equipment under specified conditions
as designated by the manufacturer. It is usually indicated
on a nameplate attached to the equipment.
- A secondary market for capacity that is contracted by
a customer which is not using all of its capacity.
- 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.
[See Greenhouse Gases]
- The chemical or biological process whereby the presence
of an external compound, a catalyst, serves as an agent
to cause a chemical reaction to occur or to improve reaction
performance without altering the external compound.
- A form of wireless telephone that uses FM radio waves
to transmit conversations. Cellular calls are transmitted
using either digital or analog technology. Through analog
transmission, your voice is actually carried on the airwaves.
Digital transmission transforms the human voice into computer
language, providing greater system capacity.
- A high capacity land mobile radio system in which an
assigned frequency spectrum is divided into discrete channels
that are assigned to a cellular geographic serving area.
- A switching unit in a telephone system providing service
to the general public, having the necessary equipment
and operating arrangements for terminating and interconnecting
lines and trunks.
|Central Office Codes Referred
to as prefixes.
|Centrex - A
service for customers with many stations that permits
station-to-station dialing, one listed directory number
for the customer, direct inward dialing to a particular
station and station identification on outgoing calls.
The switching functions are performed in a central office
(stand alone, host or remote).
|Certificate of Public Convenience
and Necessity (CPCN) - An order issued
by the Commission to permit the formation of a new utility,
the expansion of an existing franchise area, or approval
of a major capital investment to expand the ability of
a utility to serve future customers.
|Channel - An
electrical communications path between two or more points.
A single pair of wires may provide more than one channel.
A channel may also be provided by microwave.
- Describes how facilities-based CLECs often market only
to high-density areas.
|Circuit - A
line that connects devices.
- A protective device located on an electric circuit to
interrupt the flow of current at the particular point.
|City Gate Station
- The point at which a local gas utility receives gas
from a pipeline company.
|Classes of Customers
- The different types of customers which a utility serves,
usually four in number-residential, commercial, industrial,
and others. The way the cost of service is allocated among
the classes determines the rate structure.
|Clean Air Act (CAA)
- The Clean Air Act (CAA) is a federal statute that specifies
National Ambient Air Quality Standards, sets emission
limits for air pollutants and determines emission limits
and operating criteria for a number of hazardous air pollutants.
The program is implemented by individual states through
a State Implementation Plan (SIP), which describes how
that state will ensure compliance with the air quality
standards for stationary sources
- Often refers to energy that comes from non-polluting
("zero emissions") sources. [see Green Power]
[See also Renewable Energy]
|Cloning - When
a wireless phone has been programmed to duplicate another
wireless phone. This is often used to mislead a wireless
carrier by placing illegal calls without any intention
of payment. The misleader uses the fake or "cloned"
numbers until detected, placing as may calls as he or
she can. Wireless phones which are 100% digital cannot
|Coal (see Anthracite,
Bituminous Coal, Lignite, Sub bituminous Coal) - A readily
combustible black or brownish-black rock whose composition,
including inherent moisture, consists of more than 50
percent by weight and more than 70 percent by volume of
|Coal Bed Methane
- Gas obtained from coal seams. The single largest new
source of gas supply in the past decade due to the application
of new production technologies to this resource.
|Coal Combustion By-Products
- (CCBs) include several types of materials which are
left over from the burning of coal: fly ash, bottom ash,
boiler slag and flue gas desulphurization (FGD) materials
(either wet or dry).
|Coal Combustion Products (CCPs)
[See Coal Combustion By-Products]
|Coal-Fired Power Plant
- Power plant in which coal is burned to produce steam
which spins a turbine to produce electricity.
Refers to the injection of natural gas with pulverized
coal or oil into the primary combustion zone of a boiler.
- The production of electricity and useful thermal energy
from the same energy source. Natural gas is the most common
fuel in the conversion of waste heat to electricity.
- A generating facility that produces electricity and
another form of useful thermal energy (such as heat or
steam), used for industrial, commercial, heating, or cooling
- The sum of two or more demands that occur in the same
|Coincidental Peak Load -
The sum of two or more peak loads that occur in the same
|Coke - A residue
high in carbon content and low in hydrogen that is the
final product of thermal decomposition in the condensation
The placement of a CLEC's network equipment on the premises
of the ILEC.
|Combined Cycle Generation
- A system that generates electricity using a gas turbine
or a heat recovery boiler and a steam turbine in tandem.
|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 Pumped-Storage Plant
- A pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant that uses
both pumped water and natural stream flow to produce electricity.
- A type of unit used to generate electricity. These units
come in a wide range of sizes (30-179 MW) and are generally
used to serve peaking loads. The fuel (oil or natural
gas) is mixed with air and ignited, causing a chemical
reaction (combustion) used to spin the turbine. [See also
- A class of utility customers which includes commercial
business other than industrial.
|Commercial Operation -
Commercial operating begins when control of the loading
of the generator is turned over to the system dispatcher.
- Generally defined as nonmanufacturing business establishments,
including hotels, motels, restaurants, wholesale businesses,
retail stores, and health, social and educational institutions.
A utility may classify commercial service as all consumers
whose demand or annual use exceeds some specified limit.
- The price of gas at the site of production is referred
to as the "commodity price" or wellhead price.
Of all the cost components, natural gas commodity prices
are by far the most unstable and the least predictable.
It is clear that these prices move around quite a bit
from month to month and from year to year. Natural gas
price volatility is among the highest of all commodities
that are traded on major market exchanges. The price can
unexpectedly double in a matter of months. It can also
tumble by 50 percent just as fast.
- The term used to describe a telephone company. A telecommunications
company that holds itself out to the public for hire to
provide transmission services.
- Capital stock, other than preferred, which is bought
by utility shareholders and becomes part of a utility's
equity. Its value is determined in the marketplace, and
its return is not a contracted rate as with preferred
- The lack of a monopoly in a market, evidenced by the
presence of two or more entities providing for economic
choice in buying, selling, or exchanging goods and services.
|Competitive Local Exchange
Carrier (CLEC) - A business authorized
by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that can deliver
alternative dial-tone and other services using an incumbent
carrier's equipment. Co-Provider is another term for CLEC.
|Competitive Power Supplier
- A company that sells power, which is delivered by the
distribution company serving a community. Competitive
power suppliers are sometimes called electricity suppliers,
electricity providers, power generators, or power marketers.
|Competitive Transition Assessment
(CTA) - The part of a consumer's electric
bill that allows the electric distribution company to
recover stranded costs.
|Competitive Transition Charge
- A non-bypassable charge levied on each customer of a
distribution utility, including those who are served under
contracts with nonutility suppliers, for recovery of a
utility's transition costs.
Complaint means a statement or question by any person,
whether a utility customer or not, concerning a wrong
grievance, injury, dissatisfaction, illegal action or
procedure, dangerous condition or action, or failure of
a utility to meet a utility obligation.
- A facility which supplies the energy to move gas in
transmission lines or into storage fields by increasing
the pressure. Most compressor stations employ natural
gas-fired internal combustion engines to drive the compressors.
A substance or body that allows an electric current to
pass continuously along it. A wire.
|Conduit - A
duct designed to contain underground cables, conductors,
A condition that occurs when insufficient transfer capacity
is available to implement all of the preferred schedules
for electricity transmission simultaneously.
|Conjunctive Billing -
The combination of the quantities of energy, demand or
other items of two or more meters or services into respective
single quantities for the purpose of billing, as if the
bill were for a single meter or service.
- A fee demanded of customers for the cost of hooking
up to new service.
Actions taken to reduce or more efficiently use energy,
in an effort to preserve the environment and avoid depletion
of energy resources.
|Conservation Cost Recovery
- An individual appointed by the Public Service Commission
to study rate cases and other official filings of utilities,
and to plead the cause for residential consumers when
the consumer advocate believes the residential consumer
is being, or may be, treated unfairly.
|Consumer Confidence Reports
(CCR) - An annual report that utilities
must provide to their customers which details specific
water quality and related information concerning the utility's
source of supply.
- The amount of fuel used for gross generation, providing
standby service, start-up and/or flame stabilization.
|Contract Demand (CD)
- The quantity of gas the seller and buyer agree to on
a daily, monthly or yearly basis as specified in a sales
contract. Volumes of gas taken over and above this amount
are known as overrun.
- 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 electrical
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.
[See also Parallel Path Flow]
- Price of fuels marketed on a contract basis covering
a period of 1 of more years. Contract prices reflect market
conditions at the time the contract was negotiated and
therefore remain constant throughout the life of the contract
or are adjusted through escalation clauses. Generally,
contract prices do not fluctuate widely.
- Purchases based on a negotiated agreement that generally
covers a period of 1 or more years.
- The agreement between a competitive power supplier and
a consumer, including the cost, length of service, and
whether there are penalties for early termination.
- A business entity similar to a corporation, except that
ownership is vested in members rather than stockholders,
and benefits are in the form of products and services
rather than profits. Co-ops typically become involved
in ancillary services such as energy conservation, load
management and other demand-side management programs in
order to serve their customers at least cost. Many rural
and remote areas are served by electric cooperatives formed
to provide power to communities not served or under-served
- [See Competitive Local Exchange Carrier]
|Cordless Phone -
A type of telephone set that offers customers portability
in their premises. They send radio signals from a base
unit to the handset and from the handset back to the base.
Signals from cordless phones can be picked up by a number
of other devices including radio scanners, baby monitors,
radios and other cordless phones.
- A core customer means a residential or small commercial
customer who typically must take additional distributor-bundled
service of sales and transportation. Non-core refers to
large commercial and industrials customers with sufficient
gas volume to purchase gas supplies and capacity from
suppliers other than the local utility.
|Cost- The amount
paid to acquire resources, such as plant and equipment,
fuel, or labor services.
- The process of assigning the costs for the generation,
transmission and/or distribution of electricity among
industrial, commercial, and residential customers.
- Electric rates (either wholesale or retail) set on the
basis of a utility's actual cost of service.
|Cost Based Pricing
- Electric service prices determined by adding the costs
associated with serving an individual customer (or the
average cost of serving a group of similar customers)
to an allowed return on investment.
|Cost of Capital
- The amount of return it costs a utility to obtain capital
from lenders and shareholders.
|Cost of Service -
The total cost of providing utility service. The cost
components include operating expenses, depreciation, taxes
and a rate of return adequate to service investment capital.
Cost of service is synonymous with the revenue requirements
of the system/company.
- 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.
A detailed analysis of the way a utility allocates the
cost of serving different classes of customers.
|Cramming - A
practice in which customers are billed for enhanced features
such as voice mail, caller-ID and call-waiting that they
have not ordered.
- A pollutant determined to be hazardous to human health
and regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency's
(EPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The 1970
amendments to the Clean Air Act require EPA to describe
the health and welfare impacts of a pollutant as the "criteria"
for inclusion in the regulatory regime.
- The transfer of assets or services from the regulated
portion of an electric utility to its unregulated affiliates
to produce an unfair competitive advantage. Cross-subsidization
can also refer to one rate class (such as industrial customers)
subsidizing the rates of another class (such as residential
- A flow of electrons in an electrical conductor. The
strength or rate of movement of the electricity is measured
A method to balance a utility's natural gas requirements
with its natural gas supply. Typically, there is a hierarchy
of customers for the curtailment plan. A customer may
be required to partially cut back or totally eliminate
his take of gas depending on the severity of the shortfall
between gas supply and demand and the customer's position
in the hierarchy.
|Custom Calling Features
- Optional services that are meant to help customers make
better use of their telephone service. Examples include
call waiting, call forwarding, three-way calling and voice
mail available from the local telephone company at additional
monthly rates. The menu of custom-calling features varies
by local company. Not all companies offer the same services
and the names of the features may also differ.
|Customer - The
party responsible for payment of bills issued for use
of utility service at a given premise.
|Customer Assistance Programs
(CAPS) - Alternative collection programs
set up between a utility company and customers that allow
customers to pay utility bills on a percentage-of-the-bill
they owe or percentage-of-customer-income instead of paying
the full amount owed.
- A recurring charge which allows utilities to recover
fixed costs associated with providing utility service.
These include the costs associated with the installation
and maintenance of the distribution systems for each utility
service, meters and their maintenance, and the costs for
maintaining customer records, billing and collection.
This may also be referred to as a service charge.
- The ability of electricity consumers to select the company
which supplies their power generation; and the laws and
regulations that enable this choice to occur through the
elimination of monopoly status for utilities.
|Customer Classes -
Utility customer classes include residential, commercial,
industrial, and electric generation.
|CWIP - Construction
work in progress; those utility facilities which are under
construction but not yet completed to the point they supply
|Daily Peak - The maximum amount of energy or service
demanded (used) in one day from a company or utility service.
|Date Certain - The establishment of a specific date
by which restructuring efforts are to be implemented.
|Day-Ahead Market - The forward market for energy and
ancillary services to by supplied during the settlement
period of a particular trading day that is conducted by
the Independent System Operator (ISO), the power exchange,
and other Scheduling Coordinators. This market closes
with the ISO's acceptance of the final day-ahead schedule.
|Day-Ahead Schedule - A schedule prepared by a Scheduling
Coordinator or the Independent System Operator before
the beginning of a trading day. This schedule indicates
the levels of generation and demand scheduled for each
settlement period that trading day.
|Debentures - A form of long-term loan, included in debt
capital, which is secured by the general credit worthiness
of the utility.
|Debenture Bonds - Same as debentures.
|Debt or Debt Capital - Borrowed money a utility uses
to finance the facilities needed to provide service.
|Debt, Short-Term- A sum of money borrowed directly
from banks with a due date of less than one year. It may
or may not be considered part of a utility's debt capital.
|Debt, Long-Term - A sum of money borrowed through the
selling of mortgage bonds or debentures and repaid over
a specified time, greater than one year.
|Decommissioning - The safe and orderly permanent shutdown
of a utility plant; often used in reference to nuclear
|Decoupling - A regulatory process for determining the
total revenue needed to cover the costs of a utility in
which the actual or projected level of sales is disassociated
("decoupled") from the revenues derived.
|Default Provider - Any entity that, in the transition
to retail, competition and under retail competition, provides
electric generation services for customers who fail or
are unable to make their own arrangements for electric
|Default Service - A basic level of electricity service,
which provides a consumer with a continuous supply of
power based on a fixed rate.
|Deferred Payment Agreement - An agreement between the
utility and its customer to pay an amount owing in installments.
