Aggregation or Aggregators An aggregator is a person, local government or organization that brings a group of consumers together to buy electricity. An aggregator may be able to get lower prices or other benefits for the group members.


Base Load The minimum amount of electricity a utility’s generating system must produce to keep its customers constantly powered. Base load is usually measured in megawatts (1,000 kilowatts).

Broker A certified electric supplier that arranges the sale of electricity between buyers and sellers, but does not take title to any of the power sold.


Capacity The total amount of electricity a producer can generate and distribute at any given time.

Combined Cycle An electric generating technology in which electricity is produced from otherwise lost waste heat exiting from one or more gas combustion turbines. The exiting heat is routed to a conventional boiler or to a heat recovery steam generator for utilization by a steam turbine in the production of electricity .This process increases the efficiency of the electric generating unit.

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).

Commercial The commercial sector is generally defined as non-manufacturing business establishments, including hotels, motels, restaurants, wholesale businesses, retail stores and health, social and educational institutions. The utility may classify commercial service as all consumers whose demand or annual use exceeds some specified limit. The limit may be set by the utility based on the rate schedule of the utility.

Customer Any person that is an end user of electricity and is connected to any part of the electric delivery system within a local electric utility service territory within this state.

Customer Charge The fixed monthly basic distribution charge to partially cover costs for billing, meter reading, service line maintenance and equipment.

Customer Choice The opportunity for a retail customer of an investor-owned utility to choose their electric supplier .

Customer Class Group of electricity customers with similar characteristics, used for ratemaking purposes in a regulated environment. The three major customer classes are residential, commercial and industrial.


Demand 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-Side Management (DSM) The use of processes and equipment to reduce the use of electricity or to shift use away from periods of high electrical demand. It does not refer to energy and load-shape changes arising from the normal operation of the marketplace or from government-mandated energy-efficiency standards.

Distribution The delivery of electricity to homes and businesses over the local poles and wires, transformers, substations, and other equipment. This function remains regulated.

Distribution 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).

Distribution Company See local electric utility.


Electric-related service A service that is directly related to the consumption of electricity by an end user. This may include, but is not limited to, the installation of demand side management measures at the end user’s premises, the maintenance, repair or replacement of appliances, lighting, motors or other energy-consuming devices at the end user’s premises, and the provision of energy consumption measurement and billing services.

Electric Supplier The company that you can choose to provide the generation of your electricity.


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) A quasi-independent regulatory agency within the U.S. Department of Energy having jurisdiction over interstate electricity sales, wholesale electric rates, hydroelectric licensing, natural gas pricing, oil pipeline rates and gas pipeline certification.

Firm Power Power or power-producing capacity intended to be available at all times during the period covered by a guaranteed commitment to deliver, even under adverse conditions.

Forced Outage The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line or other facility for emergency reasons or a condition in which the equipment is unavailable for load due to unanticipated breakdown.

Fossil Fuel Any naturally occurring organic fuel, such as petroleum, coal and natural gas.

Franchised Service Territory The geographic service area in which a public utility has an exclusive right and corresponding obligation to provide electricity to consumers.


Generation The actual production of electricity in a power plant.

Generation Charge The price of electricity offered by an electric supplier.

Green Power Production of electricity from “renewable” sources, such as hydro, wind and solar.

Grid The layout of an electrical transmission system.


Independent System Operator (ISO) An independent entity that controls a grid, coordinating , the generation and transmission of electricity to ensure a reliable power supply to consumers.

Industrial The industrial sector is generally defined as manufacturing, construction, mining, agriculture, fishing and forestry establishments. The utility may classify industrial service using the standard industrial classification (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 the utility.

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.

Investor-Owned Utility (IOU) Public utility owned by shareholders. Ohio’s five investor- owned electric utilities have supplied about 90 percent of the electricity used in the state.


Kilowatt (kW) A 1,000-watt unit of energy, or the amount of energy required to light ten 100- watt light bulbs.

Kilowatt Hour (kWh) The basic unit for measuring electric power consumption. A kilowatt hour is the total energy produced by one kilowatt for one hour.


Load The amount of power delivered to or required from an electric system.

