Energy Terms

Definitions for Energy Terms

  • C
    Competition
    Allows you to choose an electricity supply company that competes for your business.
    Contract Summary
    An overview of prices and policies, included as part of the Terms of Service for residential and some commercial contracts.
  • D
    Deregulation
    The break-up of traditional electric service, which was historically provided by one utility company, into separate services delivered by different companies for generation, transmission, distribution and supply.
  • E
    Electric Distribution Company
    The public utility that owns and maintains the facilities and power lines that deliver electricity to your home. It is regulated by a public utilities commission.
    Electricity Supply Company or Electricity Supplier
    The company or entity responsible for making sure the energy you buy is available through the lines and facilities of the Electric Distribution Company. Also known as an Electric Generation Supplier, or EGS.
  • F
    Fixed Price
    A per-kilowatt-hour price that will remain the same for the term of your contract.
  • G
    Generation Charges
    Part of the basic service charges on every customer’s bill for producing electricity. Generation service for electricity supply is competitively priced. This charge depends on the contract between the customer and the supplier.
  • K
    Kilowatt-Hour
    The basic unit of electric energy. Most customers are charged for electricity in cents per kilowatt-hour. A kilowatt-hour is equal to using ten 100-watt light bulbs (1,000 watts of energy) for one hour.
  • P
    Price to Compare
    The price per kilowatt-hour you can use to compare prices between your public utility (your “default” supplier) and electricity supply companies.
  • R
    Renewable Energy
    Resources used to generate electricity that are replaced naturally, or by mankind's contribution (municipal solid waste incineration and landfill methane). Renewable energy sources may include fuels and technologies such as solar photovoltaic energy, solar thermal energy, wind power, low head hydropower, geothermal energy, landfill- and mine-based methane gas, energy from waste and sustainable biomass energy.
  • T
    Terms of Service
    Content of the agreement between a customer and a supplier.
  • U
    Utility
    Also known as an Electricity Distribution Company, the company owns and maintains the power lines that deliver electricity to your home. The utility is regulated by the Public Utility Commission.
  • V
    Variable Price
    A per-kilowatt-hour price that can change according to the supplier’s terms and conditions. Variable prices often change monthly, but they can change less frequently.
  • W
    Wholesale Energy Market
    A market where electricity is bought and sold, usually in large quantities, by utilities, municipal utilities, cooperatives and other energy suppliers. It’s where they buy electricity to resell to residential customers.