The amount owing may be a deposit, a current unpaid bill
or a final bill on a previous account. The installments
are paid in addition to bills for current utility service.
|Degree-Days - A formula to calculate heating or cooling
value. A common calculation would be to add a particular
day's high and low temperatures, divide by two, and subtract
that average temperature from a base level (the National
Weather Service uses 65 degrees for heating).
|Deintegration (see Disaggregation)
|Deliverability - The volume of gas or oil a well, field,
pipeline or distribution system can supply at a particular
pressure for a 24-hour period. Also refers to available
capacity on a pipeline system or the pipeline's ability
to move gas from producing fields to market.
|Delivery Charge - Charge imposed by the local electric
utility for delivering electricity to a consumer's home
or business. The charge includes maintaining the system
reliability and responding during emergencies and outages
(also called distribution).
|Demand - Instantaneous usage of electricity.
[PSC] The amount of electricity, expressed in kilowatts,
that is required by customers at a given point in time.
[AARP] The rate at which energy is delivered to loads
and scheduling points by generation, transmission, and
|Demand (Electric) - The rate at which electric energy
is delivered to or by a system, part of a system, or piece
of equipment, at a given instant or averaged over any
designated period of time.
|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.
|Demand Charge - That part of the charge for utility
service based upon the utility capacity (kW) consumed
and billed on the basis of billing demand under an applicable
rate schedule. [See also Capacity Charge]
|Demand Contract - A contract under which a purchaser
reserves a set maximum daily quantity of pipeline capacity.
|Demand-Side Management (DSM) - The planning, implementation,
and monitoring of utility activities designed to encourage
consumers to modify patterns of electricity usage, including
the timing and level of electricity demand. It refers
only to energy and load-shape modifying activities that
are undertaken in response to utility-administered programs.
It does not refer to energy and load-shape changes arising
from the normal operation of the marketplace or from government-mandated
|Demand-Side Program - A utility-designed approach to
provide information or financial incentives to customers
that leads customers to modify their use of electricity.
Customers can modify their use of electricity by either
changing a practice or by changing equipment. For example,
a customer could set his thermostat higher in the summer
or install a high-efficiency air conditioner. Both changes
would reduce the amount of electricity used to cool the
|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.
|Denied or Refused Service - The disconnection of current
utility service or the utility's refusal to provide new
service to an applicant. The PSC administrative code details
the specific reasons a utility may deny or refuse service
to its customers.
|Depreciation - An accounting mechanism whereby the estimated
value of a utility's facilities is devalued over a specified
Charges made against income to provide for distributing
the cost of depreciable plant less estimated net salvage
over the estimated useful life of the asset in such a
way as to allocate it as equitably as possible to the
period during which such services are obtained from the
use of the facilities. Among the factors to consider are:
wear and tear, decay, inadequacy, obsolescence, changes
in demand and requirements of public authorities.
|Depreciation Study - A study performed to analyze the
service characteristics of the depreciable utility plant
in service of a utility or other entity. Using these characteristics,
annual accrual percentages are recommended for each depreciable
account of utility plant in service for approval by the
governing regulatory agency.
|Deregulation - 1. Less government oversight.
2. The elimination or relaxation of regulations governing
an 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. A generic
term that, in the energy field, may include options, futures,
|Dial Around - Long distance services that require consumers
to dial a long-distance provider's access code (or "10-10"
number) before dialing a long-distance number to bypass
or "dial around" the consumer's chosen long-distance
carrier in order to get a better rate.
|Dialing parity - The ability of CLEC customers to dial
numbers in the same manner that ILEC customers do, without
the need to use special access codes.
|Digital Signal - A signal that has a limited number
of discrete states. This may be contrasted with an analog
signal that varies in a continuous manner and may have
an infinite number of states.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) - A high-bandwidth, copper
wire technology primarily for data.
|Direct Access - The ability of a retail customer to
purchase electricity from another supplier and then have
the local distribution company deliver the power over
its transmission and distribution system for a fee. (E.g.
retail open access, open access). [See also Retail Wheeling].
|Directory Assistance - A service provided by telephone
companies to their customers whereby customers may access
directory assistance operators to obtain telephone numbers.
|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 "delamination" are sometimes used to mean
the same thing. (See also Divestiture)
|Disconnection- A direct action by a utility to terminate
service. Does not include a customer-requested termination
|Discount Rate - The interest rate used to assess the
value of future cost and revenue streams; an essential
factor in assessing true returns from an investment in
energy efficiency, as well as opportunity costs associated
with not making that investment.
|Distributed Generation - The strategic placement of
small-scale power generation units at or near the site
where the electric power will be consumed.
|Distribution - The delivery of electricity to retail
customers (including homes, businesses, etc.). [See also
|Distribution Charges - Basic service charges for delivering
electricity over a distribution system to a home or business
from the transmission system.
|Distribution Company [See Local Distribution Utility
|Distribution Line - one or more circuits of a distribution
system either direct-buried, in conduit or on the same
lie of poles or supporting structures, operating at relatively
low voltage as compared with transmission lines.
|Distribution Service - The delivery of electricity through
local, low-voltage wires to end-use consumers from high-voltage
|Distribution System - The portion of an electric system
that is dedicated to delivering electric energy to an
|Distribution Utility - The regulated electric utility
entity that constructs and maintains the distribution
wires connecting the transmission grid to the final customer.
|District Heating - The use of waste hot water used in
energy production to heat hospitals, schools, homes, etc.,by
pumping through pipe network system.
|Divestiture - 1. The requirement that an electric utility
separate its generation services from its transmission
and distribution services and that it then legally transfer
ownership and control of all generation-related assets
to a non-affiliated company. Divestiture of generation
services is one of three often-mentioned policy options
for protecting consumers from the disadvantages of market
power (the others are functional separation and structural
separation). 2. The term (rare) also can refer to the
transfer of ownership and control of a utility's transmission
or distribution functions to a non-affiliated interest.
[AARP] 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. Stripping off is most commonly associated with
spinning-off generation assets so they are no longer owned
by the shareholders that own the transmission and distribution
|Dividend - A corporate distribution to shareholders,
usually from earnings and usually in cash.
|Downstream - Any point in the direction of flow of a
liquid or gas from the reference point. Generally considered
to be distribution and sales.
|Easement - Rights-of-way (R/W) and easements are defined
as the right to pass over, through, or underneath property
owned by another party or a right afforded to a person
to make limited use of another's real property. The most
typical type of right-of-way is granted in the form of
blanket and private easements. A blanket easement may
be granted by a municipality to a utility for installing
their facilities on road rights-of-way. In the case of
a private easement, the landowner grants the utility permission
to install a cable or building facility on the privately
owned property. This easement is filed with the county
register of deeds and will appear on the property deed.
|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.
|Economies of Scale - The ability of a utility to spread
costs over a large customer base.
|Electric Capacity - 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 Cooperative - A member-owned electric utility
company that generates and purchases wholesale power,
arranges the transmission of that power, and then distributes
the power to serve the demand of rural customers on a
non-profit basis. [PSC]
|Electric Distribution Company (EDC) - The public utility
providing facilities for the transmission and distribution
of electricity to retail customers.
|Electric Generation Supplier (EGS) - A firm or company
that sells to end-use customers electricity or related
services using the transmission or distribution facilities
of an electric distribution company.
|Electric Power Generation - The large-scale production
of electricity in a central plant.
|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. Reregulation applies to those entities
that continue to exhibit characteristics of a natural
|Electric Meter/Interval Meter - A device that measures
the amount of electricity a customer uses. The primary
types of electric meters are energy meters, demand meters,
interval demand meters, and time-of-use meters.
|Electric Plant (Physical) - A facility containing prime
movers, electric generators, and auxiliary equipment for
converting mechanical, chemical, and/or fission energy
into electric energy.
|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 Sector - An energy-consuming sector that
consists of all utility and nonutility facilities and
equipment used to generate, transmit, and/or distribute
|Electric Rate Schedule - A statement of the electric
rate and the terms and conditions governing its application,
including attendant contract terms and conditions that
have been accepted by a regulatory body with appropriate
|Electric Related Service - A service that is directly
related to the consumption of electricity by an end user.
|Electric Restructuring - The separation of the generation
portion of the electric industry to open it to competitive
|Electric Service Provider - An entity that provides
electric service to a retail or end-use customer.
|Electric Supplier - An entity (including an electric
aggregator or participating municipal electric utility)
licensed to provide electric generation services to consumers.
|Electric Supply Charge
- The charge for a supply of electricity. Includes the
cost of the generated energy plus any mark-ups and additional
charges applied before it is received by the customer.
|Electric System - A term used to describe electric transmission
and distribution as one complete system.
|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. Reliability encompasses
two concepts, adequacy and security. Adequacy implies
that there are sufficient generation and transmission
resources installed and available to meet projected electrical
demand plus reserves for contingencies. Security implies
that the system will remain intact operationally (i.e.will
have sufficient available operating capacity) even after
outages or other equipment failure. The degree of reliability
may be measured by the frequency, duration, and magnitude
of adverse effects on consumer service.
- See Renewable Electric Technologies
|Electric Transmission - The delivery of electricity
from a generator to a local distribution company over
high-voltage power lines.
|Electric Utility - Any regulated entity that owns and/or
operates facilities for the generation, transmission,
or distribution of electricity, and has the exclusive
right, within a defined geographic area, to sell customers
these services. Facilities that qualify as cogenerators
or small power producers under the Public Utility Regulatory
Policies Act (PURPA) are not considered electric utilities.
|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 Restructuring - Entails the introduction
of competition into at least the generation phase of electricity
production, with a corresponding decrease in regulatory
control. Restructuring may also modify or eliminate other
traditional aspects of investor-owned utilities, including
their exclusive franchise to serve a given geographical
area, assured rates of return, and vertical integration
of the production process.
|Electric Zone - A portion of the grid controlled by
the independent system operator. [See Independent System
|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 Capacity- The maximum load of electric
power, commonly expressed in megawatts (MW), by which
generators, turbines, transformers, transmission circuits,
stations, or systems are rated.
|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. [See Ancillary Service]
|Electricity Generation - The process of producing electric
energy or the amount of electric energy produced by transforming
other forms of energy, commonly expressed in kilowatt-hours
(kWh) or megawatt hours (MWh).
|Electricity Generator - A producer and operator of an
electric power generating plant.
|Electrification - Term describing emerging electric
technologies such as electric vehicles, industrial process
heating, and automation. These technologies have the potential
for increasing the productivity, contributing to strategic
load growth, or facilitating strategic conservation, peak
clipping or load shifting.
|Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) - Energy fields that result
from the existence and movement of electric charges. Electromagnetic
fields occur naturally and can also be created.
|Embedded Cost - A cost which can no longer be avoided
or minimized by the curtailment or reduction of output,
because it already has been incurred in some historical
period of time, and cannot be varied.
|Emission- The release or discharge of a substance into
the environment; in the context of global climate change,
they consist of radioactively important greenhouse gases
(e.g. the release of carbon dioxide during fuel combustion).
Generally refers to the release of gases or particulates
into the air.
|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)
|Emission [reduction] Credits
- A market-based air quality management tool used to encourage
businesses to proactively reduce air pollution at their
facilities and improve regional air quality. The pollution
"credits" must result from voluntary action
taken by a business to step beyond existing air quality
regulations when reducing emissions at their facilities.
Once approved, ERCs can be banked by a company and used
at a later date when seeking to expand the business, or
the ERCs can be traded as a valuable commodity through
the public market to companies who need to reduce regional
emissions but are limited at their facility. Emission
credits can be generated for the five criteria pollutants:
nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, particulate
matter, sulfur oxides and carbon monoxide.
|Emissions Trading - Emissions trading is a regulatory
program that allows firms the flexibility to select cost-effective
solutions to achieve established environmental goals.
With emissions trading, firms can meet established emissions
goals by: (a) reducing emissions from a discrete emissions
unit; (b) reducing emissions from another place within
the facility; or (c) securing emission reductions from
|End-Use- Breakdown, or categories, of electricity use
based on what the electricity is used for. For example,
space heating, water-heating, motors, lighting, refrigeration
are all end-use categories.
|End-Use Sectors- Discontinued. [See Energy-Use Sectors]
|Energy - Usage of electricity over time. [PSC]
The capacity for doing work as measured by the capability
of doing work (potential energy) or the conversion of
this capability to motion (kinetic energy). Energy has
several forms, some of which are easily convertible and
can be changed to another form useful for work.
|Energy Charge- That portion of the charge for electric
service based upon the electric energy (kWh) consumed
|Energy Consumption - The use of energy as a source of
heat or power or as a raw material input to a manufacturing
|Energy Costs - Costs, such as fuel, related to and vary
with energy production or consumption.
|Energy Demand - The requirement for energy as an input
to provide products and services.
|Energy Deliveries- Energy generated by one electric
utility system and delivered to another system through
one or more transmission lines.
|Energy Efficiency ratio (EER) - Refers to programs that
are aimed at reducing the energy used by specific end-use
devices and systems, typically without affecting the services
|Energy Exchange - Any transaction in which quantities
of energy are received or given up in return for similar
|Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) - The energy Policy
Act of 1992 addresses a wide variety of energy issues.
The legislation creates a new class of power generators,
exempt wholesale generators, that are exempt from the
provisions of the Public Holding Company Act of 1935 and
grants the authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) to order and condition access by eligible
parties to the interconnected transmission grid.
|Energy Receipts - Energy generated by one electric utility
system and received by another system through one or more
|Energy Reserves - Estimated quantities of energy sources
that are demonstrated to exist with reasonable certainty
on the basis of geologic and engineering data (proved
reserves) or that can reasonably be expected to exist
on the basis of geologic evidence that supports projections
from proved reserves (probably/indicated reserves).
|Energy Sales - The transfer of title to an energy commodity
from a seller to a buyer for a price or the quantity transferred
during a specified period.
|Energy Services Company - Entity which delivers energy
efficiency services to consumers.
|Energy Source - The primary source that provides the
power that is converted to electricity through chemical,
mechanical, or other means. Energy sources include coal,
petroleum and petroleum products, gas, water, uranium,
wind sunlight, geothermal, and other sources.
|Energy Supply - Energy made available for future disposition.
