Glossary of Terms
An entity that negotiates the purchase of energy in bulk for a group of consumers, and tries to negotiate lower prices. The group of consumers is called a buying group.
Any entity that serves as an agent or intermediary in the purchase and sale of electricity, but does not own transmission or generation.
Allowing two or more entities to sell similar goods and services, in this case energy generation, in the same market.
A charge, approved by the Public Service Commission, that allows utilities to recover investments in certain assets (such as power plants) which were built to ensure customers would have a reliable and adequate supply of electricity. This is not a new charge, but covers the remaining investment costs that were previously included in electric rates. The charge allows utilities to recover these costs over a set transition period, after which the charge is phased out. In some cases, an electric company may show a credit instead of a charge.
A written agreement between a customer and an electricity supplier.
The provisions of an agreement between an electricity supplier and a consumer, including such items as the cost, length of service, and ability to end the contract.
An independent electric utility that is owned by the consumers it serves and provides at-cost electric service.e
The practice of adding charges to a customer’s monthly bill for services that the customer has not authorized. This is an illegal practice.
A basic part of the monthly electric distribution charge to cover costs for expenses not directly associated with the generation or distribution of energy, such as billing, meter reading, service line maintenance and equipment. This charge is independent of energy usage.
The ability of electricity consumers to shop, compare prices, and choose the company that generates or supplies their electricity.
A safety net service designed to provide energy for short periods of time. However, there is no limit on the length of time you may remain on this service. Default power service will always be available to ensure that customers receive uninterrupted power when they switch from one electricity supplier to another. If for any reason consumers are temporarily without an electricity supplier, or if they choose not to choose an electricity supplier, they will automatically receive default power service.
The process of changing the laws and regulations that control the electric industry to allow competition and customer choice of energy supply. This is also known as Restructuring.
The process of delivering electricity through low-voltage power lines to a consumer’s home or business. Distribution includes local wires, transformers, substations and other equipment used to deliver electricity from the high-voltage transmission lines to homes and businesses.
In a deregulated market, the company that delivers electricity to a customer’s home or business through its system of poles, power lines and other equipment.
In a regulated electric market, the entity that owns and/or operates facilities for the generation, transmission, and/or distribution of electricity. In a deregulated market, this entity becomes an electric distribution company responsible for transmission and distribution only
An entity that obtains energy from any source or combination of sources (including independent generators, utility system power or spot purchases) for delivery to a utility or consumer.
An entity that has been licensed by the Public Service Commission to sell electricity to customers within the State of Texas.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulates the price and conditions of all wholesale power sold through interstate commerce and regulates the terms and conditions of all transmission services.
The proportions of each fuel type (e.g. nuclear, coal, oil, hydro, etc.) used by a power plant to generate electricity.
The process of producing electrical energy. Generation may also refer to the amount of electrical energy produced, usually expressed in watt-hours, kilowatt-hours (kWh), or megawatthours (MWh).
An entity that generates electricity.
A general term that describes power that is environmentally friendly. It typically uses a mix of energy sources with renewable energy being at least one of the sources.
A utility company owned and operated by private investors (i.e. stockholders).
ISOs are entities that handle access to the transmission system to ensure that suppliers get fair access to use it, and that consumers receive electricity reliably. ISOs are designed to ensure that transmission-owning utilities cannot use their own transmission resources to gain a generation price advantage over other power suppliers.
Charges for electric service broken down into its basic components, including generation, transmission, distribution, billing and metering services.
The basic unit of electric energy for which most customers are charged in a cents per kilowatt-hour rate.
Written confirmation delegating certain authority to another entity for use in aquiring data, procuring services, etc. In specific regards to Entelrgy LLC, it serves as written authorization to inquire and receive account data from your current energy provider. Data generally requested would be items such as usage reports, rates, fees, and contract terms related to your energy account(s).
The amount of electric power required at a specific time, or over a specific period of time, by a consumer, circuit, or electric company system.
Information on a customer’s energy usage over a period of time, sometimes shown in a graph format.
The ability of a seller/buyer, either individually or in collaboration with other sellers/buyers, to affect the price of electricity in the market.
The term used to describe electric rates that are based on open market competitive forces of “supply and demand” and are not regulated or set by the Maryland Public Service Commission.
One thousand kilowatts (1,000 kW) or one million watts (1,000,000 watts). A term that is most often used to measure the capacity of a power plant.
A non-profit utility that is owned and operated by the community it serves.
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 (also known as Independent Power Producer).
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an independent agency established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 to regulate civilian use of nuclear materials. The NRC is headed by a five-member commission.
Under traditional regulation, it is the duty of a regulated utility to provide service to all customers in its service territory on a non-discriminatory basis.
Blocks of time when energy demand and price are matched as either high (on-peak) or low (off-peak).
Two or more interconnected electric systems that seek to obtain greater reliability of service and efficiency of operation by coordinating the development and operation of their electric generation and transmission facilities.
The ability of the electric system to adequately supply customers at all times, taking into account scheduled and unscheduled outages of system facilities. It is also the ability of the electric system to withstand sudden disturbances, such as electric short circuits or unanticipated loss of system facilities.
Electricity produced by sources that are capable of being replaced naturally and do not involve the burning of fossil fuels or the use of nuclear energy. Renewable energy is considered less harmful to the environment because it results in lower air pollution, emissions and waste than electricity from traditional sources. Some examples of renewable energy sources are solar, wind and geothermal (heat from the earth) sources and from the burning of biomass (agricultural or other wastes).
The Regional Transmission Organizations is 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.
The geographical territory served by an electric company.
The practice of switching a customer’s energy supply service without the customer’s authorization. This practice is illegal.
Utility investment costs (e.g., power plants and purchased power contracts) that, due to deregulation and the resultant competitive markets, can no longer be recovered through the normal and timely sale of generation. Legislation provides that they will be recovered through a Competitive Transition Charge on all customers’ electric bills where appropriate or necessary.
Rates that vary by the time of day that the electricity is used, with higher rates being charged during hours of peak system usage. Consumers may potentially lower their costs by shifting their usage to “non-peak” hours when electricity is available at a lower rate. In most cases, this requires a special meter.
The process of transporting electricity from a generation company to an electric company over high-voltage power lines.