Definitions of Commonly Used Electric Terms
A charge or fee for the customer's use of a utility's transmission or
distribution system. It is a delivery charge paid to the local
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.
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
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. (a.k.a. retail
open access, open access).
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
The process of producing electricity from other forms of energy.
A term used to describe electric transmission and distribution as one
A producer and operator of an electric power generating plant.
Federal Energy Regulatory
An independent regulatory agency within the U.S.
Department of Energy that has jurisdiction over interstate electricity
sales, wholesale electricity rates, gas/oil pipeline rates, and gas
pipeline certification. It also licenses and inspects private, municipal
and state hydroelectric projects and oversees related environmental
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.
This is equal to 1,000 watts; it is used as a measure of demand for
electricity during a preset time (minutes, hours, days, or months). A
100-watt light bulbs that burns for 10 hours uses one kW of electricity.
The basic unit of electric energy for which most customers are charged.
The amount of electricity used by ten 100-watt light bulbs left on for one
hour. Consumers are charged for electricity in cents per kilowatt-hour.
The amount of electricity being used at one time by a customer, circuit
Shifting of electricity use from periods of high demand to periods of
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.
LIHEAP and its related services help over 90,000 Wisconsin households
annually. In addition to regular heating assistance, specialized services
||Emergency fuel assistance,
||Counseling for energy conservation and energy budgets,
||Pro-active co-payment plans,
||Targeted outreach services,
||Emergency furnace repair and replacement
See also: Federal Poverty Income
A backup source of electricity in the event of a power outage.
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.
An alternate supplier of electricity, such as an aggregator or
independent power producer, that owns or has title to electric generation.
A meter that measures how much electricity a customer uses during a
specific time of the day and in total.
Rates charged to customers based on when they use electricity during
the day and how much electricity they use.
Under Wisconsin law, a utility may sue a customer for three times the
amount of the bill if customer had the ability to pay the energy bill but
did not during the winter. This is called treble damages. It
is in addition to the money owed for the bill itself. The ability to
pay is measured as being over 250% of the Federal Poverty
Electricity services specified line by line on your bill, such as
separate delivery and supply charges, instead of one "bundled"
service and charge.
This is a measure of the amount of electricity needed to power a device
such as a light bulb.