ACCESS CHARGE - A charge paid by all market participants withdrawing energy from the ISO controlled grid. The access charge will recover the portion of a utility's transmission revenue requirement not recovered through the variable usage charge.
ACTIVE SOLAR ENERGY SYSTEM - A system designed to convert solar radiation into usable energy for space, water heating, or other uses. It requires a mechanical device, usually a pump or fan, to collect the sun's energy.
ACOP (Adjusted Coefficient of Performance) - A standard rating term that was used to rate the efficiency of heat pumps in California. ACOP was replaced by Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) in 1988.
ADVERSE HYDRO - Water conditions limiting the production of hydroelectric power. In years having below-normal levels of rain and snow, and in seasons having less-than-usual runoff from mountain snowpack, there is then less water available for hydro energy production.
AFTER-MARKET - Broad term referring to any change after the original purchase, such as adding equipment not a part of the original purchase. As applied to alternative fuel vehicles, it refers to conversion devices or kits for conventional fuel vehicles.
AFC - Alkaline fuel cell; with alkaline electrolyte, operating temperature 60 to 90°C; fuel: pure hydrogen; can only be operated with pure oxygen or with air if the CO2 has been removed; state of the art: so far used mainly in military applications and space travel; presently developed and manufactured by ZeTek Power for terrestrial applications.
AGGREGATOR - Any entity, such as a marketer, broker, public agency city, county or special district that combines the loads of multiple end use customers in negotiating the purchase of electricity, the transmission of electricity and other related services to these customers.
AIR CHANGE - The replacement of a quantity of air in a space within a given period of time, typically expressed as air changes per hour. If a building has one air change per hour, this is equivalent to all of the air in the building being replaced in a one-hour period.
AIR CONDITIONER - Is an appliance, system or mechanism designed to extract heat from an area using a refrigeration cycle. In construction, a complete system of heating, ventilation and air conditioning is referred to as HVAC.
ALTERATION - Any change or modification to a building's construction. [See Addition].
ALCOHOL FUELS - Liquid chemicals made from renewable resources such as locally grown crops and even waste products. They contain a certain combination of hydrogen, carbon and oxygen that qualifies them as fuels. Methanol and ethanol are two types of alcohol fuels used in cars.
ALTERNATING CURRENT - (AC) Flow of electricity that constantly changes direction between positive and negative sides. Almost all power produced by electric utilities in the United States moves in current that shifts direction at a rate of 60 times per second.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES - See RENEWABLE ENERGY.
ALTERNATIVE (transportation) FUELS - As defined by the National Energy Policy Act (EPAct) the fuels are: methanol, denatured ethanol and other alcohols, separately or in mixtures of 85 percent by volume or more (or other percentage not less than 70 percent as determined by U.S. Department of Energy rule) with gasoline or other fuels; CNG; LNG; LPG; hydrogen; "coal-derived liquid fuels;" fuels "other than alcohols" derived from "biological materials;" electricity, or any other fuel determined to be "substantially not petroleum" and yielding "substantial energy security benefits and substantial environmental benefits."
ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLE (AFV) - A vehicle designed to operate on an alternative fuel (e.g., compressed natural gas, methane blend, electricity). The vehicle could be either a dedicated vehicle designed to operate exclusively on alternative fuel or a non-dedicated vehicle designed to operate on alternative fuel and/or a traditional fuel.
AMPERE (Amp) - The unit of measure that tells how much electricity flows through a conductor. It is like using cubic feet per second to measure the flow of water. For example, a 1,200 watt, 120-volt hair dryer pulls 10 amperes of electric current (watts divided by volts).
ANSI - American National Standards Institute is the national organization that coordinates development and maintenance of consensus standards and sets rules for fairness in their development. ANSI also represents the USA in developing international standards.
ANCILLARY SERVICES - The services other than scheduled energy that are required to maintain system reliability and meet WSCC/NERC operating criteria. Such services include spinning, non-spinning, and replacement reserves, voltage control, and black start capability.
ANCILLARY SERVICES - Services that the Independent System Operator may develop, in cooperation with market participants, to ensure reliability and to support the transmission of energy from generation sites to customer loads. Such services may include: regulation, spinning reserve, non-spinning reserve, replacement reserve, voltage support, and black start.
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) - A measure of heating efficiency, in consistent units, determined by applying the federal test method for furnaces. This value is intended to represent the ratio of heat transferred to the conditioned space by the fuel energy supplied over one year. [See California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Section 1602(d)(1)]
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY STANDARDS - California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Chapter 2, Subchapter 4: Energy Conservation, Article 4: Appliance Efficiency Standards. Appliance Efficiency Standards regulate the minimum performance requirements for appliances sold in California and apply to refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners, central air conditioners, gas space heaters, water heaters, plumbing fittings, fluorescent lamp ballasts and luminares, and ignition devices for gas cooking appliances and gas pool heaters. New National Appliance Standards are in place for some of these appliances and will become effective for others at a future date.
APPLICANT - Applicant means any person who submits an application for certification pursuant to the provisions of this division, including, but not limited to, any person who explores for or develops geothermal resources.
APPLICATION - Application means any request for certification of any site and related facility filed in accordance with the procedures established pursuant to this division. An applicant for a geothermal powerplant and related facilities may propose more than one site and related geothermal facilities in the same application.
ATGAS - Synthetic gas produced by dissolving coal in a bath of molten iron. The process was developed by Applied Technology, Inc. Synthetic gas may be used as a substitute for natural gas in industrial and home uses.
ATOMIC ENERGY COMMISSION - The independent civilian agency of the federal government with statutory responsibility to supervise and promote use of nuclear energy. Functions were taken over in 1974 by the Energy Research and Development Administration (now part of the U.S. Department of Energy) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
AUXILIARY ENERGY SUBSYSTEM - Equipment using conventional fuel to supplement the energy output of a solar system. This might be, for example, an oil- fueled generator that adds to the electrical output of a substitutes for the solar system during long overcast periods when there is not enough sunlight.
AVERAGE COST - The revenue requirement of a utility divided by the utility's sales. Average cost typically includes the costs of existing power plants, transmission, and distribution lines, and other facilities used by a utility to serve its customers. It also included operating and maintenance, tax, and fuel expenses.
AVERAGE DEMAND - The energy demand in a given geographical area over a period of time. For example, the number of kilowatt-hours used in a 24-hour period, divided by 24, tells the average demand for that period.
AVERAGE HYDRO - Rain, snow and runoff conditions that provide water for hydroelectric generation equal to the most commonly occurring levels. Average hydro usually is a mean indicating the levels experienced most often in a 104-year period.
AVOIDED COST - (Regulatory) The amount of money that an electric utility would need to spend for the next increment of electric generation to produce or purchase elsewhere the power that it instead buys from a cogenerator or small-power producer. Federal law establishes broad guidelines for determining how much a qualifying facility (QF) gets paid for power sold to the utility.
AVOIDED COST - The amount of money that an electric utility would avoid by purchasing capacity and energy from a qualifying facility. Federal law establishes broad guidelines for determining how much a qualifying facility (QF) is paid for power sold to the utility. (see QUALIFYING FACILITIES).
AZIMUTH- The angular distance between true south and the point on the horizon directly below the sun. Typically used as an input for opaque surfaces and windows in computer programs for calculating the energy performance of buildings.