Supply can be considered ad measured from the point of
view of the energy provider or the receiver.
|Energy-Use Sectors - A group of major energy-consuming
components of U.S. society developed to measure and analyze
energy use. The sectors most commonly referred to are:
residential, commercial, industrial, transportation, and
|Enhanced Service Providers - A for-profit business that
offers to transmit voice and data messages and simultaneously
adds value to the messages it transmits, e.g. telephone
answering services, alarm/security companies and transaction
|Environmental Externalities - Environmental costs associated
with the provision of a good or service which may or may
not be incorporated in the internal cost measurements
of the provider. Such costs are sometimes imputed theoretically
to represent unmeasured costs to society associated with
the use of the good or service.
|Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A thorough study
of each proposed electric utility project with potential
for significant environmental impacts, including evaluation
of alternatives and mitigation.
|Equal Access - The ability of the subscriber to use
any long distance service by dialing the same number of
|Examiner, Hearing - [See Hearing Examiner]
|Exhaust - An area code reaches exhaust when all of the
telephone prefixes within that area code are assigned.
|Exchange - A defined area served by one or more central
offices regardless of technical serving arrangements within
which the company furnishes service at rates and rules
prescribed for that area in the company's filed tariffs.
The area is not necessarily marked by political boundaries
or the location of host or remote switching units.
|Exchange Agreement - A contractual agreement in which
quantities of crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas,
or electricity are delivered, either directly or through
intermediaries, from one company to another company, in
exchange for the delivery by the second company to the
first company of an equivalent volume or heat content.
The exchange may take place at the same time and location
or at different times and/or locations. Such agreements
may also involve the payment of cash.
|Exchange Boundaries - Defines the area connected to
a particular telephone company switch. In the early days
of telephone service, switches were generally located
in cities or villages and the lines extended in all directions
until they encountered customers receiving service from
the opposite direction. Eventually, companies defined
their exchanges so that customer service requests could
be met and facilities could be planned and constructed
to meet expected needs.
|Exchange, Electricity - 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 specific period, after which settlement may
be made by monetary payment.
|Exchange, Natural Gas - A type of energy exchange in
which one company agrees to deliver gas, either directly
or through intermediaries, to another company at one location
or in time period in exchange for the delivery by the
second company to the first company of an equivalent volume
or heat content at a different location or time period.
|Exempt Wholesale Generator (EWG) - Created under the
1992 Energy Policy Act, these wholesale generators are
exempt from certain financial and legal restriction stipulated
in the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 1935.
|Expenses, Utility - The money the utility spends during
its test year for rates and benefits for its employees,
for maintenance, for customer service, for materials and
supplies, for fuel, for administration of the company,
|Extended Area Service (EAS) - The ability of a customer
to call customers in other exchanges at no additional
charge or at an additional charge per tariff.
|Extended Community Calling (ECC) -The ability of a customer
to call customers in other exchanges at rates usually
above EAS rates but below toll rates for comparable distances.
Rates generally include a duration element.
|Externalities - Benefits or costs, generated as a byproduct
of an economic activity, that do not accrue to the parties
involved in the activity. Environmental externalities
are benefits or costs that manifest themselves through
changes in the physical or biological environment. [See
also Environmental Externalities]
|Facility - ELECTRIC: An existing or planned location
or site at which prime movers, electric generators, and/or
equipment for converting mechanical, chemical, and/or
nuclear energy into electric energy are situated, or will
be situated. A facility may contain more than one generator
of either the same or different prime mover type. For
a cogenerator, the facility includes the industrial or
NATURAL GAS: All parts of a pipeline or pipeline system
through which gas moves in transportation, including,
but not limited to, pipe, valves, and other appurtenance
attached to pipe, compressor units, metering stations,
regulator stations, delivery stations, holders, and
|Fair Market Value - Generally the term applies to the
amount that a willing buyer will pay a willing seller.
Because of the predominant use of original cost in the
rate base and the constraints that original cost factors
place on the rates that ay be charged, the depreciated
book cost of utility plant may be a prominent factor in
establishing fair market value for a utility system.
|Fair Value - A term normally used in those jurisdictions
that by statute, or regulatory precedent, allow the rate
base to be expressed at a level other than the recorded
original cost amounts.
|Feature Group A - Line-side originating and terminating
LATA access for which an originating subscriber dials
an assigned telephone number that connects to a specific
interexchange carrier (IC). The IC returns a tone to signal
the caller to input additional generating digits of the
|Feature Group B - Trunk-side originating and terminating
LTA access for which an originating subscriber dials a
950-WXXX number (where W=0, 1 and XXX is the carrier access
code (CAC), which is translated to a specific XXX carrier
trunk group. Optional rotary dial service and ANI may
|Feature Group C - Trunk-side LATA access for AT&T
Communications generally on a direct basis between each
end office (EO) and an AT&T-C switching system.
|Feature Group D - Also referred to as equal access.
It is trunk-side LATA access affording call supervision
of an interexchange carrier, a uniform access code (10XXXXX),
optional calling party identification, recording of access-charge
billing details and presubscription to a customer specified
|Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC has
ultimate jurisdiction over telephone number administration.
|Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) - An independent
federal agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that
has jurisdiction over rates, terms and conditions of the
transmission and the wholesale sales of electricity in
interstate commerce. It also licenses and inspects private,
municipal and state hydroelectric projects and oversees
related environmental matters.
|Federal Power Act - Enacted in 1920, and amended in
1935, the Act consists of three parts. The first part
incorporated the Federal Water Power Act administered
by the former Federal Power Commission, who activities
were confined almost entirely to licensing non-Federal
hydroelectric projects. Parts II and III were added with
the passage of the Public Utility Act.
|Federal Power Commission - The predecessor agency of
the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The Federal
Power Commission (FPC) was created by an Act of Congress
under the Federal Water Power Act on June 10, 1920. It
was charged originally with regulating the electric power
and natural gas industries. The FPC was abolished n September
20, 1977, when the Department of Energy was created. The
functions of the FPC were divided between the Department
of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
|Federal Subscriber Line Charge (SLC) - SLC is a federally-approved
monthly fee paid by the telephone subscribers that is
used to compensate the local telephone company for part
of the cost of the investment and maintenance of the telephone
wire, poles, and other facilities that link a home or
business to the telephone network. These wires, poles,
and other facilities are referred to as the "local
loop". The SLC is one component of access charges.
|Feed Stocks - Wood waste (whitewood, bark and shavings)
and sugar cane biogases.
|FERC Order 380 - Issued in 1983, invalidated contract
requirements that a gas utility pay a pipeline for a certain
amount of gas even if it could not take the gas.
|FERC Order 436 - Issued in April of 1985, set up a voluntary
open-access transportation program that allowed pipelines
to offer transportation service not linked to gas sales
service, making it easier for utilities and gas customers
to purchase gas directly from producers and marketing
companies and have it transported by pipelines.
|FERC Order 451 - Issued in 1987, provided the opportunity
for sellers of gas from older wells to receive a more
|FERC Order 500 - Issued in late 1989, was an addendum
to FERC Order 436 and provided mechanisms for settling
certain contract liabilities incurred by pipelines that
could not take all of the gas they had ordered from producers.
|FERC Order 636 - In 1992 the FERC ordered that required
pipelines unbundle their transportation, sales and storage
services in order to increase competition. Its biggest
impact was to convert pipelines from being sellers of
gas to being primarily shippers of gas that is bought
ad sold by other parties. [See also National Gas Policy
|FERC 888 - Open transmission access rulemaking. Promotes
wholesale competition through open access and non-discriminatory
transmission service by public utilities. Requirements
of FERC 888 include the identification of stranded costs
by public utilities and transiting utilities for recovery,
unbundling of costs, and separating marketing functions
from transmission operations.
|FERC 889 - Requirements of FERC 889 include the creation
of nation-wide information sharing system. Open Access
Same-Time Information System (OASIS) is a computer information
system on the Internet created to allow utilities/power
marketers to make reservations on transmission systems
across the nation.
|Federal Poverty Income Guidelines - are the administrative
version of the poverty measure and are issued by the Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS). They are a simplification
of the poverty thresholds and are used to determine eligibility
for poverty programs. Poverty guidelines are issued at
the beginning of each year, generally in February or March.,
|Federal Power Act - Enacted in 1920, and amended in
1935, the Act consists of three parts. The first part
incorporated the Federal Water Power Act administered
by the former Federal Power Commission, who activities
were confined almost entirely to licensing non-Federal
hydroelectric projects. Parts II and III, added with the
passage of the Public Utility Act, extended the Act's
jurisdiction to include regulating the interstate transmission
of electrical energy and rates for its sale as wholesale
in interstate commerce.
|FERC (see Federal Energy Regulatory Commission)
Fiber Optics - A technology that uses glass (or plastic)
threads (fibers) to transmit data. A fiber optic cable
consists of a bundle of glass threads, each of which
is capable of transmitting messages modulated onto light
Fiber optics has several advantages over traditional
metal communications lines:
Fiber optic cables have a much greater bandwidth than
metal cables. This means that they can carry more data.
Fiber optic cables are less susceptible than metal cables
Fiber optic cables are much thinner and lighter than
Data can be transmitted digitally (the natural form
for computer data) rather than analogically.
|Firm Gas - Gas sold on a continuous and generally long-term
|Firm Obligation - A commitment to supply electric energy
or to make capacity available at any time specified during
the period covered by the commitment.
|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
|Firm Purchase - A purchase of electricity or natural
gas by one utility from another under contract, arranged
in advance of delivery.
|Firm Service Contract - A type of contracted service
where the distributor agrees to provide the buyer with
uninterrupted supply of gas.
|Firm Transmission Service - Point-to-point transmission
service that is reserved or scheduled for a term of one
year or more.
|Fixed Costs - Costs that do not change or vary with
usage, output or production.
|Fixed Price - A price which remains the same, usually
for a set time period.
|Flat Rate/Fixed Rate - A rate schedule that provides
for a specified per-unit charge for goods and services
that does not vary with changes in the amount used, volume
consumed, or units purchased.
|Flex-Rate Contract - A short-term utility service contract
which allows for adjustable rates.
|Flexible Rate - An economic incentive rate that allows
a local distribution company to negotiate discounted costs
with industrial or large commercial customers.
|Flue Gas Desulphurization Unit (Scrubber) - Equipment
used to remove sulfur oxides from the combustion gases
of a boiler plant before discharge to the atmosphere.
Chemicals, such as lime, are used as the scrubbing media.
|Flue Gas Particulate Collectors - Equipment used to
remove fly ash from the combustion gases of a boiler plant
before discharge to the atmosphere. Particulate collectors
include electrostatic precipitators; mechanical collectors
(cyclones) fabric filters (baghouses) and wet scrubbers.
|Fluidized-Bed Boiler - A large, refractory-lined vessel
with an air distribution member or plate in the bottom,
a hot gas outlet in or near the top, and some provisions
for introducing fuel. The fluidized bed is formed by blowing
air up through a layer of inert particles (such as sand
or limestone) at a rate that causes the particles to go
into suspension and continuous motion.
|Fly Ash- Particulate matter from coal ash in which
the particle diameter is less than 1 x 10__ meter. This
is removed from the flue gas using flue gas particulate
collectors such as fabric filters and electrostatic precipitators.
|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.
|Forwards - A forward is a commodity bought and sold
for delivery at some specific time in the future. It is
differentiated from futures markets by the fact that a
forward contract is customized, non-exchange traded, and
a non-regulated hedging mechanism.
|Fossil Fuels - Fuels that are formed in the earth from
the remains of past geological ages. The typical fossil
fuels used by utilities include coal, oil and natural
gas. Any naturally occurring organic fuel, such as petroleum,
coal, and natural gas.
|Fossil-Fuel Plant - A plant using coal, petroleum, or
gas as its source of energy.
|Fractionation - The process by which saturated hydrocarbons
are removed from natural gas and separated into distinct
products, or "fractions," such as propane, butane,
|Franchise - the right of a utility to market the company's
services in a particular territory. In some states, a
franchise is granted by the regulatory agency and any
change must be approved by the regulators.
|Franchised Service Territory - The geographic service
area in which a public utility has an exclusive right
and corresponding obligation to provide electricity to
|Fuel - Any substance that can be burned to produce heat;
also, materials that can be fissioned in a chain reaction
to produce heat.
|Fuel Assistance Programs - Programs that provide assistance
to qualifying individuals or households in making their
payments for primary heat in the winter months.
|Fuel Cell - A fuel cell is an electrochemical device
that converts the chemical energy of a fuel directly into
electrical energy. Intermediate conversions of the fuel
to thermal and mechanical energy are not required. All
fuel cells consist of two electrodes (anode and cathode)
and an electrolyte (usually retained in a matrix). They
operate much like a battery except that the reactants
(and products) are not stored, but continuously fed to
|Fuel Cost Adjustments - A provision in a rate schedule
that provides for an adjustment to the customer's bill
if the cost of fuel at the supplier's generating stations
varies from a specified unit cost.
|Fuel Cycle - The series of steps required to produce
electricity. The fuel cycle includes mining or otherwise
acquiring the raw fuel source, processing and cleaning
the fuel, transport, electricity generation, waste management,
and plant decommissioning.
|Fuel Expenses - These costs include the fuel used in
the production of steam or driving another prime mover
for the generation of electricity. Other associated expenses
include unloading the shipped fuel and all handling of
the fuel up to the point where it enters the first bunker,
hopper, bucket, tank, or holder I the boiler-house structure.
|"Full" Competition - The opening of local
and long distance telephone markets to all providers of
telecommunications products and services.
|Full-Forced Outage - The net capability of main generating
units that is unavailable for load for emergency reasons.
|Functional Separation - 1. The requirement that an electric
utility segregate its books and records to isolate the
generation function from all other functions. Functional
separation of generation services is one of three often-mentioned
policy options for protecting consumers from the disadvantages
of market power (the other policy options are divestiture
and structural separation). 2. The term (rare) also can
refer to the segregation of books and records to isolate
the transmission or distribution functions from all other
functions of the utility.
|Functional Unbundling - A rate design or corporate organization
that offers generation, transmission, or distribution
services as stand-alone services with separate charges.
|Future Test Year - A projected 12-month period selected
to demonstrate a utility's need for a rate increase in
the future which allows projection of expected cost increases.
|Futures Market - Arrangement through a contract for
the delivery of a commodity at a future time and at a
price specified at the time of purchase. The price is
based on an auction or market basis. This is a standardized,
exchange-traded, and government regulated hedging mechanism.
|FX-IN - A nonswitched service where the customer of
the company is connected to and receives switching service
through central office equipment located in another exchange
|FX-OUT - A switched service where facilities are provided
from the central office out to the exchange boundary where
it meets the line from a foreign exchange subscriber.
|Gas - A fuel burned under boilers and by internal combustion
engines for electric generation. These include natural,
manufactured and waste gas.
|Gas Turbine Plant - A plant in which the prime mover
is a gas turbine. A gas turbine consists typically of
an axial-flow air compressor, one or more combustion chambers,
where liquid or gaseous fuel is burned and the hot gases
are passed to the turbine and where the hot gases expand
to drive the generator and are then used to run the compressor.
|Gasification - Waste treatment process where waste is
heated to produce a combustible gas that can be burned
in excess air to generate heat. The process is not yet
developed to a production stage.
|Gathering - The act of aggregating natural gas from
the wellhead and delivering it to either a gas processing
plant or a pipeline.
|General Service - Provision of water to residents and
businesses for drinking, cooking, bathing, and other daily
|Generating Company - Entity that is exclusively engaged
in electric power generation, either for wholesale or
|Generating Plant/Unit - Any combination of physically
connected generator(s), reactor(s), boiler(s), combustion
turbine(s), or other prime mover(s) operated together
to produce electric power..
|Generation (Electricity) - The process of producing
electric energy by transforming other forms of energy;
also, the amount of electric energy produced, expressed
in watt hours (Wh).
|Generation Charges - Basic service charges for generation
supply to retail customers. This excludes charges for
transmission or other charges related to electric service.
|Generation Company (Genco) - A regulated or non-regulated
entity (depending upon the industry structure) that operates
and maintains existing generating plants. The generation
company may own the generation plants or interact with
the short-term market on behalf of plant owners. In the
context of restructuring the market for electricity, the
generationcompany is sometimes used to describe a specialized
"marketer" for the generating plants formerly
owned by a vertically-integrated utility.
|Generation Dispatch and Control - Aggregating and dispatching
(sending off to some location) generation from various
generating facilities, providing backup and reliability
services. Ancillary services include the provision of
reactive power, frequency control, and load following.
