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Rate Terminology Glossary

Actual Demand: Demand is the maximum flow of power used at any one time by a customer and is measured in kilowatts (kW) by an electric demand meter. So Actual Demand is the actual amount of demand placed on an electric system. 

Ampere (A): A measure of how much electricity moves through a conductor, and indicating the required size of circuit breakers and fuses. Amperes equal watts (W) divided by volts (V); a 1,000-W heater at 120 V draws 8.33 A. 

Base Charge: The costs associated with operating and maintaining our distribution system. If your service is connected to our distribution system, you pay this charge even if you do not use any kilowatt-hours. 

Billing Demand: CEC’s demand is based on the highest fifteen-minute average interval demand recorded during the billing period.

Coincidental Load: Metered demand using a fifteen-minute demand period as measured by CEC. 

Coincident Peak (CP): The sum of two or more utility system load peaks that occur during the same time. Allegheny’s demand measured during a peak period on the PJM grid. This sets the charges that Allegheny must pay to other utilities wheeling power for Allegheny.

CP Demand: Coincident Peak Demand; Coincident Peak Demand is the demand, measured in kW, registered by a member that occurs at the same time as Allegheny reports a peak demand period has occurred.

CP Demand Rate: The rate paid by a CEC member on certain rate schedules for CP Demand.

Demand: the amount of electricity drawn from an electric system at a given time, measured in kilowatts. 

Demand Charge: A pricing structure for electricity based on the maximum amount of system power a consumer uses. 

Demand Rate: A pricing structure where a consumer, usually a large commercial or industrial account, pays for electricity based on the maximum kilowatts used. 

Distribution Charge: The cost, per kilowatt-hour, to deliver electricity from the cooperative to a member’s home or business. 

Energy Rate: True generation kWh rate; usage rate. Cost per kWh used. 

G & T Charges: Kilowatt-hour charges for production and transmission of electricity from an energy supplier to the cooperative’s distribution system. This is the number to use for your Price to Compare. 

Generation Recovery: The costs associated with operating and maintaining our generating plants.

Highest Demand: The peak demand of an installation or a system is simply the highest demand that has occurred over a specified time period

Hp: Horsepower. 

Installed Transformer Capacity: The size of transformers installed by CEC to serve a given location. Capacity is measured in kVA. CEC determines the size of transformers based on load information provided by the member.

Joule (J): A unit of electrical energy equal to the work done when a current of 1 A passes through a resistance of 1 ohm for one second. Consider this: the quantity of energy consumed is measured in joules; how quickly that energy gets consumed is measured in watts. 

Kilovolt (kV): Equal to 1,000 volts. Used to measure the amount of electric force carried through a high-voltage transmission line. 

Kilowatt (kW): The basic unit of electric demand, equal to 1,000 watts. A measure of both a utility’s capacity and a consumer’s demand or load. 

Kilowatt-Hour (kWh): A unit of energy or work equal to 1,000 watt-hours. The basic measure of electric energy use. A 100-W lightbulb burning for 10 hours uses 1 kWh. 

kVA: kilovolt-ampere.

kW: kilowatt.

kWh: kilowatt-hour. 

Load Control Rate: A lower rate available to CEC residential members who allow CEC to turn off certain high-use items such as water heaters, electric furnaces and air conditioners during peak demand periods.

Megawatts (MW): Equal to 1,000 kW or 1 million W, it measures either a utility’s capacity, a generating unit’s capacity, or a consumer’s demand or load.  

Multi-Phase Service: Electricity is provided on three wires called “phases.” Most residences use one phase. Commercial accounts may use one to three phases depending on equipment type and need.

Ohm: The amount of resistance overcome by 1 V in causing 1 A to flow. An ohm measures resistance to current flow in electrical circuits. 

Peak Demand: The electric utility industry’s equivalent of rush-hour traffic, when power costs run the highest. It’s the greatest demand placed on an electric system, measured in kilowatts or megawatts; also, the time of day or season of the year when that demand occurs. 

PJM High 5 Coincident Rate: Allegheny and CEC are all interconnected to a larger network of transmission lines called the Pennsylvania Maryland Jersey Grid (PJM). Allegheny and CEC are billed by PJM based on the demands they record during peak times on the PJM grid. The focus of CEC’s load control rates and programs are to minimize this charge.

Primary Metering: Most electrical services are metered at the secondary, or low voltage side of the transformer. Some high amperage services, mostly commercial, will be metered on the high voltage side of the transformer. This is typically done when the member owns their own transformers and switchgear.

Rated Capacity: This term refers to the “nameplate” capacity of various types of equipment. An electrical transformer may have a nameplate or rated capacity of 10 kVA but may be able to function above that for brief periods of time without damage.

Self-Generation: This term refers to any form of electrical generation not provided by an electric utility. It can include solar panels, windmills, fuel cells or generators.

Single-Phase Service: Electricity is provided on three wires called “phases.” Most residences use one (single) phase. Commercial accounts may use one to three phases depending on equipment type and need.

Volt (V): A unit of electric force that measures the pressure of electricity. 

Watt (W): The standard unit of electric power, equal to 1/746 hp or 1 J per second. 


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