Definitions

Attribute

This term refers to the operational characteristics of a particular generation resource. The characteristics of renewable and other generating types (both positive and negative) are sometimes not reflected in the price of power. Such elements of this generation are referred to as externalities and include environmental, economic, and social characteristics.

Competition

Electric competition refers to markets where the consumers have a choice of which company will sell them their electric supply. Allowing two or more entities to sell similar goods and services in the same market.

Conventional Power

Non-renewable fuels such as coal, oil, nuclear and gas, are referred to as traditional power.

Customer Choice

The opportunity for customers to select their electric supplier from more than one supplier.

Deregulation

The process of changing the laws and regulations of a state to allow customer choice.

Disclosure Label

In New York State, suppliers are required to provide a “label” which shows an electricity service provider’s generation type in a standardized format. The label may also include prices, terms of contracts with customers, air emissions and labor practices.

Distribution

Part of the delivery service provided by utilities, it is the low voltage system of power lines, poles, substations and transformers, directly connected to homes and businesses.

Economic Attributes

The Economic attributes include the impact on the local and regional economy. This includes the development of local jobs and businesses, as well as reductions in the costs of having a secure domestic supply of electricity.

Electric Service Company (“ESCO”)

Literally refers to Energy Service Companies, an ESCO sells electric supply in the retail market. The utility continues to operate and maintain its system, read the meter, and deliver the electricity to your home or business.

Electric Utility

The entity that owns and/or operates facilities for the generation, transmission, and/or distribution of electricity.

Eligible Renewable Resource Facility

This is facility that is generating electricity from renewable resources.

Environmental Attributes

The environmental attributes include the cost benefit associated with the construction and operation of specific type of electric generation facility. In a discussion of Green Power or renewable energy, their environmental attributes might include the benefits of such things as emissions offsets or avoidance.

Environmentally Superior Product

A product that reflects 1) a greater proportion of renewable energy and 2) lower emissions per kilowatt-hour of SOx, NOx, and greenhouse gases than is generally available in the transmission grid.

Fossil Fuel Fired Generation

Using natural gas, oil, coal, or petroleum coke or other petroleum-based fuels for the generation of electricity.

Fuel Mix

The percentage of each fuel type used by an ESCO to generate electricity.

Generation

This is the act of converting various forms of energy into electricity such as oil, gas, sunlight, or wind.

Global Warming

Global warming is the rise in the earth’s temperature resulting from an increase in heat-trapping gases (mainly carbon dioxide and methane) in the atmosphere. Fossil fuels used in the production of electricity contribute to two-thirds of these gases found in the atmosphere.

Green ESCO

A seller of renewable energy.

Grid

The grid is a term used to describe the network of wires and cables, which transport electricity from a power plant to your home.

Kilowatt-Hour

A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is the standard unit of measure for electricity. One kilowatt-hour is equal to 1,000 watt-hours.
Landfill Gas (“LFG”)
Methane gas that is created by the natural decomposition of solid waste at a Landfill site.

Landfill Gas Generation Plants

The use of LFG to generate electricity.

Megawatt

One thousand kilowatts, or 1 million watts; standard measure of electric power plant generating capacity.

Megawatt-hour

One thousand kilowatt-hours or 1 million watt-hours.

Nuclear

The splitting of the uranium atoms to generate electricity. Uranium is mined, processed to increase the amount of fissionable material, and made into fuel rods, which are then placed in nuclear reactors. As the uranium atoms split inside the reactor, they generate heat, which is converted to steam and used to generate electricity.

Provider of Last Resort

Electricity service available to consumers who choose not to select an alternative electricity service provider. This is also referred to as the “P.O.L.R.”

Renewable Resources

The generation of electricity from solar, wind, geothermal, blomass and hydroelectric sources. A resource is renewable if it is naturally replenished. Renewable generation sources have lower environmental impacts than traditional non-renewables sources.

Restructuring

The series of events whereby a vertically integrated monopoly electricity territory controlled by a single utility is opened up to competition.

Service Territory

The geographical territory served by a utility.

Social Attributes

The concept of social attributes includes the health and quality of life. This also refers to social equity considerations related to the location and siting of power plants, specifically with respect to the affect on residential landowners.

System Power

The mix of fuel sources used in generating electricity in the state or region.

Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRC)

A term referring to the bundle of attributes associated with electricity, except the actual electrical energy itself, associated with the generation of electricity at a renewable energy facility. A renewable energy “tag” and a REC are the equivalent of a TRC.

Transmission

The high voltage lines that are the conduit to move energy from power plants to the utilities for ultimate delivery to customers.