(A - E) (F - J) (K - O) (P - T) (U - Z)

  • Capability : Maximum load that a generating unit can carry without exceeding approved limits.
  • Capacitor : This is a device that helps improve the efficiency of the flow of electricity through distribution lines by reducing energy losses. It is installed in substations and on poles. Usually it is installed to correct an unwanted condition in an electrical system
  • Capacity : The maximum load a generating unit, generating station, or other electrical apparatus is rated to carry by the user or the manufacturer or can actually carry under existing service conditions.
  • Capacity (Purchased) : Energy available for purchase from outside the system.
  • Capacity Charge : An assessment on the amount of capacity being purchased.
  • Capacity Factor : The ratio of the average load on a machine or equipment for a period of time to the capacity rating of the machine or equipment.
  • Capital Recovery Factor (CRF) : A factor used to convert a lump sum value to an annual equivalent.
  • Captive Customer : A customer who does not have realistic alternatives to buying power from the local utility, even if that customer had the legal right to buy from competitors.
  • Circuit : Conductor for electric current.
  • Cogeneration : Production of heat energy and electrical or mechanical power from the same fuel in the same facility. A typical cogeneration facility produces electricity and steam for industrial process use.
  • Cogenerator : A facility that produces electricity and/or other energy for heating and cooling.
  • Coincidence Factor : The ratio of the coincident maximum demand of two or more loads to the sum of their noncoincident maximum demands for a given period. The coincidence factor is the reciprocal of the diversity factor and is always less than or equal to one.
  • Coincidental Demand : Two or more demands that occur at the same time.
  • Coincidental Peak Load : Two or more peak loads that occur at the same time.
  • Combined Cycle : Similar to the combustion turbine simple cycle, but includes a heat recovery steam generator that extracts heat from the combustion turbine exhaust flow to produce steam. This steam in turn powers a steam turbine engine.
  • Combined Cycle Plant : An electric generating station that uses waste heat from its gas turbines to produce steam for conventional steam turbines.
  • Combustion Turbine : A fossil-fuel-fired power plant that uses the conversion process known as the Brayton cycle. The fuel, oil, or gas is combusted and drives a turbine-generator.
  • Commercial Operation : Commercial operation occurs when control of the generator is turned over to the system dispatcher.
  • Commercialization : Programs or activities that increase the value or decrease the cost of integrating new products or services into the electric sector.
  • Comparability : When a transmission owner provides access to transmission services at rates, terms and conditions equal to those the owner incurs for its own use.
  • Competitive Bidding : This is a procedure that utilities use to select suppliers of new electric capacity and energy. Under competitive bidding, an electric utility solicits bids from prospective power generators to meet current or future power demands. When offers from independent power producers began exceeding utility needs in the mid-1908's, utilities and state regulators began using competitive bidding systems to select more fairly among numerous supply alternatives.
  • Competitive Franchise : A process whereby a municipality (or group of municipalities) issues a franchise to supply electricity in the community to the winner of a competitive bid process. Such franchises can be for bundled electricity and transmission/distribution, or there can be separate franchises for the supply of electricity services and the transmission and distribution function. Franchises can be, but typically are not, exclusive licenses.
  • Competitive Transition Charge (CTC) : A "nonbypassable" charge generally placed on distribution services to recover utility costs incurred as a result of restructuring (stranded costs - usually associated with generation facilities and services) and not recoverable in other ways.
  • Comprehensive National Energy Policy Act : Federal legislation in 1992 that opened the U.S. electric utility industry to increase competition at the wholesale level and left authority for retail competition to the states.
  • Conductor : An object or substance which conducts or leads electric current. A wire, cable, busbar, rod, or tube can serve as a path for electricity to flow. The most common conductor is an electrical wire.
  • Connection : The connection between two electrical systems that permit the transfer of energy.
  • Conservation : A foregoing or reduction of electric usage for the purpose of saving natural energy resources and limiting peak demand in order to ultimately reduce the capacity requirements for plant and equipment.
  • Consumer Education : Efforts to provide consumers with skills and knowledge to use their resources wisely in the marketplace.
  • Consumption (Fuel) : Amount of fuel used for gross generation.
  • Contract Path : The most direct physical transmission tie between two interconnected entities. When utility systems interchange power, the transfer is presumed to take place across the "contract path" , notwithstanding the electric fact that power flow in the network will distribute in accordance with network flow conditions. This term can also mean to arrange for power transfer between systems.
  • Contract Price : Price marketed on a contract basis for one or more years.
  • Contract Receipts : Purchases that cover at least one year.
  • Control Area : A power system or systems to which an automatic control is applied.
  • Converter : Any technology that changes the potential energy in fuel into a different form of energy such as heat or motion. The term also is used to mean an apparatus that changes the quantity or quality of electric energy.
  • Cooperative Electric Utility : A utility established to be owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services.
  • Cross-subsidization : This refers to the transfer of assets or services from the regulated portion of an electric utility to its unregulated affiliates to produce an unfair competitive advantage. Also, cross-subsidization can refer to one rate class (such as industrial customers) subsidizing the rates of another class (such as residential customers).
  • Current (Electric) : Flow of electrons in an electric conductor.
  • Current Transformers : These are used in conjunction with metering equipment. They are designed to permit measurement of currents beyond the range of a meter.
  • Customer Assistance Programs : Alternative collection program set up between a utility company and a customer that allows customers to pay utility bills on a percentage-of-the-bill they owe or percentage-of-customer-income instead of paying the full amount owed. These programs are for low-income people who can't pay their bills. These customers must agree to make regular monthly payments based on their new payment plans.
  • Customer Class : A distinction between users of electric energy. Customer class is usually defined by usage patterns, usage levels, and conditions of service. Classes are usually categorized generically by customer activity (e.g. residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, street lighting).
  • Customer Costs : Costs that are related to and vary with the number of customers. Customer costs include meters, meter readers, or service equipment costs.
  • Customer Service Charge : That portion of the customer's bill which remains the same from month to month. The charge is determined separately from the amount of energy used. It is based on the costs associated with connecting a customer to the company's distribution system, including the service connection and metering equipment. This charge also recovers expenses such as meter reading, billing costs, customer accounting expenses records and collections, and a portion of general plant items such as office space for customer service personnel.
  • Customer Service Protection : The rules governing grounds for denial of service, credit determination, deposit and guarantee practices, meter reading and accuracy, bill contents, billing frequency, billing accuracy, collection practices, notices, grounds for termination of service, termination procedures, rights to reconnection, late charges, disconnection/reconnection fees, access to budget billing and payment arrangements, extreme weather, illness or other vulnerable customer disconnection protections, and the like. In a retail competition model, would include protections against "slamming" and other hard-sell abuses.

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