(See also Power Pool)
|Generator - Entities that design, construct, own, operate,
and maintain generation assets to supply energy and ancillary
services to the competitive market
|Generator Nameplate Capacity - The full-load continuous
rating of a generator, prime mover, or other electric
power production equipment under specific conditions as
designated by the manufacturer. Installed generator nameplate
rating is usually indicated on a nameplate physically
attached to the generator.
|Geographic Split - When all of the telephone prefixes
within that area code are assigned, the area code is split
into two or more geographic areas, leaving the existing
area code to serve one side of the geographic area and
assigning new area codes to the remaining areas. [See
|Geothermal Energy - As used at electric utilities, hot
water or steam extracted from geothermal reservoirs in
the Earth's crust that is supplied to steam turbines at
electric utilities that drive generators to produce electricity.
|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 I rocks or fluids at various
depts. Beneath the surface of the earth. The energy is
extracted by drilling and/or pumping.
|Green Energy - A term for energy produced from renewable
energy resources or, sometimes, from clean (low-emitting)
energy sources. [See also Green Power; Renewable Energy]
|Green Marketing/Pricing - Represents a market solution
to the various problems associated with regulatory valuation
of the nonmarket benefits of renewables. Green pricing
programs allow electricity customers to express their
willingness to pay for renewable energy development through
direct payments on their monthly utility bills.
|Green Power - Electricity that is produced from environmentally-cleaner
sources than traditional electricity. Green power is usually
defined as renewable energy that comes from sources like
wind, solar, biomass energy, etc. [see also Renewable
|Greenhouse Effect - The increasing mean global surface
temperature of the earth caused by gases in the atmosphere
(including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone,
and chlorofluorocarbon). The greenhouse effect allows
solar radiation to penetrate but absorbs the infrared
radiation returning to space.
|Greenhouse Gases - Substances that can adversely affect
human health and the environment when they accumulate
in the atmosphere and trap radiant energy; they include
sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide.
|Grid - A system of interconnect power lines and generators
that is managed so that the generators are dispatched
as needed to meet the requirements of the customers connected
to the grid at various points. The layout of an electrical
|Grid Operator - The entity that oversees the delivery
of electricity over the grid to the customer, while assuring
consistently high levels of reliability, and public and
worker safety. The grid operator potentially could be
independent of the utilities and suppliers.
|Gross Generation - The total amount of electric energy
produced by the generating units at a generating station
or stations, measured at the generator terminals.
|Ground Level Ozone - Nitrogen oxides + volatile organic
compounds (hydrocarbons) + molecular oxygen + sunlight
= ground level ozone (03).
|Hazardous Air Pollutants (see Air Toxics)
|Hearing - The official proceeding before the Commission
or hearing examiner for the purpose of examining evidence
and hearing staff and intervenors.
|Hearing Examiner - The individual appointed by the PSC
to conduct hearings and take evidence in a rate case.
|Heat Pump - A device that extracts available heat from
one area (the heat source) ad transfers it to another
(the heat sink) to either heat or cool an interior space.
|Heavy Oil - The fuel oils remaining after the lighter
oils have been distilled off during the refining process.
Except for start-up and flame stabilization, virtually
all petroleum used in steam plants is heavy oil.
|Hedging Contracts - Contracts which establish future
prices and quantities of electricity independent of the
short-term market. Derivatives may be used for this purpose.
|High-Level Nuclear Waste - Irradiated reactor fuel which
includes the mass of uranium in the fuel assemblies and
does not include the total weight of the fuel assemblies.
|Historical Billing Data
- Historical billing data allows company executives and
managers to better forecast demand, allocate resources,
and streamline business processes. By analyzing billing
data, companies can identify trends, seasonal patterns,
cycles, planned fluctuations, and random fluctuations.
A company that forecasts an accurate picture of the market
can use that information to gain a competitive business
Billing data is also an underused source for customer
information. Examining historical billing data can uncover
|Holding Company -A corporation which usually owns a
controlling interest in the stock of at least one other
corporation. Generally, a utility holding company will
have investment objectives toward a specific kind of utility
(water, gas, electric, etc..).
|Host Switching System - A switching system that provides
centralized control over most of the switching functions
of one or more remote switching units. The host switching
system usually provides trunk access to the operating
company intraLATA networks. [PSC]
- see Inside Wire
|Host Switching System - A switching system that provides
centralized control over most of the switching functions
of one or more remote switching units. The host switching
system usually provides trunk access to the operating
company intraLATA networks. [PSC]
|Hub - A hub is a place where market participants can
gain access to multiple providers of supplies and services.
For example, Wisconsin buyers frequently obtain gas at
the Chicago area hub, where several natural gas pipelines
|Hydro - A prefix meaning produced by or derived from
water or the movement of water, as in hydroelectricity.
- The process of rotating a series of magnets inside coils
of wire to generate electricity. This process moves electrons,
which produces electrical current.
|Hydroelectric Plant/Power - Power obtained from the
natural movement of masses of water. Hydroelectric power
plants convert the energy contained in flowing water (rivers,
streams) into electricity. Low impact hydro plants producing
less than 30 Megawatts are often considered renewable
sources of electricity.
|Implementation Costs [see Transition Charge]
|Incentive Ratemaking - A way to set market-based rates
for gas supply or transportation. This theory has allowed
regulated companies to keep overhead costs low by allowing
them to make a profit on their services that are not tied
to rates. [PSC]
|Incentives - Subsidies and other Government actions
where the Government's financial assistance is indirect.
|Income, Net - Utility's profit or monies available after
a utility pays its expenses, taxes and interest on long-term
debt, which is available to pay dividends to stockholders
who have invested monies into the utility and/or for reinvesting
in new utility property.
|Income, Utility Operating - The revenue that remains
to pay for the use of the capital invested in the utility
after the deduction of operating expenses, depreciation
|Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) - The companies
that were in business before the CLECs, e.g. Bell operating
companies, or RBOCs.
|Independent Power Producers (IPP) - Any entity not regulated
by the government as a public utility that owns or operates
an electricity generating facility and offers electric
power for sale to utilities and/or the public. (See also
These facilities are wholesale electricity producers that
operate within the franchised service territories of host
utilities are usually authorized to sell at market-based
rates. Unlike traditional electric, Independent Power
Producers do not possess transmission facilities or sell
electricity in the retail market.
|Independent Service/System Operator (ISO) - A neutral
entity, not affiliated in any way with any generation,
transmission or distribution market participant, created
to operate, control and/or maintain an instantaneous balance
of the transmission grid system in a manner that will
ensure reliable and fair transfers of electricity between
generators and distribution companies.
|Industrial Customer - A class of utility customers;
customers who usually manufacture a product.
|Industrial Sector - The industrial sector is generally
defined as manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture,
fishing and forestry establishments - Standard Industrial
Classification (SIC) codes 01-39. The utility may classify
industrial service using the SIC codes or based on demand
or annual usage exceeding some specified limit. The limit
may be set by the utility based on the rate schedule of
|Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) - A planning and
selection process for new energy resources than evaluates
the full range of alternatives, including new generation
capacity, power purchases, energy conservation and efficiency,
cogeneration, district heating and cooling applications,
and renewable energy resources, in order to provide adequate
and reliable service to electrical customers at the lowest
system cost. [See also Least-Cost Planning]
|Integrated Switched Digital Network (ISDN) - A switched
data network that handles both voice and data.
|Interconnection - Mandated in the Telecommunications
Act, this requires incumbents to connect to various parts
of the incumbent's network. While the Telecommunications
Act mandates interconnection, state public utility commissions
largely set the terms.
|Interconnection Agreement - The broad agreement that
determines how a CLEC will connect to the ILEC's network.
Negotiated or arbitrated agreements typically must receive
state public utility commission approval.
|Internet Service Provider (ISP) - A service provider
that connects users to the Internet.
|Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) - Integrated
gasification gas turbine-based combined cycle, a type
of combined cycle in which the combustion fuel is gasified
|Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) - A public planning
process and framework within which the costs and benefits
of both demand- and supply-side resources are evaluated
to develop the least total-cost mix of utility resource
options. In many states, IRP includes a means for considering
environmental damages caused by electricity supply/transmission
and identifying cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable
|Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) - A 128 Kbps
(kilobytes per second) digital telephone service available
in many parts of the country though not universally available
that may be able to substitute for fiber optic cable in
every respect except possibly television transmission.
|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.
|Internal Combustion Plant - A plant in which the prime
mover is an internal combustion engine. An internal combustion
engine has one or more cylinders in which the process
of combustion takes place, converting energy released
from the rapid burning of a fuel-air mixture into mechanical
energy. Diesel or gas-fired engines are the principal
types used in electric plants. The plant is usually operated
during periods of high demand for electricity.
|Internet Voice Communication - a way of talking over
the Internet without incurring traditional long distance
charges. The only charges are the cost to be connected
to the Internet and any long distance or extended community
calling charges to reach your Internet service provider.
|Interrogatories - Requests from the Commission or others
for clarification or supplementary information.
|Interruptible Gas - Gas sold to customers with a provision
that permits curtailment or cessation of service at the
discretion of the distributing company under certain circumstances,
as specified in the service contract.
|Interruptible Load - Refers to program activities that,
in accordance with contractual arrangements, can interrupt
consumer load at times of seasonal peak load by direct
control of the utility system operator or by action of
the consumer at the direct request of the system operator.
It usually involves commercial and industrial consumers.
In some instances the load reduction may be affected by
direct action of the system operator (remote tripping)
after notice to the consumer in accordance with contractual
|Interruptible Service - Sales and transportation service
that is offered at both lower cost and lower level of
|Interruptible Rate - A special utility rate given to
those who agree to have their service reduced or temporarily
stopped as part of an agreement with the utility company.
|Interstate Pipeline - Natural gas pipeline company that
is engaged in the transportation, by pipeline, of natural
gas across state boundaries, and is subject to the jurisdiction
of the FERC under the Natural Gas Act (NGA).
|Interval Meter - An electricity meter that records a
customer's electric usage for defined intervals (e.g.,
5 minutes, 15 minutes, half-hour, etc.). This will allow
the possibility for consumption during different time
periods to be billed at different rates and provide a
means for a customer's load pattern to be analyzed.
|Intervenor - Consumer groups and others who wish to
question the validity or necessity of all or part of a
rate case. Intervenors may present evidence and question
|Intraexchange Calling - Calls that are placed to other
customers within the caller's exchange. The exchange is
a basic building block of telephone service. Local service
facilities in an exchange radiate from the central office
(the wire center) over telephone cable and wires to homes
and businesses in the urban area and outlying rural areas.
Calling with the exchange is local service. [PSC]
|IntraLATA Calls - The services, revenues and functions
that relate to telecommunications originating in one local
access transport area (LATA) and terminating in another
LATA or outside of a LATA. The 1982 Modification of Final
Judgment (MFJ) requires the local exchange carrier (LEC)
to use an interexchange carrier (IEC) for interLATA services
|Investment Base - The amount of money a utility has invested
over the years in facilities (net of depreciation) which
serve the customers plus the amount of working capital
required to keep the company going.
|Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) - A company, owned by stockholders
for profit, that provides utility services. A designation
used to differentiate a utility owned and operated for
the benefit of shareholders from municipally owned and
operated utilities and rural electric cooperatives.
|Investors - Those individuals or corporations who buy
debt securities or stock in the utility.
|Joint Ownership - A contractual method for financing
large facilities (usually generating plants) whereby two
or more companies share all costs from the outset, both
capital and expenses and, I turn, share the output or
benefits in proportion to their investment.
|No Listing at this time
|Landline - Traditional wired phone service.
|LDC - local Distribution Company, also known as the
local utility. [PSC]
|Least-Cost Alternatives - The lowest cost option for
providing for incremental demands. In least cost planning
to serve electric demands, the least cost alternatives
are often construed broadly to include demand-side management
as well as various generation and purchased power options.
|Least-Cost Planning - [See Integrated Resource Planning].
|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).
|Lifeline/Link-up Services - These are programs that
help qualify low-income households afford local telephone
service. Lifeline assists with monthly telephone bills
and Link-up assists with connection and installation charges.
|Light Oil - Lighter fuel oils distilled off during the
refining process. Virtually all petroleum used in internal
combustion and gas-turbine engines is light oil.
|Lignite - The lowest rank of coal, often referred to
as brown coal, used almost exclusively as fuel for team-electric
|Liquefied Natural Gas - A method to store natural gas.
Natural gas can be converted to a liquid state by pressure
and severe cooling, and then returned to its original
form to be used as a fuel.
|Liquefied Petroleum Gas - Ethane, ethylene, propane,
propylene, normal butane, butylene, and isobutene produced
at refineries or natural gas processing plants.
|Load - The amount of electric power required at a specific
time, or over a specific period of time, by a consumer,
circuit, or system.
| Load Balancing - A service involving delivery or withdrawal
of gas supplies through use of underground storage facilities
or by other means in order to meet fluctuations in demand.
|Load Centers - A geographical area where large amounts
of power are drawn by end-users.
|Load Curve - A curve on a chart showing power (kilowatts)
supplied, plotted against time of occurrence, and illustrating
the varying magnitude of the load during the period covered.
|Load (Electric) - The amount of electric power delivered
or required at any specific point or points on a system.