Load Profile Typical usage pattern for those customer classes that do not have an hourly recording meter .

Local Electric Utility The company that delivers electricity to a consumer’s home or business.


Marketer A certified electric supplier that takes title to electricity, capacity, and other services from electric power generators and other wholesale suppliers and then resells those services to end-use customers.

Market Price The price of electricity in a particular market.

Market Based Rates Electricity rates established in an unregulated, competitive market. Megawatt A unit of energy equal to one million watts (the amount of electricity energy required to light ten thousand 100-watt bulbs).

Municipal Electric Utility (Muni) A utility owned and operated by a city or town and usually regulated by a local governing body.


Net Metering A process that measures the difference in an applicable billing period between the electricity supplied by an electric service provider and the electricity generated by a customer- generator which is fed back to the electric service provider.

Net Metering System A facility for the production of electrical energy that uses either solar, wind, biomass, landfill gas or hydropower as fuel, or uses a microturbine less than 100 kW or a fuel cell; is located on a customer-generator’s premises; operates in parallel with the electric utility’s transmission and distribution facilities; and is intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer-generator’s requirements for electricity.

Non-firm Power Power or power-producing capacity supplied or available under a commitment having limited or no assured availability.

Non-Utility Generator (NUG) Or Independent Power Producer (IPP) A company that generates power for sale but is exempt from traditional utility regulation.


Open Access Access to the grid on comparable terms and conditions.

Outage The period during which a generating unit, transmission line or other facility is out of service.


Peak Load The maximum amount of electricity a utility’s generating system must produce to keep its customers constantly powered.

Power Broker A party that arranges the sales transaction of electricity between a seller and a buyer. A power broker never actually owns the power .

Power Marketer A party that buys and sells power on the wholesale market at wholesale prices.

Power Pool An arrangement between two or more interconnected utilities to coordinate the supply of electricity.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) The state agency charged with assuring all residential, small and large business, and industrial consumers access to adequate, safe and reliable utility services at fair prices, while facilitating an environment that provides competitive choices. The PUCO regulates a wide variety of public utilities, including electric, natural gas, pipeline, heating/cooling, local telephone, long distance telephone, waterworks, wastewater, railroad, household goods carriers, water transportation, hazardous materials carriers and commercial transportation carriers.


Rate Base The value of property upon which a utility is permitted to earn a specified rate of return as established by a regulatory authority.

Reliability The delivery of uninterrupted electricity to consumers on demand.

Reserve Margin 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 The residential sector is defined as private household establishments that consume energy primarily for space heating, water heating, air conditioning, lighting, refrigeration, cooking and clothes drying. The classification of an individual consumer’s account, where the use is both residential and commercial, is base on principal use.

Retail Customer A customer who purchases electricity directly from a supplier. This refers to all customers (residential, commercial and industrial) who are not wholesale customers.

Rural Electric Cooperative A not-for-profit electric company that has been financed under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936.


Scheduled Outage The shutdown of a generating unit, transmission line or other facility for inspection or maintenance in accordance with an advance schedule.

Service Area Territory in which a utility system is required, or has the right, to supply electric service to customers.

Slamming A practice in which customers are switched from one service provider to another without their knowledge or consent.

Standard Offer Service The electric generation service a customer will receive from their local electric utility if they do not choose an electric supplier.

Stranded Costs (sometimes called “transition costs”) Expenses for utility plants and equipment that were built in a regulated market and are not cost-effective in a competitive electric market. The PUCO allows companies to recover some of these costs through a transition charge on electric customer bills.

Substation Facility equipment that switches, changes or regulates electric voltage. Supplier See electric supplier.


Tariff An explanation of a utility’s rates as filed with the PUCO.

Transformer An electrical device for changing the voltage of alternating current.

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.

Transmission Charge Charge for transporting electricity from the generation plant to the local electric utility.


Unbundled Service The separation of generation, transmission, distribution and other ancillary services into separate services with separate costs for each.


Wholesale Customers Entities that purchase electricity in bulk for resale to end-use customers. Examples include municipal utilities, rural electric cooperatives, other electric utilities and Federal (e.g., Tennessee Valley Authority) electric agencies.