AC: Alternating Current

ACBM: Acronym for “asbestos-containing building material.”

Account classification: The way in which suppliers of electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil classify and bill their customers. Commonly used account classifications are “Residential,” “Commercial,” “Industrial,” and “Other.” Suppliers’ definitions of these terms vary from supplier to supplier. In addition, the same customer may be classified differently by each of its energy suppliers.

Account of others (natural gas): Natural gas deliveries for the account of others are deliveries to customers by transporters that do not own the natural gas but deliver it for others for a fee. Included are quantities covered by long-term contracts and quantities involved in short-term or spot market sales.

Accounting system: A method of recording accounting data for a utility or company or a method of supplying accounting information for controlling, evaluating, planning and decision-making.

Acid mine drainage: This refers to water pollution that results when sulfur-bearing minerals associated with coal are exposed to air and water and form sulfuric acid and ferrous sulfate. The ferrous sulfate can further react to form ferric hydroxide, or yellow boy, a yellow-orange iron precipitate found in streams and rivers polluted by acid mine drainage.

Acid rain: Also called acid precipitation or acid deposition, acid rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids formed primarily by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. It can be wet precipitation (rain, snow, or fog) or dry precipitation (absorbed gaseous and particulate matter, aerosol particles or dust). Acid rain has a pH below 5.6. Normal rain has a pH of about 5.6, which is slightly acidic. The term pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity and ranges from 0 to 14. A pH measurement of 7 is regarded as neutral. Measurements below 7 indicate increased acidity, while those above indicate increased alkalinity.

Acquisition (foreign crude oil): All transfers of ownership of foreign crude oil to a firm, irrespective of the terms of that transfer. Acquisitions thus include all purchases and exchange receipts as well as any and all foreign crude acquired under reciprocal buy-sell agreements or acquired as a result of a buy-back or other preferential agreement with a host government.

Acquisition (minerals): The procurement of the legal right to explore for and produce discovered minerals, if any, within a specific area; that legal right may be obtained by mineral lease, concession, or purchase of land and mineral rights or of mineral rights alone.

Acquisition costs, mineral rights: Direct and indirect costs incurred to acquire legal rights to extract natural resources. Direct costs include costs incurred to obtain options to lease or purchase mineral rights and costs incurred for the actual leasing (e.g., lease bonuses) or purchasing of the rights. Indirect costs include such costs as brokers’ commissions and expenses; abstract and recording fees; filing and patenting fees; and costs for legal examination of title and documents.

Acre-foot: The volume of water that will cover an area of 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot.

Acreage: An area, measured in acres, that is subject to ownership or control by those holding total or fractional shares of working interests. Acreage is considered developed when development has been completed. A distinction may be made between “gross” acreage and “net” acreage:

• Gross – All acreage covered by any working interest, regardless of the percentage of ownership in the interest.
• Net – Gross acreage adjusted to reflect the percentage of ownership in the working interest in the acreage.

Active power: The component of electric power that performs work, typically measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts(MW). Also known as “real power.” The terms “active” or “real” are used to modify the base term “power” to differentiate it from Reactive Power. See Power, Reactive Power, Apparent Power

Active solar: As an energy source, energy from the sun collected and stored using mechanical pumps or fans to circulate heat-laden fluids or air between solar collectors and a building.

Actual peak reduction: The actual reduction in annual peak load (measured in kilowatts) achieved by customers that participate in a utility demand-side management (DSM) program. It reflects the changes in the demand for electricity resulting from a utility DSM program that is in effect at the same time the utility experiences its annual peak load, as opposed to the installed peak load reduction capability (i.e., potential peak reduction). It should account for the regular cycling of energy efficient units during the period of annual peak load.

Adequacy (electric): The ability of the electric system to supply the aggregate electrical demand and energy requirements of the end-use customers at all times, taking into account scheduled and reasonably expected unscheduled outages of system elements. NERC definition

Adjustable speed drives: Drives that save energy by ensuring the motor’s speed is properly matched to the load placed on the motor. Terms used to describe this category include polyphase motors, motor oversizing, and motor rewinding.

Adjusted electricity: A measurement of electricity that includes the approximate amount of energy used to generate electricity. To approximate the adjusted amount of electricity, the site-value of the electricity is multiplied by a factor of 3. This conversion factor of 3 is a rough approximation of the Btu value of raw fuels used to generate electricity in a steam-generation power plant.

Adjustment bid: A bid auction conducted by the independent system operator or power exchange to redirect supply or demand of electricity when congestion is anticipated.

Administrative and general expenses: Expenses of an electric utility relating to the overall directions of its corporate offices and administrative affairs, as contrasted with expenses incurred for specialized functions. Examples include office salaries, office supplies, advertising, and other general expenses.

