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Deregulation Glossary

Glossary

Base Charge
A charge assessed during each billing cycle without regard to the customer’s demand or energy consumption.

Competitive Retail Electric Provider
A Retail Electric Provider that is certified by the PUC to generate and/or purchase electricity and sell it directly to commercial, industrial and/or residential customers.

Demand Charge
A charge based on the rate at which electric energy is delivered to or by a system at a given instant, or averaged over a designated period, during the billing cycle.

Deregulation
The revision, reduction or elimination of laws that hinder free competition in the supply of goods and services. Deregulation does not mean lack of control, but reflects the freedom of consumers to make their own choice of providers.

Electricity Facts Label
An information sheet required by the PUC that provides customers with standardized information on a Retail Electric Provider's company information, contract terms, pricing, fees and renewable energy percentage. It allows customers to make an "apples-to-apples" comparison of Retail Electric Provider offers.

Energy Charge
A charge based on the electric energy (kWh) consumed.

Generation
The production of electricity. Electricity is produced by a number of methods, including natural gas, coal, nuclear power, wind, water and solar energy.

Kilowatt (kW)
Kilowatt, the standard unit for measuring electricity demand, equal to 1,000 watts.

Kilowatt-Hour (kWh)
A unit of energy equivalent to one kilowatt (kW) of power expended for one hour of time. The amount of electricity you use each billing period is expressed in terms of a kilowatt-hour, and is noted on your bill.

Peak Demand
The highest 15- or 30-minute demand during a peak period for electricity usage. Peak demand is recorded as a measurement in kilowatts (kW). An example of a peak demand measurement would be the amount of power it takes to turn all of the lights and electric appliances on in your business at the same exact time.

Public Utility Commission (PUC)
The state agency that is responsible for the regulation and oversight of electric and local telecommunication services.

Renewable Energy
Electricity that is made from "environmentally friendly" or sustainable fuel resources, such as wind, water, biomass or solar. Sometimes referred to as "green" energy.

Small Business or Small Commercial Customer
A small commercial customer is a business who typically spends less than $3,000 per month on their electricity bill.

Terms of Service
A contract between a Retail Electric Provider and a customer that outlines fees, length of service and other important information.

Transmission and Distribution
The actual delivery of electricity over poles and wires to your business. These services are provided to you by your local utility/distribution company, which is responsible for maintaining the poles and wires, and responding to emergencies and power outages. The PUC still regulates transmission and distribution to ensure the safety and reliability of your electric service.

Usage
This is the amount of electricity you used during the billing period listed in kilowatt-hours (kWh). This will be listed on your electric bill as kWh used.

Utility/Distribution Company
The local entity that owns and operates facilities used for generation and transmission of electricity to the general public. The utility/distribution company is responsible for operating, managing and maintaining the quality and service of the poles and power lines. The local utility/distribution company does not offer preferential treatment to any customer over another when performing switches or restoring power after an outage.


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