Energy Terms Explained

Ancillary Services: Services necessary to support the transmission of energy.

Base Load: The minimum energy level an electric plant must provide you on a constant basis.

Bcf: The abbreviation for 1 billion cubic feet.

Capacity Charge: The capacity charge is assessed on the amount of capacity being purchased and expressed in $/kW-month or $/MW-day.

Capacity: The amount of electric power delivered or required.

Decatherm: 10 therms or 1 million Btu. One decatherm is equal to approximately 1,000 cubic feet (Mcf).

Deregulation: Energy deregulation is the introduction of competition into the electricity industry. In deregulated markets, consumers can choose where they purchase their electrical power from. Having choices creates competition in the market, which helps lower prices. Deregulation is set at the state level. To find out if your state is deregulated, contact us.

Electricity Transmission: Interconnecting electric lines that move high voltage electricity from a generation facility to the distribution lines.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): FERC is the federal agency with regulatory jurisdiction over interstate electricity and natural gas industries.

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.

Independent System Operator (ISO): An independent management team set up to run transmission systems owned by two or more entities. The ISO plans and schedules transmission outages, handles transmission system planning, collects transmission charges and makes payments to the actual providers. The ISO is an independent entity that controls a power grid to coordinate the generation and transmission of electricity and ensure a reliable power supply.

Kilowatt (kW): One thousand watts; measure of demand for power.

Kilowatt-hour (kWh): The standard unit of measure for electricity that is expended in one hour by one kilowatt of power.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG): Natural gas that has been liquefied by lowering its temperature to negative 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

Megawatt (MW): One thousand kilowatts. A unit of power equal to 1 million watts.

Megawatt-hour (mWh): 1 million watts used for one hour.

Natural Gas Transmission: Transportation of large volumes of natural gas, primarily through pipelines, to local distribution companies, electric power plants, or directly to large end-users.

Off-Peak/On-Peak: Block of time when energy demand and price are low (off-peak) or high (on-peak).

Peak Demand: The maximum electricity load during a specified period of time.

Spot Price: The price of a commodity at a specific time and location, for immediate delivery.