Understanding Your Bill
Ampere (amp)-A measure of how much electricity is moving through a conductor.
British Thermal Unit (Btu)- The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
Capacitor- An electrical device that adjusts the leading current of an applied alternating current to balance the lag of the circuit to provide high power factor.
Circuit - One complete run of a set of electric conductors from a power source to electrical devices.
Circuit Breaker- A device to interrupt a circuit under certain conditions, may be operated manually or automatically.
Conductor- A material that allows the flow of electric current to pass through it.
Distribution term-The wire that carries electricity throughout a transmission or distribution system.
Demand (kW)- The amount of electricity drawn from an electric system at a specified time.
Demand Charge- The charge for electricity over a specified time.
Demand Meter- A watt-hour meter containing an additional function of measuring demand over a specified time (15 minutes).
Distribution Company- A utility that purchases wholesale power and distributes it to their customers.
Distribution System- The equipment (poles, wires, transformers) used to deliver energy.
Electrical Current- The flow of electrons through a conductor.
Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)- Magnetic fields generated by electrical equipment.
Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)-The measure of appliance efficiency. Determined by dividing the Btu/per hour output by watts used.
Fuse- A protective device for electric circuits designed to melt and break the circuit when exceeding specified electric tolerances.
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI)- A device that breaks the circuit when a short is detected. Required for outlets in areas in contact with water.
Hertz (Hz)- The North American measurement of frequency equal to one cycle per second.
Horsepower (hp)- A measure of power equal to 746 watts.
Insulator- Equipment that does not conduct electricity.
Kilovolt (kV)- 1,000 volts.
Kilowatt (kW)- 1,000 watts
Kilowatt-hour (kWh)- The measurement of electrical energy usage. A 100watt light bulb on for 10 hours uses a kWh.
Load- The amount of electric power delivered at any point on a system.
Load Factor- A percent telling the difference between the amount of electricity a consumer used during a given time span and the amount that would have been used if the usage had stayed at the consumer's highest demand level during the whole time.
Megawatt (MW)- 1,000 kilowatts.
Meter- Equipment used to record the amount of energy consumed.
Off Peak Power- Energy consumed during periods of low system demand.
Outage- An interruption of electrical service caused by weather, trees, animals or equipment.
Peak Demand- The highest demand of energy during a specified period of time. Daily electrical peaks in late afternoon to early evening. Annual peaks occur on hot , humid summer days.
Power- Measured in watts, the product of voltage and current. (Amps x Volts=watts. Energy that is available for doing work.
Power Factor- The ratio of the real power in watts to the apparent power. Low power factor results in higher current to flow required in distribution lines to be able to deliver the same working power. Corrected by installing capacitors.
Power Cost Adjustment (PCA)- A pass through cost for energy that allows Connexus to reflect the true price of electricity in the wholesale power market. The PCA may be positive or negative.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)- The total cooling output of a central air conditioning unit in BTU's during its normal usage period for cooling divided by the total electrical energy input in watt-hours during the same period, as determined using specified federal test procedures.
Single Phase Power- A circuit that serves the needs of residential customers, small commercial customers, and streetlights. It carrier a relatively light load as compared to heavy duty three phase.
Substation- A facility used for switching and/or changing or regulating the voltage of electricity.
Surge Suppressor- A electric device that protects inline equipment from high voltage spikes or surges, i.e. lighting.
Three Phase Power-A three wire circuit that serves the needs of larger industrial or commercial loads.
Transformer- A piece of equipment that "steps up" or "steps down" the voltage in electric distribution.
Voltage- The force which pushes electricity through a wire.
Watt- A unit of electrical power.