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Energy Glossary

Power Line - Nordic Energy Services

AGS: Stands for Alternative Gas Supplier. A non-utility who is approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission to sell natural gas.

ARES: Stands for Alternative Retail Electric Supplier. A non-utility who is approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission to sell electricity.

Ampere: The standard unit of electrical current. Often referred to as an amp.

Baseload: The minimum amount of power that a buyer needs to meet their demands.

Broker: An independent marketer who sells energy to commercial and/or residential customers. Brokers are not part of a utility and often work with ARES and AGS suppliers.

Btu (British Thermal Unit): Standard unit of measurement often seen on appliances that measures the heat of a fuel source.

Capacity: The maximum amount of power that a system or subsystem can carry or produce at a specific moment. Capacity is typically measured in megawatts.

Capacity Charge: An additional charge that covers the difference between a customer's peak energy use and their normal use during the same billing cycle.

Circuit: A conductor or a system of conductors through which electric current flows.

Contract Price: An agreed upon price between the seller and the buyer. The terms can be monthly, quarterly, yearly.

Day-Ahead Market: The market for energy for the following day.

Day-Ahead Schedule: Scheduling your energy needs 24 hrs in advance of your requirement, allowing more flexibility to adjust energy needs.

Delivery: The physical of of delivering electricity or gas over the utility's system.

Demand: the rate at which electricity is delivered to or required over a designated period, usually expressed in kilowatts or megawatts.

Deregulation: click here for more information.

Direct Access: The ability of a retail energy customer to purchase energy directly on the wholesale market without going through the utility.

Distribution: Transporting energy to customers/end-users.

Energy Efficiency: The effective use of, management of, or creation of energy to minimize waste.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): United States Commission that paved the way for de-regulation of the energy industry.

Firm Gas: Also referred to as uninterruptible, it is gas required to be delivered and taken under the terms of an agreement.

Firm Power: Guaranteeing a pre-determined amount of energy is available at a specific timeframe.

Fixed Rate: A rate that will not change over the course of the agreement.

Forced Outage: A shutdown in energy delivery stemming from unanticipated breakdowns during generation or transmission.

Futures Market: Market for not-yet-produced commodities. These commodities are bought and sold to mainly hedge against future price increases.

Generation: Producing energy.

Generator: A producer of energy.

Gigawatt: Unit of measure used for large power plants or grids, equals 1000 megawatts.

Hedging Contracts: Locking in at a predetermined cost for energy that is independent from the market value at the time it is delivered. A hedging contract allows you to lock-in to a rate that is equal to or slightly more than the current market price for an extended period of time to protect against market increases.

ICAP: Installed Capacity: Generating capacity of a system.

Independent Power Producers: A producer that is not a public utility.

Index Rate: A rate plan that changes based on a specific market.

Kilowatt (kW): Unit of measure typically used to outline power consumption of a device.

Kilowatthour (kWh): Most commonly used unit to measure electricity usage. Refers to usage of 1000 watts of power over the course of one hour.

Load (Electric): The power required of an energy generation system for a particular area at a specific time.

Market-Based Pricing: A price agreed upon by the buyer and seller based on current market conditions and the energy spot market.

Market Clearing Price: The highest price that can be expected given that all demand is met and supply is sold.

Maximum Demand: The highest average value of power taken from averages of successive time periods.

Megawatt (MW): Equals one million watts, typically reserved for a large commercial building or application.

Megawatthour (MWh): Term used for metering larger commercial customers.

Non-Firm Power: Purchase of available energy that is not required by customers who arranged for its production.

Off-Peak Gas: Gas obtained when it is not at its peak demand.

Open Access: When a utility’s transmission lines are available for use to receive energy from another supplier.

Outage: Interruption in service that prevents power from being delivered.

Peak Demand: Maximum amount of power required to service customers that are on a particular system.

Peaking Capacity: Generating capacity to meet peak supply needs.

Power Exchange: "Stock Exchange" for energy producers to buy and sell energy.

Reliability: The ability of your provider to have sufficient supply and quality transmission.

Renewable Resources: Energy sourced that is restored by the environment or natural processes with assistance by people.

Reserve Margin: Available power beyond what is needed to meet normal peak demand.

Retail Wheeling: Ability for a consumer to purchase or a supplier to transmit energy over another utility’s line.

Scheduled Outage: Interruption in service that has been pre-planned, typically for maintenance to a transmission system.

Spinning Reserve: Back-up capacity that can be available in ten minutes and operate for two hours.

Spot Purchases: Fast and fair transactions among energy producers and consumers for power required in the near future over short periods of time.

Transmission: Transportation of energy across a grid or power lines.

Usage: Amount of energy consumed typically measured in KWh.

Variable Rate: A cost that changes based on variables: energy generation, transportation, delivery, maintenance, etc.

If you have questions about anything that you see here or on other sites about energy, give us a call and one of our experts can talk to you about your home's energy needs. 1-844-696-7663

DISCLAIMER: Nordic Energy Services, LLC ("Nordic"), is not the same entity as your electric delivery company. You are not required to enroll with Nordic. Beginning on (effective date), the electric supply price to compare is (price in cents per kilowatt hour). The electric utility electric supply price will expire on (expiration date). The utility electric supply price to compare does not include the purchased electricity adjustment factor. For more information go to the Illinois Commerce Commission's free website at The purchased electricity adjustment factor may range between +.5 cents and -.5 cents per kilowatt hour.
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