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Brokers who seek to bring together customers to create a "load" so that they can buy power in bulk, taking advantage of economies of scale.

Ampere (amp):
Unit that measures electrical current in a circuit.

Base-Load Capacity:
Generating units, such as coal-fired steam and combined cycle plants, that are used around the clock to meet consumer's electric needs.

The maximum load a generating unit, generating station, or other electrical apparatus is rated to carry or can actually carry under existing service conditions.

Circuit: Conductor for electric current.

Combustion Turbine Plants: Small electric generating units, usually gas and/or oil-fired, that are typically used for peaking capacity.

Combined Cycle Plants:
Electric generating units in which electricity is produced from otherwise lost waste heat, in the form of steam, exiting from one or more combustion turbines.

Coal-Fired Steam Units:
Generating plants that use the steam produced by heating water with burning coal to create electricity.

Current is the flow of electrons in an electric conductor.

The rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system, part of a system, or a piece of equipment. The primary source of demand is the power-consuming equipment of the customers.

Deregulation (also called Restructuring, Customer Choice, Retail Wheeling, etc.):
The ability of generation companies or brokers to sell electricity directly to retail consumers, utilizing regulated transmission lines and the regulated distribution facilities of existing utility companies.

The function of delivering power to retail customers after it reaches the city gates by way of the transmission grid.
Energy: This is broadly defined as the capability of doing work. In the electric power industry, energy is more narrowly defined as electric energy supplied over time, expressed in kilowatt-hours (kWh) or megawatt-hours (MWh).

Generation or Production:
The actual creation of electricity at power plants or generating stations.

Generation Costs:
Costs to produce electricity or acquire it by contract.

The system of transmission lines, regionally and locally, linking generating facilities to distribution systems.

Independent System Operator or Regional Transmission Operator:
Regional, independent managers of transmission facilities formed to ensure safe, reliable and fair transfer of electricity from generators to distribution companies at a consistent price.

Investor-Owned Utility (IOU):
A utility that is owned by shareholders who receive a dividend based on profits from electric sales.

Joint Action Agency:
A not-for-profit organization of municipal utilities that band together to jointly own and operate generation and transmission facilities to gain economies of scale.

Kilowatt-hour - how consumption of electricity is measured.

Amount of electricity needed at a given time.

Market Power:
When one or a few large companies dominate power production in a regional market and use such dominance to manipulate the market.

Megawatt (MW):
One million watts

Megawatt-hour (MWh):
One thousand kilowatt-hours or one million watt-hours.

Municipal Utility:
A utility that is owned and operated by a municipality, a Public Power utility.

North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC):
NERC is a voluntary membership organization that makes reliability rules and standards for the electric utility industry.

Obligation to Serve:
Obligation by a utility to assure adequate supply of electricity for all customers into the future.

"Pancaked" Transmission Rates:
The practice of adding a transmission fee on top of previous transmission fees each time power passes through a different utility service area between the generator and the distribution system.

Peak Demand:
The point at which demand for electricity reaches its highest level.

Peaking Capacity:
Generating units, like combustion turbine plants, that are used when the demand for electricity is high.

Power Exchange:
A spot market for electricity in competitive marketplaces.

Public Power:
The term used for not-for-profit utilities that are owned and operated by a municipality, state or the federal government.

Regulated Monopoly:
Utility with service territory protection. The system currently in place in the regulated electric utility industry in which one utility is designated to serve a defined service territory.

Supervision over rates, terms and conditions of service, financing and service areas by a governmental agency.

Steady, predictable and consistent electric service and prices.

Reconfiguring the market structure by eliminating the monopoly on some of the necessary functions of an electric company.

Retail Customer:
A residential, commercial, industrial or other ultimate user of electricity.

Rural Electric Cooperative (REC):
A member-owned utility funded through government or CFC loans or private funding to serve a rural area.

Service Territory:
A designated area served by an individual utility under a regulated utility structure.

Stranded Investments:
Generation, transmission or distribution facilities whose costs cannot be recovered because the power or service cannot be sold on the open market at a price that allows for recovery of the investment in the facilities.

A facility used for switching and/or changing or regulating the voltage of electric energy. Substation may tie generating stations to transmission systems or transmission systems to distribution systems.

A device for changing the voltage of alternating current. Step-up transformers increase voltage, for example, from a power plant to a transmission system. Step-down transformers reduce voltage, for example, from a transmission system to a distribution system or from a distribution line to a retail customer’s premises.

The system of lines that carries electricity from generators to distribution companies.

Vertically Integrated Utility:
A utility that provides all generation, transmission and distribution services to its customers.

A measure of the force which makes electrons move or provides potential for them to move.

The electric unit of power or rate of doing work. One horsepower is equivalent to approximately 746 watts.

One watt of power expended for one hour.

Wholesale Customer:
An entity that purchases power for resale to others.

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