Alliance Glossary of Terms

 

Glossary Terms

• Administrative Law Judge - A professional hearing officer who works for the government to preside over hearings and appeals involving governmental agencies. They are generally experienced in the particular subject matter of the agency involved or of several agencies.

• Contract Carrier - For Hire interstate operators, which offer transportation services to certain shippers under contracts

• Common Carrier - A for-hire carrier that holds itself out to serve the general public at reasonable rates and without discrimination. The carrier must secure (from ICC and FMC) a certificate of public convenience and necessity to operate.

• Demand Side Management (DSM) – Includes a variety of techniques, such as weatherization of homes and installation of energy-efficient household appliances, that allow a utility to meet consumer demand for electricity by decreasing demand rather than by constructing new generating units.

• Docket – A formal register of the parties to and proceedings of a legal case.  A docket before a regulatory body consists of, among other things, all the comments, testimony, briefs, or findings of interveners and regulatory consultants in a particular case.

• Energy rates - How much a customer pays for engergy

• Energy Smart – A citywide residential energy efficiency program passed by the New Orleans City Council in 2008.

• Entergy – The utility company that supplies electricity and gas service to a number of states, including much of Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas.  Entergy Corporation has five wholly owned subsidiaries, each of which supplies electricity and gas to a specific geographic region: Entergy New Orleans, Entergy Louisiana, Entergy Gulf States, Entergy Mississippi and Entergy Arkansas.

• Feed-In Tariff (FiT) – Requires electric utilities to purchase renewable energy from third-party generators at a government-determined rate.

• Green Collar – A term used to describe industries with a net environmental benefit and the jobs that these industries create.

• Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) – A method of utility planning that requires utilities to evaluate supply- and demand-side management options on an equal footing and to meet customer demand using the least-cost alternative. 

• Interconnection - Interconnection is the process through which an energy generator connects to the larger electric grid. 

• Intervene/Intervenors - Individuals have the option to intervene in Commission proceedings. Intervenors become participants in a proceeding and have the right to request rehearing of Commission orders and seek relief of final agency actions in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal.

• Investor Owned Utility - A business organization that provides a product or service regarded as a utility and is managed as private enterprise

• Large Energy Users - energy-intensive businesses that consume a large amount of energy to operate and provide services

• Net metering - Net metering allows residential and commercial customers who generate their own electricity from solar power to feed electricity they do not use back into the grid.

• Net metering process – Solar installer gets signature from customer to do interconnection agreement- goes to Entergy- paperwork - then goes to city to issue a permit for agreement- send out inspector- city gives Entergy permit- Entergy changes meter 

• Net zero production/consumption - matching on-site energy production (through renewable sources such as solar photovoltaic) with on-site energy consumption. In doing so, the consumption and production net out to zero. In the case of Net Positive Energy, more energy is produced on site than is consumed on an annual basis.

• Photovoltaic (PV) – A solar electricity generation device, often used as part of a roof-top panel for residential solar installations.

• Public Service Commission - An independent regulatory agency, or governing body, dedicated to serving the public interest by assuring safe, reliable, and reasonably-priced services for public utilities and motor carriers.

• Public Utility – a business enterprise, as a public-service corporation, performing an essential public service and regulated by the federal, state, or local government.  In Louisiana, public utilities are monopolies whose rates and profits are regulated by the LPSC and New Orleans City Council Utility Committee.

• Radiant Barrier - Prevents solar heat gain by reflecting radiant heat from your roof. The product is a layer of foil with a thin sheet of highly reflective metal installed in the envelope of a building, made of double-sided 99% pure aluminum. The barriers are able to reflect up to 97% of the radiant heat to outside thereby cutting an attic's temperature by up to 30 degrees.

• Rate Hike - A price increase on electricity for consumers.

• Rate of Return - The gain or loss on an investment over a specified period, expressed as a percentage increase over the initial investment cost.

• Ratepayer – Any customer of a utility, including commercial and industrial customers; any person or organization that pays a utility bill.

• Regulation – Government oversight of industry practice, especially for essential goods and services.  Most electric utilities are monopolies with a guaranteed opportunity to earn a fair rate of return.  Regulation in the electricity market supplants the lack of competition for this essential service.

• Renewable Portfolio Standard – A policy that mandates utilities purchase a set percentage of their power from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and biomass.  These percentages typically increase from year to year.  Currently 27 states have implemented renewable portfolio standards.

• Return on Investment (ROI) - A profitability measure that evaluates the performance of a business by dividing net profit by net worth. The most frequently used method is to divide net profit by total assets.

• Smart Grid – A variety of technologies that allow real-time interaction and response between a utility and its customers, affording greater energy efficiency by allowing both utilities and consumers to more closely monitor energy consumption.

• Solar Leasing – A legal contract in which a homeowner leases solar photovoltaic panels from a provider.  The homeowner does pay any upfront costs, just a flat monthly fee to lease the panels.

• Solar Thermal – A device to heat water using the sun’s energy.  Typically solar thermal systems do not generate electricity.

• Tragedy of the Commons - depletion of a shared resource by individuals endangering the group’s long term interests.

• Watchdog - A group or organization responsible for making sure that companies obey certain standards and acts as a protector or guardian against inefficient or illegal practices.

• Water rates - rate per quarter for water from a public supply.