The requirement originates at the energy-consuming equipment
of the consumers.
|Load Factor - The ratio, during a particular time period,
of the amount of gas a customer actually takes compared
to the maximum amount the customer is entitled to take.
Can be expressed in daily, weekly, monthly or annual terms.
|Load Following - The obligation of the wheeling utility
to provide from its own generating sources any difference
between the amount of power being wheeled and the instantaneous
requirement of the customer receiving, or the supplier
delivering the wheeled power.
|Load Management - Shifting of electricity use from periods
of high demand to periods of low demand.
|Load Profiling - The study of the consumption habits
of consumers to estimate the amount of power they use
at various times of the day and for which they are billed.
Load profiling is an alternative to precise metering.
|Load Shifting - Involves moving load from on-peak to
off-peak periods. Popular applications include use of
storage water heating, storage space heating, cool storage
and customer load shifts to take advantage of time-of-use
or other special rates.
|Local Access and Transport Areas (LATAS) - A geographic
area within which an operating company may offer its telecommunications
services. Wisconsin is divided into four primary geographic
LATAs. [PSC] [See also IntraLATA]
|Local Distribution Company/Utility (LDC, LDU) - The
company that delivers electricity to a customer's home
or business along the poles and wires (formerly a local
|Local Distribution Service Rates - These rates reflect
the utility's cost of maintaining and operating its local
system for distributing natural gas to homes and business.
|Local Long Distance Service - Refers to calls outside
of your local calling area, but within your local Access
and Transport Area (LATA). Wisconsin is divided into four
LATAs. These calls are also referred to as local toll,
or intraLATA calls; (E.g. a call from Madison to La Crosse
or Milwaukee to Kenosha, are local long distance or IntraLATA
|Local Loop - The circuit between the end user and the
central office. Sometimes referred to as "last mile"
|Local Telephone Number Portability (LNP) - Allows customers
to keep their existing telephone number when they switch
to another local telephone company.
|Long-Term Debt - A sum of money borrowed through the
selling of mortgage bonds or debentures and repaid over
a specified period of time, greater than one year.
|Loop - An electrical circuit that provides two sources
of power to a load or substation so that if one source
is deenergized the remaining source continues to provide
|Low-Income Customers - Individuals and families whose
household income (usually a set percentage above the federal
poverty level) qualifies them for programs that offer
discounted energy service.
|Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) -
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
provides financial assistance with fuel costs and restoration
of utility services during the winter heating season to
eligible low-income households. Assistance to income-eligible
homeowners and landlords to repair or replace furnaces
to become more energy efficient is also available. [See
also Federal Poverty Income Guidelines]
|Low NOx Burners - Control technology used to reduce
the amount of NOx emissions that are generated from the
combustion of fossil fuels (i.e., coal).
|Marginal Cost- In the utility context, the cost to
the utility of providing the next (marginal) kilowatt-hour
of electricity, irrespective of sunk costs.
|Market-Based Pricing/Rates - Electric service prices
determined in an open market system of supply and demand
under which the price is set solely by agreement as to
what a buyer will pay and a seller will accept. Such prices
could recover less or more than full costs, depending
upon what the buyer and seller see as their relevant opportunities
|Market Clearing Price - Electric service prices determined
in an open market system of supply and demand under which
the price is set solely by agreement a to what a buyer
will pay and a seller will accept. Such prices could recover
less or more than full costs, depending upon what the
buyer and seller see as their relevant opportunities and
|Market Power - The ability of a company, either individually
or in collaboration with other companies, to affect the
price of electricity in the relevant market.
|Market Rate - The price established for electric energy
on a commodity basis between willing buyers and sellers
without reference to the embedded cost of production.
|Marketer - Companies that buy and resell gas or broker
gas for a profit. They also provide transportation and
balancing services, and monitor deliveries. [PSC]
|Maximum Demand - The greatest of all demands of the
load that has occurred within a specified period of time.
|Mercaptan - A colorless, flammable, liquefied gas with
an extremely strong and repulsive smell.
|Merchant Facilities - High-risk, high-profit facilities
that operate, at least partially, at the whims of the
market, as opposed to those facilities that are constructed
with close cooperation of municipalities.
|Merchant Plant - An electric generator not owned and
operated by an electric utility and that sells its output
to wholesale and/or retail customers. Merchant plants
may also be called non-utility generators, or independent
|Mercury - A toxic pollutant from coal-fired power plants
that bioaccumulates in the food chain.
| Message Unit - A unit of measure for charging telephone
calls, based on parameters such as the length of the call,
the distance called, and/or the time of day
|Methane - Commonly known as natural gas (or CH4), the
most common hydrocarbon gas; colorless and odorless..
|Microturbine - A very small turbine, fueled by natural
gas or some other energy source, that generates electricity
for use in homes, or commercial establishments.
|Mid-Continent Area Power Pool (MAPP) - an association
of electric utilities and other electric industry participants.
MAPP was organized in 1972 for the purpose of pooling
generation and transmission.
|Midstream - Natural gas operations located between the
wellhead and the burner tip. Generally considered to include
gathering, processing and transmission.
|Minimum Charge - A provision in a rate schedule stating
that a customer's bill cannot fall below a specified level.
|Mobile Telephone - A service which provides radio telephone
communication from a mobile vehicle to another vehicle
or to a regular telephone.
|Monopoly (Natural) - Public utilities which operate
most efficiently when they are the only seller in the
market. A natural monopoly is sanctioned in order to achieve
efficient production and distribution of their product.
Utility monopolies are controlled through regulation instead
|Monopsony - The only buyer with control over market
|Mortgage Bonds - A form of long-term loan, included
in debt capital, which is secured by the utility's property.
|Mothballing - The removal of a power plant from service,
usually in conjunction with maintenance or decommissioning
processes that hold the plant in reserve until service
issues are resolved.
|Multiplexer (MUX) - A device that combines two or more
data streams into a single stream, which streamlines the
|Municipal Utility (Muni) - A provider of utility services
owned and operated by a municipal government.
|NARUC - National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
A national organization of utility commissioners and staff
formed to study and address complex issues of utility
|National Energy Strategy (NES) - A 1991 federal proposal
that focused on national security, conservation and regulatory
reform, with options that encourage natural gas use.
|Natural Gas - A hydrocarbon gas that is usually obtained
from underground sources, often in association with petroleum
and coal deposits. It generally contains a high percentage
of methane and inert gases.
|Natural Gas Act - Passed in 1938, giving the Federal
Power Commission (now FERC) jurisdiction over companies
engaged in interstate sale or transportation of natural
gas. The act instituted federal oversight of rates charged
by interstate gas-transmission companies, and also limited
certification authority. The principles aims of the Natural
Gas Act were to: 1) provide a stable financial and regulatory
environment for the financing and construction of interstate
gas pipelines; and 2) prevent the "naturally monopolistic"
pipelines from engaging in undue discrimination and other
feared abuses, including those attendant on their control
by utility holding companies or major oil and gas producers.
|Natural Gas Decontrol Act of 1989 - Signed into law
by President Bush, this measure amends the Natural Gas
Policy Act of 1978 by removing the remaining price controls
on natural gas.
|Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) - The hydrocarbon components
in natural gas, which include propane, butanes and pentanes.
|Natural Gas Policy Act (NGPA) - A statute passed by
Congress in 1978, which, among other things, established
wellhead prices and escalation formulas for 24 categories
of natural gas. The NGPA permitted the decontrol on January
1, 1985 of defined "new gas" and is administered
by the FERC.
|Natural Monopoly - [See Monopoly, Natural]
|Net Capability - The maximum load-carrying ability of
the equipment, exclusive of station use, under specified
conditions for a given time interval, independent of the
characteristics of the load.
|Net Generation - Gross generation minus plant use from
all electric utility owned plants. The energy required
for pumping at a pumped- storage plant is regarded as
plant use and must be deducted from the gross generation.
|Net Income - [See Income, Net]
| Net Metering - An arrangement that permits a facility
(using a meter that reads inflows and outflows of electricity)
to sell any excess power it generates over its load requirement
back to the electrical grid to offset consumption.
|Net Summer Capability- The steady hourly output, which
generating equipment is expected to supply to system load
exclusive of auxiliary power, as demonstrated by tests
at the time of summer peak demand.
|Net Winter Capability - The steady hourly output which
generating equipment is expected to supply to system load
exclusive of auxiliary power, as demonstrated by tests
at the time of winter peak demand.
|Network- A generic term that refers to interconnected
lines, switches, servers, software and other hardware
that make up either a data or voice system.
|Network Interface Device (NID) - The demarcation point
between the telephone company facilities and the wiring
in a home or business. A NID allows the customer who is
experiencing trouble, such as noise or lack of dial tone,
to perform preliminary tests of service by connecting
a telephone at the NID to locate the source of the service
problem themselves. In many cases, the utility has installed
a NID where the phone line enters the home. [PSC]
|New Residential Customer - A customer who has not received
utility service in his or her name during the previous
6 months from the utility from which service is requested.
|Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) - A byproduct of electricity generation
and a contributor to ozone pollution, smog and the greenhouse
effect. [See Greenhouse Gases]
|Non-Basic Service -Any category of service not related
to basic services (generation, transmission, distribution
and transition charges)..
|Non-Bypassable Charge - A charge that all consumers
must pay, whether they continue to receive electric service
from their present utility or select a new supplier.
|Noncoincidental Peak Load - The sum of two or more peak
loads on individual systems that do not occur in the same
time interval. Meaningful only when considering loads
within a limited period of time, such as a day, week,
month, a heating or cooling season, and usually for not
more than 1 year.
|Non-Firm Power - Power or power-producing capacity supplied
or available under a commitment having limited or no assured
|Non-Traffic Sensitive Costs (NTS) - Costs incurred by
the telephone company that are not dependent on usage.
In the provision of telephone service, facilities such
as the local loop are considered to be non-traffic sensitive.
|Non-Utility Generation - Electric generation by end-users,
independent power producers, or small power producers
under the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, to supply
electric power for industrial, commercial, and military
operations, or sales to electric utilities.
|Non-Utility Generator (NUG) - Any entity not regulated
by the government as a public utility that owns or operates
a generating facility and offers electric power for sale
to utilities or the public. (See also Independent Power
|Nonutility Power Producer
- A corporation, person, agency, authority, or other legal
entity or instrumentality that owns electric generating
capacity and is not an electric utility. Nonutility power
producers include qualifying qualifying cogenerators,
qualifying small power producers, and other nonutility
generators (including independent power producers) without
a designated franchised service area, and which do not
file forms listed in the Code of Federal Regulations,
Title 18, Part 141.
|Normalization - The task of making elements within a
test year to conform to a typical year. Elimination of
abnormal circumstances-such as non-recurring costs-when
adjusting book figures for a rate case.
|NOx Emissions - The sum of nitric oxides and nitrogen
dioxides emitted, calculated as nitrogen dioxide.
|NOx Emission Credits (see Emission Credits)
|Nuclear Energy - Energy obtained as a result of nuclear
fission or nuclear fusion.
|Nuclear Fuel - Fissionable materials that have been
enriched to such a composition that, when placed in a
nuclear reactor, will support a self-sustaining fission
chain reaction, producing heat in a controlled manner
for process use.
|Nuclear Power Plant - A facility in which heat produced
in a reactor by the fissioning of nuclear fuel is used
to drive a steam turbine.
|Nuclear Waste - The byproduct of nuclear power production:
High-level nuclear waste is defined as:
Low-level nuclear waste is defined as:
|Number Portability -
A term used to describe the capability of individuals,
businesses and organizations to retain their existing
telephone number(s) - and the same quality of service
- when switching to a new local service provider.
|Obligation-to-Serve - The obligation of a utility to
provide electric service to any customer who seeks that
service, and is willing to pay the rates set for that
service. Traditionally, utilities have assumed the obligation
to serve in return for an exclusive monopoly franchise.
|Occupant - The resident or residents of a premises to
which utility service is provided. [PSC]
|Off-Peak/On-Peak Gas - Blocks of time when energy demand
and price is low (off-peak) or high (on-peak).
|Off-System Sales - The sale of gas supply outside of
a company's service territory to other utilities, cogeneration
plants and large industrial customers and marketers when
it is not needed for core customers.
|Oligopoly - A few sellers who exert market control over
|Open Access - A regulatory mandate to allow others to
use a utility's transmission and distribution facilities
to move bulk power from one point to another on a nondiscriminatory
basis for a cost-based fee..
|Operable Nuclear Unit - A nuclear unit is "operable"
after it completes low-power testing and is granted authorization
to operate at full power. This occurs when it receives
its full power amendment to its operating license from
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
|Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Cost - Operating
expenses are associated with operating a facilities (i.e.
supervising and engineering expenses). Maintenance expenses
are that portion of expenses consisting of labor, materials,
and other direct and indirect expenses incurred for preserving
the operating efficiency or physical condition of utility
plants that are used for power production, transmission,
and distribution of energy.
|Options - An option is a contractual agreement that
gives the holder the right to buy (see Call Option) or
sell (see Put Option) a fixed quantity of a security or
commodity (for example, a commodity or commodity futures
contract), at a fixed price, within a specified period
of time. May either be standardized, exchange-traded,
and government regulated, or over-the-counter customized
|Other Public Authority - A class of utility customer.
Water is sold to a municipality or government agency as
a city or town.
|Outage - The period during which a generating unit,
transmission line, or other facility is out of service.
| Ozone - A form of oxygen that is a major agent in the
formation of air pollution; it results from photochemical
reactions involving automobile and industrial emissions.
