With the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio’s innovative tool you can easily compare
prices, contract terms and other plan differences.
Act: Refers to the "Ohio Electric Restructuring Act of 1999" (sometimes called Senate Bill 3).
Aggregation or Aggregators: An aggregator is a person, local government or organization that brings a group of consumers together to buy electricity or natural gas. An aggregator may be able to get lower prices or other benefits for the group members.
Apples to Apples Charts: The PUCO’s electric and natural gas offer comparison charts, the only comparisons in the state for which suppliers are required to provide accurate and up-to-date information about their latest offers.
Broker: A certified electric or natural gas supplier that arranges the sale of electricity or natural gas between buyers and sellers but does not take title to any of the power sold.
ccf: Hundred cubic feet. Used to measure natural gas.
Competitive Retail Electric Service (CRES) Provider: A retail electric service provider that is certified by the PUCO and competes for your business by offering alternative competitive prices, renewable energy options or other services and incentives.
Competitive Retail Natural Gas Service (CRNGS) Provider: A retail natural gas service provider that is certified by the PUCO and competes for your business by offering alternative competitive prices, renewable energy options or other services and incentives.
Customer: Any person that is an end user of electricity or natural gas and is connected to any part of the delivery system within a local electric or natural gas utility service territory within this state.
Customer Charge: Charge billed each month to recover a portion of the ongoing fixed costs of providing service to a consumer’s home or business. See Fixed Delivery Charge.
Customer Choice: The opportunity for a retail electric or natural gas customer to choose who supplies their electric or natural gas.
Fixed Delivery Charge: Charge billed each month to recover a portion of the ongoing fixed costs of providing service to a consumer’s home or business. See Customer Charge.
Demand-Side Management: The use of processes, financial incentives and equipment to reduce the use of electricity or natural gas or to shift use away from periods of high demand.
Deregulation: Removal or relaxation of regulations or controls governing business or service operations like utilities.
Distribution: The delivery of electricity to homes and businesses over the local poles and wires, transformers, substations and other equipment. This function remains regulated by the PUCO.
Distribution Company: See local utility.
Electric Distribution Utility (EDU): The local electric distribution utility that delivers electricity to your home or business.
Electric-Related Service: A service that is directly related to the consumption of electricity by an end user. This may include, but is not limited to, the installation of demand-side management measures at the end user’s premises; the maintenance, repair or replacement of appliances, lighting, motors or other energy-consuming devices at the end user’s premises; and the provision of energy consumption measurement and billing services.
Supply Charge: The price of electricity or natural gas offered by a supplier.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): An independent federal agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil and electricity.
Fixed Price: An all-inclusive per kWh price that will remain the same for at least three billing cycles or the term of the contract, whichever is longer.
Gas Cost Recovery (GCR) Charge: The actual cost of natural gas that a local distribution company (LDC) pays to purchase natural gas for your use. That cost is then passed through to you on a dollar-for-dollar basis with no mark-up or profit to the LDC. Only the actual costs of the natural gas are recovered through this process.
Generation: The actual production of electricity in a power plant.
Generation Charge: The charge for producing electricity. If you purchase electricity from a supplier, your generation charge will depend on the contract between you and your supplier.
Green Power: Energy that can be extracted, generated and/or consumed without any significant negative impact to the environment. Production of green power typically comes from "renewable" or environmentally friendly sources, such as hydro, wind and solar.
Grid: The transmission network or transportation lines over which electricity travels from the electric supplier to the local electric utility to the consumer.
Independent Service Operator (ISO): An independent entity that controls and monitors a grid, coordinating the generation and transmission of electricity to ensure a reliable power supply to consumers.
Introductory Price: For new customers, an all-inclusive per kWh price that will remain the same for a limited period of time between one and three billing cycles followed by a different fixed or variable per kWh price that will be in effect for the remaining billing cycles of the contract term, consistent with terms and conditions in the supplier's 'disclosure statement.
Investor-Owned Utilities (IOU): Public utilities owned by shareholders. Investor-owned utilities serve about three-quarters of all electricity customers.
Kilowatt (kw): A 1,000-watt unit of energy.
Kilowatt Hour (kwh): A 1,000-watt unit of energy for one hour. This is the standard measurement for the amount of electricity a customer uses.