Advance royalty: A royalty required to be paid in advance of production from a mineral property that may or may not be recoverable from future production.

Advances from municipality: The amount of loans and advances made by the municipality or its other departments to the utility department when such loans and advances are subject to repayment but not subject to current settlement.

Advances to municipality: The amount of loans and advances made by the utility department to the municipality or its other departments when such loans or advances are subject to current settlement.

Adverse water conditions: Reduced stream flow, lack of rain in the drainage basin, or low water supply behind a pondage or reservoir dam resulting in a reduced gross head that limits the production of hydroelectric power or forces restrictions to be placed on multipurpose reservoirs or other water uses.

Adverse Weather Conditions: Reduced streamflow, lack of rain in the drainage basin, or low water supply behind a pondage or reservoir dam resulting in a reduced gross head that limits the production of hydroelectric power or forces restrictions to be placed on multipurpose reservoirs or other water uses.

Affiliate: An entity which is directly or indirectly owned, operated, or controlled by another entity. See Firm.

Afforestation: Planting of new forests on lands that have not been recently forested.

Aftermarket converted vehicle: A standard conventionally fueled, factory-produced vehicle to which equipment has been added that enables the vehicle to operate on alternative fuel.

Aftermarket vehicle converter: An organization or individual that modifies OEM vehicles after first use or sale to operate on a different fuel (or fuels).

AFUDC: Allowance for Funds Used During Construction

AFV: Alternative-Fuel Vehicle

AGA: American Gas Association

Agglomerating character: Agglomeration describes the caking properties of coal. Agglomerating character is determined by examination and testing of the residue when a small powdered sample is heated to 950 degrees Centigrade under specific conditions. If the sample is “agglomerating,” the residue will be coherent, show swelling or cell structure, and be capable of supporting a 500-gram weight without pulverizing.

Aggregate ratio: The ratio of two population aggregates (totals). For example, the aggregate expenditures per household is the ratio of the total expenditures in each category to the total number of households in the category.

Aggregator: Any 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 for these customers.

Agriculture: An energy-consuming subsector of the industrial sector that consists of all facilities and equipment engaged in growing crops and raising animals.

Agriculture, mining, and construction (consumer category): Companies engaged in agriculture, mining (other than coal mining), or construction industries.

Air cleaner: A device using filters or electrostatic precipitators to remove indoor-air pollutants such as tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen. Most portable units are 40 watts when operated on low speed and 100 watts on high speed.

Air collector: A medium-temperature collector used predominantly in space heating, utilizing pumped air as the heat-transfer medium.

Air conditioning: Cooling and dehumidifying the air in an enclosed space by use of a refrigeration unit powered by electricity or natural gas. Note: Fans, blowers, and evaporative cooling systems (“swamp coolers”) that are not connected to a refrigeration unit are excluded.

Air conditioning intensity: The ratio of air-conditioning consumption or expenditures to square footage of cooled floor space and cooling degree-days (base 65 degrees F). This intensity provides a way of comparing different types of housing units and households by controlling for differences in housing unit size and weather conditions. The square footage of cooled floor space is equal to the product of the total square footage times the ratio of the number of rooms that could be cooled to the total number of rooms. If the entire housing unit is cooled, the cooled floor space is the same as the total floor space. The ratio is calculated on a weighted, aggregate basis according to this formula: Air-Conditioning Intensity = Btu for Air Conditioning/(Cooled SquareFeet * Cooling Degree-Days)

Air pollution abatement equipment: Equipment used to reduce or eliminate airborne pollutants, including particulate matter (dust, smoke, fly, ash, dirt, etc.), sulfur oxides,nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, odors, and other pollutants. Examples of air pollution abatement structures and equipment include flue-gas particulate collectors, flue-gas desulfurization units and nitrogen oxide control devices.

Alcohol: The family name of a group of organic chemical compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The series of molecules vary in chain length and are composed of a hydrocarbon plus a hydroxyl group; CH(3)-(CH(2))n-OH (e.g., methanol, ethanol, and tertiary butyl alcohol).

Alkylate: The product of an alkylation reaction. It usually refers to the high-octane product from alkylation units. This alkylate is used in blending high octane gasoline.

Alkylation: A refining process for chemically combining isobutane with olefin hydrocarbons (e.g., propylene, butylene) through the control of temperature and pressure in the presence of anacid catalyst, usually sulfuric acid or hydrofluoric acid. The product alkylate, an isoparaffin, has high octane value and is blended with motor and aviation gasoline to improve the antiknock value of the fuel.

All-electric home: A residence in which electricity is used for the main source of energy for space heating, water heating, and cooking. Other fuels may be used for supplementary heating or other purposes.