Ozone also occurs naturally in the upper atmosphere (the
ozone layer) where it serves as a barrier against the
harmful effects of the sun's radiation. Ozone emissions
involve pollution close to the earth's surface, where
ozone accumulation is harmful. Ozone depletion occurs
in the upper atmosphere, where preserving the shrinking
ozone layer is essential to protecting the planet.
|Paging - A service which provides one-way signal or
voice communication over a radio channel to a miniature
receiver carried by the customer.
|Pair - Two wires of a single circuit.
|Parallel Path Flow - As defined by NERC, 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.)
|Particulate Matter/Particulates - Microscopic particles
of dust found in the air. Industrial activities including
electricity generation are the focus of proposals to limit
particulates, which are said to cause health and environmental
|Pay-Per-Call and Information Services - Telecommunications
services that are accessed by dialing numbers with a 900,
976 or 700 prefix. Customers are billed on a per-call
or a per-time-interval basis, with the charge being greater
than or in addition to the charge for the transmission
of the call. "Pay-per-call" and "information
services" are often used interchangeably. Pay-per-call
is a specific type of information service while information
services is a broad term that includes 900 number pay-per-call
services and services that are offered by dialing numbers
other than 900 numbers. Customers may have access to these
numbers blocked on their lines.
- A telephone which normally requires all users to deposit
one or more coins or use a credit card to complete a call.
|Peak - The period of greatest gas demand. The peak period
in Wisconsin is during the winter months.
|Peak Demand (see also Capacity and Capacity Charge)
- The maximum load during a specified period of time.
|Peak Day - The
24-hour period of greatest total gas send out
|Peak Load or Peak Demand - The electric load that corresponds
to a maximum level of electric demand in a specified time
period. [See also Capacity and Capacity Charge]
|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
|Peak Shaving - A load management tool that reduces energy
costs. The concept is to replace expensive energy used
during the peak operating hours (typically 8:00 A.M. to
8:00 P.M.) with inexpensive energy produced by a natural
gas fueled on-site generator
|Peak Use Period - The period when gas supply is most
likely to be suspended for interruptible service customers.
|Peaking Capacity - Capacity of generating equipment
normally reserved for operation during the hours of highest
daily, weekly, or seasonal loads. Some generating equipment
may be operated at certain times as peaking capacity and
at other times to serve loads on an around-the-clock basis.
|Peaking Generation - Electric generating equipment normally
operated to serve loads only during annual peak loads
or during system emergencies. Often combustion turbines.
|Peak Load/Peak Demand - The electric load that corresponds
to a maximum level of electric demand in a specified time
period. [See also Capacity and Capacity Charge]
|Peaking Power - Generation used to satisfy demand for
electricity during the hours of highest daily, weekly,
or seasonal loads (demands).
|Peaking Unit - A generating unit used to meet the portion
of peak load that cannot be met by base load units. Generally,
these are higher energy cost units, such as gas turbines.
|Percent Difference- The relative change in a quantity
over a specified time period. It is calculated as follows:
the current value has the previous value subtracted from
it; this new number is divided by the absolute value of
the previous value; then this new number is multiplied
|Performance-Based Rates/Regulation (PBR) - Any rate-setting
mechanism which attempts to link rewards (generally profits)
to desired results or targets. PBR sets rates, or components
of rates, for a period of time based on external indices
rather than a utility's cost-of-service. Other definitions
include light-handed regulation which is less costly and
less subject to debate and litigation. A form of rate
regulation which provides utilities with better incentives
to reduce their costs than does cost-of-service regulation.
|Personal Communication Service (PCS) - A form of wireless
which uses digital technology. [PSC]
|Petition - A utility's request to the Commission to
increase rates, to obtain approval of a certificate of
convenience and necessity or for changes in the Commission's
rules and regulations.
|Petroleum - A mixture of hydrocarbons existing in the
liquid state found in natural underground reservoirs,
often associated with gas. Petroleum includes fuel oil
No. 2, No. 4, No. 5, No 6; topped crude; Kerosene; and
|Photovoltaics - Devices which, when exposed to light,
have the ability to generate an electrical current. [PSC]
|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 Conversion - Use of semi-conductors or
other devices that convert solar radiation (phototons)
directly to electricity.
|Pilot Program - A program approved by the Commission
that is offered by a utility to some or all of its customers
on a trial basis. All pilot programs require Commission
approval and some require the granting of rule exceptions.
|Pipeline Capacity Charge - Fee to cover transportation
of gas. Varies by customer based on local utility calculations.
|Pipeline Imbalance - Companies which transport and use
storage facilities in a pipeline system are obliged by
the pipeline operator to keep their input and offtake
volumes in balance (within tolerance limits). If there
is a positive or negative pipeline imbalance the transporting
companies are financially heavily penalized by the pipeline.
|Pipeline Interconnect - Where large pipelines meet and
gas can be switched from one pipeline to another, such
as Henry hub in the US.
|Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) - The basic, traditional
mode of copper-wire, switched telephone services.
|Planned Generator - A proposal by a company to install
electric generating equipment at an existing or planned
facility or site. The proposal is based on the owner having
obtained (1) all environmental and regulatory approvals,
(2) a signed contract for the electric energy, or (3)
financial closure for the facility.
|Plant - A facility at which are located prime movers,
electric generators, and auxiliary equipment for converting
mechanical, chemical and/or nuclear energy into electric
energy. A plant may contain more than one type of prime
mover. Electric utility plants exclude facilities that
satisfy the definition of a qualifying facility under
the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978.
|Plant Use - The electric energy used in the operation
of a plant. Included in this definition is the energy
required for pumping at pumped-storage plants.
|Plant-Use Electricity- The electric energy used in
the operation of a plant. This energy total is subtracted
from the gross energy production of the plant; for reporting
purposes the plant energy production is then reported
as a net figure. The energy required for pumping at pumped-storage
plants is, by definition, subtracted, and the energy production
for these plants is then reported as a net figure.
|Pollution Credits - Monitored by the US Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), US-based companies have a limit
on the various types of pollution they can produce. If
the actual pollution they produce is below this, they
have pollution credits which can be traded. [See also
|POOLCO (Wholesale/Retail) - A system in which an independent
operator, acting as both the central buying entity for
electricity suppliers in the region and the single agent
for selling power to retail customers and their aggregators,
accepts bids from the suppliers to sell their power and
then, based on the bids and the demand for power at that
time, establishes the short-term market price for electricity.
|Portable Generator - A backup source of electricity
in the event of a power outage.
|Portfolio Management - The functions of resource planning
and procurement under a traditional utility structure.
Portfolio management can also be defined as the aggregation
and management of a diverse portfolio of supply (and demand-reduction)
resources which will act as a hedge against various risks
that may affect specific resources (i.e. fuel price fluctuations
and certainty of supply, common mode failures, operational
reliability, changes in environmental regulations, and
the risk of health, safety, and environmental damages
that may occur as a result of operating some supply resources).
Under a more market-driven power sector with a "power
pool" or POOLCO wholesale market-structure, a portfolio
manager would: aggregate and manage a diverse portfolio
of spot-market purchases, contracts-for-differences, futures
contracts and other market-hedging-type contracts and
|Post-Test Year Addition - Additions to utility plants
which are placed in service after the test year.
|Power - The rate at which energy is transferred. Electrical
energy is usually measured in watts. Also used for a measurement
|Power Authorities - Quasi-governmental agencies that
perform all or some of the functions of a public utility.
|Power Broker (see Broker)
|Power Exchange - A function of restructuring that creates
a place for generators and suppliers to sell and buy electricity.
Prices will vary daily and hourly according to supply
|Power Exchange Generation - Generation being scheduled
by the power exchange.
|Power Exchange Load - Load that has been scheduled by
the power exchange and which is received through the use
of transmission or distribution facilities owned by participating
|Power Factor - The fraction of power actually used by
a customer's electrical equipment, compared to the total
apparent power supplied, usually expressed as a percentage.
[See also Primary Discount]
|Power Marketers - Business entities engaged in buying,
selling, and marketing electricity. Power marketers do
not usually own generating or transmission facilities.
Power marketers, as opposed to brokers, take ownership
of the electricity and are involved in interstate trade.
These entities file with the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission for status as a power marketer.
|Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) - The umbrella
term for four federally owned PMAs that sell power produced
at federal hydropower projects, giving first priority
to consumer-owned systems such as co-ops or municipals
and making that power available at the cost of production.
|Power Pool - An entity established to coordinate short-term
operations to maintain system stability and achieve least-cost
dispatch. The dispatch provides backup supplies, short-term
excess sales, reactive power support, and spinning reserve.
Historically, some of these services were provided on
an unpriced basis as part of the members' utility franchise
obligations. Coordinating short-term operations includes
the aggregation and firming of power from various generators,
arranging exchanges between generators, and establishing
(or enforcing) the rules of conduct for wholesale transactions.
The pool may own, manage and/or operate the transmission
lines "wires" or be an independent entity that
manages the transactions between entities. Often, the
power pool is not meant to provide transmission access
and pricing, or settlement mechanisms if differences between
contracted volumes among buyers and sellers exist. .
|Power Purchase Agreement - The contract entered into
by an independent power producer and an electric utility.
The agreement specifies the terms and conditions under
which electric power will be generated and purchased.
|Power Supplier - A company that generates (makes) and/or
sells electricity. It is not necessary to generate electricity
to be a supplier.
|Power Surge - A sudden change in an electrical system's
voltage that is capable of damaging electrical equipment.
The most severe surges are caused by lightning.
|Precipitation Swaps - Instruments linked
to the degree of rainfall or snowfall. The party taking
out a precipitation swap would receive payment for precipitation
above a certain level.
|Prescribed Interexchange Charge (PICC) - The charge
the local exchange company assesses the long distance
company when a consumer picks it as his or her long distance
|Preferred Stock - Stock guaranteed priority by a corporation's
charter over common stock in the payment of dividends
and distribution of assets. Preferred stock is sold at
a contracted rate.
|Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) -
A nuclear reactor in which heat is transferred from the
core to a heat exchanger via water kept under high pressure
without boiling the water.
|Presubscribed Interexchange Carrier Charge (PICC) -
A charge on the long distance portion of a phone bill
which may appear as "Presubscribed Interexchange
Carrier charge", "Presubscribed Line Charge",
or "Carrier Line Charge". The FCC allows local
phone companies to charge long distance companies for
the use of local telephone line. Many long distance companies
recover these costs by charging the consumer.
|Presubscription - Term used to describe the selection
of a particular long distance carrier to handle all calls
dialed with 1 plus the area code and phone number. [PSC]
|Price - The amount of money or consideration-in-kind
for which a service is bought, sold, or offered for sale.
|Price Cap - A situation where a price has been determined
and fixed, often by a regulatory body to control the cost
|Price Transparency - Market prices for generation and
transmission service made available to the public so that
customers know how much they will pay for power supply
and transportation in a deregulated market.
|Primary Discount - A provision is available to customers
who can take delivery of electrical energy at primary
distribution voltage levels.
|Primary Distribution/Primary Distribution Feeder - A
primary voltage distribution circuit, usually considered
to be between a substation or point of supply and the
distribution transformers, which supply lower voltage
distribution circuits or consumer service circuits.
|Primary Interexchange Carrier (PIC) - The main long
distance carrier used for 1+ dialing through which all
long distance toll calls are made.
|Prime Mover - The engine, turbine, water wheel, or similar
machine that drives an electric generator; or, for reporting
purposes, a device that converts energy to electricity
directly (e.g. photovoltaic solar and fuel cell(s).
|Private Branch Exchange (PBX) - A manually, or operator
controlled switching system, usually on the customer's
premises, which serves that customer's telephones over
a common group of lines from the central office.
|Private Line Service - Channel or circuit rented for
private use and not intended to be connected to the general
|Privately-Owned Utility (see Investor-Owned Utility)
|Privatization - The sale or transfer to private individuals
or businesses of assets or business owned by the government.
|Provider of Last Resort - An entity that is legally
required to provide service to customers who are not offered
electricity service from any competitors.
|Production Tax Credit (PTC) - Provides the owner of
a qualifying facility with an annual tax credit based
on the amount of electricity that is generated. By focusing
on the energy produced instead of capital invested, this
type of tax incentive encourages projects that perform
|Profit, Utility - A return which the utility investors
earn on the money they have invested over the years to
build the system.
|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
|"Prudence" - The ability to govern and discipline
oneself by the use of reason; a word used to describe
a determining factor in deciding whether a utility property
should be included in rate base.
|Public Authority Service to Public Authorities - This
service includes electricity supplied and services rendered
to municipalities or divisions or agencies of State or
Federal governments, under special contracts or agreements
or service classifications applicable only to public authorities.
|Public Benefits Fund (PBF) - A program funded through
a generation or transmission interconnection fee on electricity
used, to fund various public purpose programs, such as,
low-income energy assistance, energy efficiency, consumer
energy education, and renewable energy technologies development
|Public Fire Protection Service - Provision of water
at adequate pressures and flow rates from hydrants and
sprinkler systems to fight fires.
|Publicly Held/Publicly Owned Utility
|Public Interest Goals - Public interest goals of electric
utility regulation include: 1) inter and intra-class and
intergenerational equity); 2) the equal treatment of equals
(horizontal equity); 3) balancing long-and short-term
goals that have the potential to affect intergenerational
balance; 4) protecting against the abuse of monopoly power;
and 5) general protection of the health and welfare of
the citizens of the state, nation, and world. Environmental
and other types of social costs are subsumed under the
equity and health and welfare responsibilities.
|Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA) -
A Federal law that was enacted to address and correct
abusive practices by large and powerful utility holding
companies that were operating to the detriment of utility
ratepayers and shareholders. PUHCA granted the Securities
and Exchange Commission the authority to abolish the large
holding companies and to regulate mergers and diversification
proposals of the remaining holding companies, now known
as registered holding companies.
|Public Utility Commission (PUC) or
Public Service Commission (PSC) - the state regulatory
body responsible for oversight of those involved in the
commodity industry in general and electric deregulation
in particular. They govern retail utility rates and practices.
|Public Utility District - A political subdivision (quasi-public
corporation of a state) with territorial boundaries embracing
an area wider than a single municipality and frequently
covering more than one county for the purpose of generating,
transmitting and distributing electric energy.
|Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA)
- The Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978,
passed by the U.S. Congress. This statute requires States
to implement utility conservation programs and create
special markets for co-generators and small producers
who meet certain standards, including the requirement
that States set the prices and quantities of power the
utilities must buy from such facilities.
|Pulverized Coal -
|Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Plant - A plant that usually
generates electric energy during peak-load periods by
using water previously pumped into an elevated storage
reservoir during off-peak periods when excess generating
capacity is available to do so. When additional generating
capacity is needed, the water can be released from the
reservoir through a conduit to turbine generators located
in a power plant at a lower level.
|Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) - A regulatory provision
allowing a company to change its rates for the purpose
of recovering currently the changes in its cost of purchased
|Purchased Power Adjustment - A clause in a rate schedule
that provides for adjustments to the bill when energy
from another electric system is acquired and it varies
from a specified unit base amount.
|Pure Pumped -Storage Hydroelectric Plant - A plant that
produces power only from water that has previously been
pumped to an upper reservoir.
|Pyrolysis - The thermal decomposition of biomass at
high temperature in the absence of oxygen.
|Qualifying Facility -
A cogeneration or small power production facility that
meets certain ownership, operating, and efficiency criteria
established by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies
|R-Value - a commercial unit used to measure the effectiveness
of thermal insulation. A thermal insulator is a material,
manufactured in sheets, that resists conducting heat energy.