Load Profile: Customer usage pattern.
Local Distribution Company (LDC): The local natural gas distribution utility that delivers natural gas to your home or business.
Local Utility: The company that delivers your electricity or natural gas to your home or business.
Marketer: A certified electric or natural gas supplier that takes title to electricity or natural gas for the sale to retail end-use customers.
Market Price: The price of electricity or natural gas in a particular market.
Market-Based Rates: Electricity or natural gas rates established in an unregulated, competitive market.
MCF: Thousand cubic feet. Used to measure natural gas.
Megawatt: A unit of energy equal to one million watts (example: the amount of electrical energy required to light ten thousand 100-watt bulbs).
Monthly FeeA fixed monthly fee that a supplier may include in the terms and conditions of their contract that is in addition to a rate based on usage.
Municipal Electric Utility (Muni): A utility owned and operated by a city or town and usually regulated by a local governing body. Ohio law leaves municipal utilities an option as to whether to participate in competitive retail services.
Non-Utility Generator (NUG) or Independent Power Producer: A company that generates power for sale but is exempt from traditional utility regulation.
NYMEX: The New York Mercantile Exchange, a public market where natural gas and other commodities are sold and traded.
Open Access: Access to the grid on comparable terms and conditions.
Price to Compare: The price for an electric supplier to beat in order for you to save money. It will be shown on residential customer’s electric utility bill. You can use this amount to compare with prices offered by suppliers.
Provider of Last Resort: Provider of Last Resort (POLR) serves as the "back-up" provider of service to the competitive suppliers.
Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (PUHCA): Federal legislation that regulates the corporate structure and financial operations of certain utility holding companies.
Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 (PURPA): A federal statute that intended to expand the use of cogeneration and renewable energy sources.
Regional Transmission Organization (RTO): An organization that is responsible for moving electricity over large interstate areas. An RTO coordinates, controls and monitors an electricity transmission grid that is larger with much higher voltages than the typical power company's distribution grid.
Reliability: The delivery of uninterrupted electricity or natural gas to consumers on demand.
Renew. Content (Renewable Content): The percentage of the contracted generation supply that is provided by a renewable energy source.
Renewable Energy: Electricity or natural gas that is made from environmentally friendly fuel resources, such as wind, water, biomass, biogas, waste heat or solar. Sometimes referred to as "green" energy.
Retail Choice: The ability of retail customers to shop for electric generation or natural gas supply service, and to choose the supplier that will provide their electricity or natural gas.
Rural Electric Cooperative: A not-for-profit electric company that has been financed under the Rural Electrification Act of 1936. Ohio has 24 rural electric cooperatives. Ohio law leaves cooperatives an option as to whether to participate in competitive retail electric services.
Slamming: Switching electric or natural gas service to another supplier without a customer’s approval. This practice is illegal and penalties are enforced by the PUCO.
Standard Choice Offer (SCO): Each year, Columbia Gas of Ohio, Dominion East Ohio and Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio conduct auctions to secure natural gas supplies for customers who do not participate in the retail choice program. The auction establishes a SCO rate for choice-eligible customers. The SCO rate is based on the NYMEX month-end settlement price for natural gas, plus a retail price adjustment determined in the auctions. The retail price adjustment reflects the winning bidders’ price to deliver natural gas from the production area to the utility’s service area.
Standard Service Offer: The electric generation service a customer will receive from their local electric utility if they do not choose an electric supplier.
Supplier: The company that you can choose to provide the generation portion of your electricity or the supply portion of your natural gas service.
Terms and Conditions: A contract between a competitive retail electric service provider or competitive retail natural gas service provider and a customer that outlines fees, length of service and other important information.
Transmission: The transporting of high-voltage electricity from generation at a power plant to local electric utilities.
Transmission Charge: Charge for transporting electricity from the generation plant to the local electric utility.
Transportation Cost: Cost related to the actual transportation of natural gas through the natural gas transmission pipeline to the LDC.
Unbundled Service: The separation of generation, transmission, distribution and other ancillary services.
Variable Price: An all-inclusive per kWh price that can change, by the hour, day, month, etc., according to the terms and conditions in the supplier's disclosure statement.
Wholesale Customers: Entities that purchase electricity or natural gas in bulk for resale to end-use customers. Examples include municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives.