Common Industry Terms
The rate of flow of electricity moving along a conductor path.
The maximum electric power output of a generating unit (measured in MW) or the maximum amount of power that lines or equipment can safely carry. The maximum load that a generator, substation, transmission line or other electric apparatus can carry under existing service conditions, typically measured in megawatts or kilowatts.
The use of fuel to produce electricity as well as another product such as steam or hot water.
A temporary, mandatory load reduction on a transmission facility or generator under emergency conditions taken after all possible conservation and load management measures.
The amount of power consumers require at a particular time, usually expressed in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW). Demand is synonymous with load.
A network of transmission lines and the associated substations and other equipment required to move power. Usually used to describe the interconnected transmission system.
A kilowatt is equal to one thousand watts. As a point of comparison, a kilowatt is equal to about 1.34 horsepower.
Amount of electricity consumption measured as the number kilowatts used in an hour. The kWh is most commonly known as a billing unit for energy delivered to consumers by utilities.
A measure of apparent power (in contrast to actual power measured by kW) that describes the total amount of power being used by a system and helps to assess the efficiency of electrical systems.
The ratio of actual usage to maximum potential usage, based on peak demand. An indicator of how steady an end user electrical load is. It is measured by dividing the average power by the peak power over a period of time.
A period of relatively low demand for electrical energy, such as the middle of the night.
The maximum electrical load demand in a stated period of time. On a daily basis, peak loads typically occur at mid-morning and in the early evening.
The fraction of power used by a customer’s electrical equipment compared to the product of the current and voltage supplied, usually expressed as a percentage. Power factor indicates the extent a customer’s electrical equipment causes the electric current delivered at the customer’s site to be out of phase with the voltage. This enables a power supplier to calculate a power factor adjustment for customers with large loads.
A measure of the level of voltage and/or frequency disturbances.
A measure of how often electrical service is interrupted.
Tradable non-tangible energy commodities in the United States that represent the environmental attributes of electricity generated from an eligible renewable energy resource.
A utility owned by its customers, that usually serves ex-urban or rural areas.
The geographical area served by a utility.
An electric power station which serves as a control and transfer point on an electrical transmission system. Substations route and control electrical power flow, transform voltage levels, and serve as delivery points to individual customers.
A type of polyphase system that is commonly used by electrical grids worldwide to transfer power—often used to power large motors and other heavy loads.
The ‘force’ at which energy flows; a measure of electric pressure