Its thermal conductance is measured, in traditional units,
in Btu's of energy conducted times inches of thickness
per hour of time per square foot of area per Fahrenheit
degree of temperature difference between the two sides
of the material
|Radio Common Carrier (RCC) - A company which furnishes
public telecommunications service using one or more radio
|Rate - The unit charge or charges made to customers
for providing a public utility service.
|Rate Base - The amount of money a utility has invested
over the years in facilities (net of depreciation) which
serve the customers plus the amount of working capital
required to keep the company going.
|Rate Cap- The maximum permitted rate for flexibility-priced
|Rate Case - A proceeding before a regulatory commission
to set rates and charges to customers. In addition to
the utility, members of the public and their representatives
can be parties to a rate case.
|Rate Design - The allocation of cost of service to different
customer classes. [See also Rate Structure]
|Rate of Return - The percentage set by the Commission
that a local utility is authorized to earn on its investment.
|Rate Order - The decision of the PSC regarding dispensation
of a utility rate case.
|Rate Structure - [See Rate Design]
|Ratemaking Authority - A utility commission's legal
authority to fix, modify, approve, or disapprove rates,
as determined by the powers given the commission by a
State or Federal legislature.
|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.
Repackaging or regrouping the arrangement of different
services such as transport, gathering, storage, or sales
by a pipeline or utility for its customer.
|Receipts - Purchases of fuel.
|Reciprocal Compensation - Payments that flow between
the ILEC and the CLEC. The party that terminates the call
receives the payment.
|Reciprocity - Assurance that utilities, if and when
their markets are no longer protected, are allowed to
compete in the markets of their competitors.
|Recloser - A protective device which automatically disconnects
and then reconnects the flow of electricity when it detects
trouble on an electric line.
|Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) - Fuel processed from municipal
solid waste that can be in shredded, fluff, or densified
|Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC) - The regional
telephone companies that resulted from the break-up of
|Regional Transmission Group (RTG) - A utility industry
concept that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
embraced for the certification of voluntary groups that
would be responsible for transmission planning and use
on a regional basis.
|Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) - A voluntary
organization of transmission owners, users, and other
entities interested in coordinating transmission planning,
expansion, operation, and use on a regional and inter-regional
basis. Such groups are subject to FERC approval.
|Regulation - A rule or order having the force of law
issued by the PSC; the state of being regulated by the
- Equipment installed for the purpose of automatically
reducing and regulating the pressure in the downstream
pipeline or main to which it is connected. Included are
piping and auxiliary devices such as valves, control instruments,
control lines, the enclosure, and ventilation equipment.
|Reliability - Electric system reliability has two components-adequacy
and security. Adequacy is the ability of the electric
system to supply to aggregate electrical 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. The degree of
reliability may be measured by the frequency, duration,
and magnitude of adverse effects on consumer services.
|Remote Switching Unit (RSU) - An electronic switching
system that is remote from its host or control office.
All of the central control equipment for the RSU is located
in the host switching system. [PSC]
|Renewable Energy - Any energy source that is regenerative
or virtually inexhaustible. Typical examples are wind,
geothermal, and water power.
- Biomass from non-fossil fuel sources (wind, solar, geothermal,
hydro, and trees and other vegetation). Includes byproducts
from faring and food processing industries.
|Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) - A requirement that
a small percentage of the nation's power supply portfolio
come from renewable sources.
|Renewable Resources - Naturally, but flow-limited resources
that can be replenished. They are virtually inexhaustible
in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is
available per unit of time.
Renewable energy sources include: biomass, hydro, geothermal,
solar and wind.
|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.
|Reseller - A carrier that does not own transmission
facilities, but obtains communications services from another
carrier for resale to the public for a profit. Reserve
Margin (Operating) - The amount of unused available capability
of an electric power system at peak load for a utility
system as a percentage of total capability.
|Reserve Margin (Operating)
- The amount of unused available capability
of an electric power system at peak load for a utility
system as a percentage of total capability.
|Residential Customer -One of four classes of utility
customers primarily composed of private housing dwellers.
|Residential Sector - The residential sector is defined
as private household establishments which consume energy
primarily for space heating, water heating, air conditioning,
lighting, refrigeration, cooking and clothes drying.
|Restructuring - The process of separating utilities
into their separate functions - transmission, distribution,
generation, and services - and resulting in continued
regulation of distribution and transmission services and
a competitive market for electricity supply.
|Retail Access - [See Customer Choice]
|Retail Choice - The ability of retail customers to shop
for electric generation service, and to choose the electric
supplier that will provide their electricity.
Retail Competition - The concept under which multiple
sellers of electric power can sell directly to end-use
customers and the process and responsibilities necessary
to make it occur.
|Retail Market - A market in which electricity and other
energy services are sold directly to the end-use customer.
|Retail Wheeling - The process of moving electric power
from a point of generation across one or more utility-owned
transmission and distribution systems to a retail customer,
giving customers the option to purchase electricity from
more than one provider. (See also Direct Access)
|Retained Earnings - Part of a utility's equity; profits
which are retained by the utility often to invest in new
facilities and equipment.
|Retrofit - To furnish with new parts or equipment not
available at the time of manufacture of the structure.
|Return on Equity - The return to shareholders, i.e.,
the utility's net income expressed as a percentage of
that portion of a utility's total investment provided
by the common shareholders through the purchase of stock
and retained earnings.
|Revenue - The total amount of money received by a firm
from sales of its products and/or services, gains from
the sales or exchange of assts, interest and dividends
earned on investments, and other increases in the owner's
equity except those arising from capital adjustments.
|Rights-of-Way and Private Easement - Defined as the
right to pass over, through, or underneath property owned
by another party or a right afforded to a person to make
limited use of another's real property. The most typical
types of rights-of-way are granted in the form of blanket
and private easements. A blanket easement may be granted
by a municipality to a utility for installing its facilities
on road rights-of-way. In the case of a private easement,
the landowner grants the utility permission to install
a cable or building facility on the privately owned property.
This easement is filed with the county register of deeds
and will appear on the property deed.
|Route Miles - Total number of route miles (to the nearest
mile) of operating plant facilities including drop wire
in the exchange. One route mile may consist of:
1. One mile of roadway with any combination of outside
plant facilities on any number of rights-of-way.
2. One mile of a cross-country route with any combination
of outside plant facilities.
3. One mile of point-to point microwave or radio link.
4. One mile of plant on either side of a limited access
highway or natural barrier, such as a navigable waterway.
5. One mile of joint use line where the utility either
owns the facility or leases space. [PSC]
|Router - A device that distributes data traffic to the
|Rules of Conduct- Rules set in advance to delineate
acceptable activities by participants, particularly participants
with significant market power.
|Running and Quick-Start Capability - The net capability
of generating units that carry load or have quick-start
capability. In general, quick-start capability refers
to generating units can be available for load within a
|Rural Electric Cooperative (Co-op) - An independent
electric utility that is owned by the consumers it serves
and is legally established to provide at-cost electric
service. Typically co-ops are financed initially by the
Rural Electrification Administration (REA) and are exempt
from Federal income tax laws.
|Rural Electrification Administration (REA) - Former
agency of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture charged with administering
loan programs for electrification and telephone service
in rural areas. The REA was created (1935) by executive
order as an independent federal bureau, authorized by
the Congress in 1936, and later (1939) reorganized as
a division of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The administration
was abolished in 1994 and its functions assumed by the
Rural Utilities Service.
|Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) - The Safe Drinking Water
Act of 1974 and its 1986 and 1996 amendments are the laws
enacted by Congress authorizing the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) to establish national drinking
water regulations. [PSC]
|Sales for Resale - A class of utility customer. Water
is sold to other public water systems for resale by those
|Sales - The
amount of kilowatt hours sold in a given period of time;
usually grouped by classes of service, such as residential,
commercial, industrial, and other. Other sales include
public street and highway lighting, other sales to public
authorities and railways, and interdepartmental sales.
|SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) - Remote
controlled equipment used by utilities to operate their
production and delivery systems.
Entities certified by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
that act as a go-between with the Independent System Operator
on behalf of generators, supply aggregators (wholesale
marketers), retailers, and customers to schedule the distribution
|Scheduled Outage - The shutdown of a generating unit,
transmission line, or other facility, for inspection or
maintenance, in accordance with an advance schedule.
|Scrubbers - Equipment designed to reduce sulfur emissions
from coal-fired power plants.
|Securitization - A proposal for issuing bonds that would
be used to buy down existing power contracts or other
obligations. The bonds would be repaid by designating
a portion of future customer bill payments. Customer bills
would be lowered since the cost of bond payments would
be less than the power contract costs that would be avoided.
A financial mechanism through which a utility can recover
its stranded costs up front, in a single lump sum payment
via the issuance of securities, i.e. bonds. [AARP]
|Securitize - The aggregation of contracts for the purchase
of the power output from various energy projects into
one pool which then offers shares for sale in the investment
market. This strategy diversifies project risks from what
they would be if each project were financed individually,
thereby reducing the cost of financing.
|Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) -
Term frequently used as a synonym for catalytic
reduction of NOx in diesel exhaust or flue gases by
nitrogen containing compounds, such as ammonia
or urea. Such SCR systems are commercially available for
NOx control in stationary applications. However, "selective
catalytic reduction" is a generic term, which is
also used in Regard to other reactions.
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.
|Self-Service Wheeling - Primarily an accounting policy
comparable to net-billing or running the meter backwards.
An entity owns generation that produces excess electricity
at one site that is used at another site owned by the
same entity. It is given billing credit for the excess
electricity (displacing retail electricity costs minus
wheeling charges) on the bills for its other sites.
|Sellback - When an alternative energy system is connected
to the grid, and excess power is sold back to the local
|Separations - The process by which telephone property
costs, revenues, expenses, taxes and reserves are assigned
between interstate operations, subject to the jurisdiction
of the FCC, and intrastate operations, subject to the
jurisdiction of a state regulatory body.
|Service Area/Territory - The geographical territory
served by a utility.
|Service Drop - The overhead conductors between the electric
supply, such as the last pole, and the building or structure
|Service Obligation [see Obligation to Serve]
- A telecommunications provider that owns circuit switching
|Short-Term Debt- A sum of money borrowed directly from
banks with the intent of repaying in less than one year.
It may or may not be considered part of a utility's debt
|Signaling System 7 (SS7) - A protocol for addressing
|Single Tariff Pricing (STP) - A concept applied to allocate
revenue requirements on a company-wide basis so that each
customer class pays the same water rate regardless of
|Slamming - A
change in a customer's selection of provider of telecommunications
service (local or long distance) that was made without
the customer's knowledge or explicit authorization. Such
unauthorized switching violates FCC rules.
|Small Power Producer (SPP) - Under the Public Utility
Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), a small power production
facility (or small power producer) generates electricity
using waste, renewable (water, wind and solar), or geothermal
energy as a primary energy source. Fossil fuels can be
used, but renewable resource must provide at least 75
percent of the total energy input. (See Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR), Title 18, Part 292.)
- Power produced by technology that collects solar radiation
to produce electricity. The two most common forms of solar
energy are photovoltaic panels, which are semiconductors
that directly generate electricity, and solar thermal
plants, which use the sun to create steam to turn a turbine.
|SOx Emissions - Emissions of sulfur dioxides.
|SO2 Emission Credits [See Emission Credits]
|Special Contracts - Any contract that provides a utility
service under terms and conditions other than those listed
in the utility's tariffs. For example, an electric utility
may enter into an agreement with a large customer to provide
electricity at a rate below the tariffed rate in order
to prevent the customer from taking advantage of some
other option that would result in the loss of the customer's
load. This generally allows that customer to compete more
effectively in their product market.
|Spinning Reserve - That reserve generating capacity
running at a zero load and synchronized to the electric
|Spot Market - A market for short-term, specified volumes
of gas supplies and capacities. [PSC]
|Spot Pricing -
The price of a commodity or service is established by
the market for short-term transactions. This price can
change with each transaction and reflects the continually
changing balances between supply and demand.
- A single shipment of fuel or volumes of fuel, purchased
for delivery within 1 year. Spot purchases are often made
by a user to fulfill a certain portion of energy requirements,
to meet unanticipated energy needs, or to take advantage
of low-fuel prices.
The property of a system or element by virtue of which
its output will ultimately attain a steady state. The
amount of power that can be transferred from one machine
to another following a disturbance. The stability of a
power system is its ability to develop restoring forces
equal to or greater than the disturbing forces so as to
maintain a state of equilibrium.
|Stand-Alone System -
A solar energy installation not connected to a utility
power line. A direct system uses the PV-produced electricity
as it is produced, e.g. a solar-powered water-pumping
station. A battery storage system stores the PV-produced
electricity for use a later time, e.g. at night or on
|Stand Alone Switch -
A central office switch which has no remote switching
units (RSUs) subtending it. [PSC]
|Standard Offer -
The basic terms and rates offered to a customer in a competitive
retail electricity market, usually when the customer does
not select a particular service plan and receives the
stand offer "by default."
- A facility that supports a utility system and is generally
running under no-load. It is available to replace or supplement
a facility normally in service.
- Support service that is available, as needed, to supplement
a consumer, a utility system, or to another utility if
a schedule or an agreement authorizes the transaction.
The service is not regularly used.
|Steam-Electric Plant (Conventional)
- A plant in which the prime mover is a steam turbine.
The steam used to drive the turbine is produced in a boiler
where fossil fuels are burned.
- A signed, written agreement presented to the Commission
which eliminates, either total or partial, differences
between the parties involved in a proceeding before the
Commission. This procedure was developed to expedite the
hearing process and ultimate decision by the Commission.
Capital stock, other than preferred, which is bought by
utility shareholders and becomes part of a utility's equity.
Its value is determined in the marketplace, and its return
is not a contractual rate.
- [See Preferred Stock]
Shareholders; those individuals or holding companies who
invest their money into the utility by buying stocks.
|Stocks - A supply
of fuel accumulated for future use. This includes coal
and fuel oil stocks at the plant site, in coal cars, tanks,
or barges at the plant site, or at separate storage sites.
|Stranded Benefits/Stranded Public Benefits -
Public interest programs and goals which could be compromised
or abandoned by a restructured electric industry. These
potential "stranded benefits" might include:
environmental protection, fuel diversity, energy efficiency,
low-income ratepayer assistance, and other types of socially
|Stranded Costs/Stranded Assets
- A stranded cost occurs when customers of one utility
are allowed to have power brought to them from some other
supplier, thereby leaving the original utility with debts
for plants and equipment it no longer needs and without
the revenue from the ratepayers the plants were built
to serve. All potentially stranded costs are the result
of decisions that [See also Embedded Costs Exceeding Market
- Prudent costs incurred by a utility which may not be
recoverable under market-based retail competition. Examples
are undepreciated generating facilities, deferred costs,
and long-term contract costs.
- Revenue generated because the value of utility investments
that were made under regulation is greater in a competitive
market than it is under a regulated monopoly structure.
- a special case of voltage in which the neutral to earth
voltage is present across points (generally grounded metal
objects) in which a current flow is produced when an animal
comes into contact with. Stray voltages are low-level
voltages and should be distinguished from painful shocks
felt by humans.
- 1) The requirement that an electric utility create a
separate subsidiary to run its generation services. The
subsidiary would operate in a separate building and have
its own employees and financial reporting procedures.
Structural separation of generation services is one of
three often-mentioned policy options for protecting consumers
from the disadvantages of market power (the others are
divestiture and functional separation). 2) The term (rare)
also can refer to the requirement that an electric utility
create a separate subsidiary to run its transmission or
|Sub bituminous Coal
- A coal whose properties range from those of lignite
to those of bituminous coal and are used primarily as
fuel for steam-electric power generation.
- Remetering of purchased energy by a customer for distribution
to the customer's tenants through privately owned or rented
|Subscriber Line Charge (SLC)
- A monthly fee paid by telephone subscribers that is
used to compensate the local telephone company for part
of the cost of installation and maintenance of the telephone
wire, poles and other facilities that link the home to
the telephone network.
Facility equipment that switches, changes, or regulates
- One of the elements present in varying quantities in
coal which contributes to environmental degradation when
coal is burned.
|Sulfur Dioxide (SO2)
- A pungent toxic gas that is a major pollutant associated
with electric generation through non-renewable sources.
[See Greenhouse Gases]
- The greatest load on an electric system during any prescribed
demand interval in the summer (cooling) season.
|Sunk Costs -
A cost that has already been incurred, and therefore cannot
be avoided by any strategy going forward.
|Supplier - Any
entity that sells electricity to customers using either
its own transmission and distribution facilities or those
of another company.
- All costs of the production of electric energy as measured
at the point the electric energy is transferred to the
local distribution utility for delivery to a customer.
- Activities conducted on the utility's side of the customer
meter. Activities designed to supply electric power to
customers, rather than meeting load through energy efficiency
measures or on-site generation on the customer side of
- Energy use and technology drawing from renewable energy
sources that does not harmfully disrupt the natural environment
or the social structures of the people involved.
|Switch - A device
that connects callers to their destinations.
|Switching Station - Facility equipment used to tie together
two or more electric circuits through switches. The switches
are selectively arranged to permit a circuit to be disconnected,
or to change the electric connection between the circuits.
Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) - The technology at
each end of an optical fiber system that connects, or
interfaces, those fibers to the rest of a system.
- Physically connected generation, transmission, and distribution
facilities operated as an integrated unit under one central
management, or operating supervision.
|System Load Factor
- The ratio of average load to peak load during a specific
period of time, expressed as a percent.
|System Benefits Charge -
A charge on all users of electricity to fund public interest
programs, such as energy conservation, research and development,
energy efficiency, and low-income assistance.
|Take-or-Pay- A clause in a gas supply contract providing
that, for a specific period, a stated minimum quantity
of gas must be paid for whether or not delivery is accepted
by the purchaser. Some contracts contain a time period
in which the buyer may take the gas previously paid for
and not taken.
|Tandems - Switches that consolidate traffic.
|Tariff - The documents filed by a carrier describing
their services and the payments to be charged for such
|Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) Wisconsin
- The Wisconsin Legislature passed a law requiring local
phone companies to pay into the state's Universal Service
Fund (USF) through a TEACH assessment. The TEACH program
makes lower cost data lines and video links available
to schools and libraries. The law also allows local phone
companies to pass these costs to consumers through increased
|Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Federal legislation
that opened the way for CLECs to compete with incumbent
|Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) - A free service
that enables persons with TTYs, individuals who use sign
language and people who have speech disabilities to use
telephone services by having a third party transmit and
translate the call.
|Telephony - The word used to describe the science of
transmitting voice over a telecommunications network.
|10-10 Dial Around - Dialing a long distance number using
1-(area code)-(phone number). The call is billed by the
presubscribed carrier that has been chosen. A different
company can be used for one or more calls by using a "dial-around"
provider. To use these companies, one dials 1010, then
the 3-digit code for the company desired, then the phone
|Test Year - A specific 12-month period selected to demonstrate
a utility's need for a rate increase.
|Thermal Plants - [See Geothermal Power]
|Three-Phase Service - Service where the facility (e.g.
manufacturing plant, office building, warehouse, barn)
has three energized wires coming into it. Typically serves
larger power needs of greater than 120V/240V.
|Throughput - The amount of gas traveling through the
natural gas delivery system
|Time-of-Use (TOU) Meter - A meter that measures how
much electricity a customer uses during a specific time
of the day and in total.
|Time-of-Use Rates - The pricing of electricity based
on the estimated cost of electricity during a particular
time block. Time-of-use rates are usually divided into
three or four time blocks per twenty-four hour period
(on-peak, mid-peak, off-peak and sometime super off-peak)
and by seasons of the year (summer and winter). [See also
|Transformer - An electrical device for changing the
voltage of alternating current.
|Transition Charge - A cents-per-kilowatt-hour charge
added to every customer's bill to recover an electric
utility's stranded costs.
|Transition Costs - Above-market utility costs that have
not yet been recovered through rates. These costs result
from changes in market structure (such as deregulation)
and would become "stranded" in the move to a
competitive market. Transition costs include utility-owned
above-market generation costs; such as power purchased
from Qualifying Facilities; and costs known as regulatory
assets, such as deferred taxes. (See also Embedded Costs)
|Transmission - The movement or transfer of electric
energy over an interconnected group of lines and associated
equipment between points of supply and points at which
it is transformed for delivery to consumers, or is delivered
to other electric systems.
Transmission is considered to end when the energy is transformed
for distribution to the consumer.
The process of transporting high-voltage electricity from
the points of generation to the location of groups of
electricity users and low-voltage distribution wires.
|Transmission Access - The ability of third parties to
use transmission facilities owned by others (wheeling
utilities) to deliver power to another utility.
|Transmission Charge - Basic service charges for the
cost of transporting electricity over high voltage wires
from the generator to the distribution system of an electric
|Transmission-Dependent Utility - A utility that relies
on its neighboring utilities to transmit to it the power
it buys from its suppliers. A utility without its own
generation sources, dependent on another utility's transmission
system to get its purchased power supplies.
|Transmission Grid - An interconnected system of electric
transmission lines that allows power to move fro any point
to another over multiple paths.
|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.
|Transmitting Utility - This is a regulated entity which
owns, and may construct and maintain, wires 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. According to EPACT, this includes 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
|Transportation - Authority given to interstate pipelines
(under Section 311 of the Natural Gas Policy Act) to move
gas "on behalf" of distributors or intrastate
|Treble Damages - The ability, under Wisconsin law, for
an energy utility to sue a customer for three times the
amount of the bill if the customer had the ability to
pay the bill during the winter moratorium period but failed
to do so. "Ability to pay" is measured as being
over 250% of the Federal Poverty Level. The treble damage
amount is in addition to the money owed for the bill itself.
|True-Up Mechanism - A method for adjusting for price
fluctuations and other changes to prevent the over-recovery
of stranded costs. The term typically refers to a provision
in legislation or regulation that gives such authority
to state regulators.
|Trunk - A communications path connecting two switching
systems in the establishment of an end-to-end connection.
|TTY - A type of machine that allows people with hearing
or speech disabilities to communicate over the phone using
a keyboard and a viewing screen. Sometimes called a TDD.
|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.
|Unbundled Rates - Disaggregation of the services (gas
purchasing, meter reading, pipeline operations) historically
provided by distribution companies.
|Unbundled Service - Electricity service that is broken
down into its basic components. Each component is priced
and sold separately. For example, generation, transmission,
and distribution could be unbundled and offered as individual
|Unbundling - The separating of the total process of
electric power service from generation to metering into
its component parts for the purpose of separate pricing
or service offerings.
|Underground Gas Storage - The use of sub-surface facilities
for storing gas that has been transferred from its original
location for the primary purpose of load balancing.
|Uniform System of Accounts - Prescribed financial rules
and regulations established by the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) for utilities subject to its jurisdiction
under the authority granted by the Federal Power Act.
|Unit Costs - The supply costs of a particular electric
generating resource expressed in terms of costs per unit
of production such as cents per kilowatt-hour.
|Universal Service - The concept that all residents should
have essential telecommunication services and access to
advanced telecommunications services and programs.
A financial mechanism which helps compensate telephone
companies or other communications entities for providing
access to telecommunications services at reasonable
and affordable rates throughout the country, including
rural, insular and high costs areas, and to public institutions.
Companies, not consumers, are required by law to contribute
to this fund. The law does not prohibit companies from
passing this charge on to customers.
|Universal Service Fund (USF) - Promotes and protects
affordable telephone service to low-income persons, to
persons with disabilities, to customers in high-cost areas,
and to schools, libraries and health care providers, both
state and federal laws have established a USF to keep
rates low and provide specific support to telephone companies
or specific users. Providers are assessed by these USFs
to fund these programs.
|"Used or Useful" - A phrase used to describe
the determining factors in deciding whether a utility
property should be included in rate base.
|Useful Thermal Output - The thermal energy made available
for use in any industrial or commercial process, or used
in any heating or cooling application, i.e., total thermal
energy made available for processes and applications other
than electrical generation.
|Utility - The service and equipment provided by a public
utility to its customers; i.e., water, electricity, natural
|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 Expenses - The money the utility spends for
wages and benefits for its employees, for maintenance,
for customer service, for materials and supplies, for
fuel, for administration of the company, interest, taxes,
|Utility Holding Company - A company created to invest
in common stocks of utility companies. Generally, a holding
company will have investment objectives toward a specific
kind of utility (water, gas, electric, etc..).
|Variable Costs - Costs that change or vary with usage,
output or production. Example: Fuel costs.
|Value of Service- A utility pricing concept in which
the usefulness or necessity of a service to a customer
group replaces or supplements cost factors as a major
influence on the rates charged to the group.
|Vertical Disaggregation - Separating electric generation,
transmission and distribution functions of a utility into
separate companies. [See Unbundling]
|Vertical Integration - An arrangement whereby the same
company owns all the different aspects of making, selling,
and delivering a product or service.
The structure of an electric utility in which the company
owns generation plants, a transmission system, and distribution
lines and thus can provide all aspects of electric service.
|Virtual Private Network (VPN) - A secure method of transmitting
|Voice-over-DSL (VoDSL) - Sending voice transmissions
over DSL networks.
Voltage Reduction - Any intentional reduction of system
voltage by three (3) percent or greater for reasons
of maintaining the continuity of service of the bulk
electric power supply system.
|Volumetric Wires Charge - A type of charge for using
the transmission and/or distribution system that is based
on the volume of electricity that is transmitted.
|Weather Normalization Adjustment (WNA) - Rate adjustments
approved by certain regulatory commissions that allow
a company to increase the base rate portion of customer
bills when weather is warmer than normal and decrease
the base rate when weather in colder than normal.
|Weatherization - Modifying a home or structure to conserve
energy. Methods include: sealing window and door frames
with caulking or gaskets, installing storm doors and windows,
and adding or increasing the insulation.
|Wellhead - The point of gas production. Natural gas
prices are often cited "at the wellhead" as
opposed to the point of consumption which also includes
the cost of transporting gas from the wellhead to the
|Wheeling - The transmission of electricity by an entity
that does not own or directly use the power it is transmitting.
Wholesale wheeling is used to indicate bulk transactions
in the wholesale market, whereas retail wheeling allows
power producers direct access to retail customers. Often
used colloquially to mean transmission.
|Wholesale Competition - A system whereby a power distributor
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
|Wholesale Customers - Any entity that purchases electricity
at the wholesale level, including municipal utilities,
private utilities, electric cooperatives, or government-owned
utility districts. Wholesale customers purchase electricity
from other wholesale suppliers to resell to their own
|Wholesale Power Market - The purchase and sale of electricity
from generators to resellers (who sell to retail customers),
along with the ancillary services needed to maintain reliability
and power quality at the transmission level.
|Wholesale Power Supply (see Bulk Power Supply)
|Wholesale Transmission Services - The transmission of
electric energy sold, or to be sold, at wholesale in interstate
commerce (from EPACT).
|Wide Area Telephone Service (WATS) - Customer leased
access line or lines connected to the nationwide network
over which an unlimited number of calls can be made for
a fixed monthly charge. [PSC]
|Wind Energy/Wind Generation - A facility at which many
devices powered by the wind produce mechanical or electrical
power on a large scale.
|Wind Farm - A facility at which many devices powered
by the wind produce mechanical or electrical power on
a large scale.
|Wind Power - Captures the energy of air currents using
turbine blades; as the blades rotate, electricity is generated.
Wind power ranges from large wind "farms" consisting
of multiple turbines several stories high, to "small
wind" systems that individuals can install in their
|Wind Power Class - A classification method used to describe
the usable (for electricity generation) wind resource
at a particular site. A classification of 1 denotes the
least amount of energy, while a classification of 7 denotes
the greatest amount of energy.
|Winter Peak - The greatest load on an electric system
during any prescribed demand interval in the winter (or
|Wire Center - The location of one or more local switching
systems. A point at which customers' loops converge. [PSC]
|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.
|Wireless - A radio technology that enables the user
to make and receive telephone calls virtually anywhere
they go (within wireless coverage areas). Wireless (radio)
technology is used in many familiar devices. For example,
television remote controls, garage door openers, AM/FM
radios and televisions. More recent examples would include
cellular phones, personal communication service, pagers,
and cordless phones. [PSC]
|Wires Charge - A broad term which refers to charges
expressed in cents-per-kilowatt-hour for the use of transmission
or distribution wires.
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