Energy Terms Explained

About Usource

Usource is an independent energy advisory firm that works with commercial, industrial, and institutional clients to develop and deliver comprehensive and customized energy strategies. Our integrated energy management approach empowers clients to optimize energy savings, mitigate budget risk and meet business and sustainability goals.

As a member of the NextEra Energy family of companies, the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy, we have the expertise, insight and resources required to help clients reduce carbon emissions, integrate renewables and transition to a forward-looking, sustainable energy strategy.

Get Started

The energy market and its terminology are continually changing

Understanding these energy terms can help you make better-informed decisions.


Ancillary services: Services necessary to support the transmission of energy.

Base load: The minimum energy level an electric plant must provide you on a constant basis.

Bcf: The abbreviation for 1 billion cubic feet.

Capacity charge: The capacity charge is assessed on the amount of capacity being purchased and expressed in $/kW-month or $/MW-day.

Capacity: The amount of electric power delivered or required.

Decatherm: 10 therms or 1 million Btu. One decatherm is equal to approximately 1,000 cubic feet (Mcf).

Deregulation: Energy deregulation is the introduction of competition into the electricity industry. In deregulated markets, consumers can choose where they purchase their electrical power from. Having choices creates competition in the market, which helps lower prices. Deregulation is set at the state level. To find out if your state is deregulated, contact us.

Electricity transmission: Interconnecting electric lines that move high voltage electricity from a generation facility to the distribution lines.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC): FERC is the federal agency with regulatory jurisdiction over interstate electricity and natural gas industries.

Futures market: Arrangement through a contract for the delivery of a commodity at a future time and at a price specified at the time of purchase. The price is based on an auction or market basis.

Independent System Operator (ISO): An independent management team set up to run transmission systems owned by two or more entities. The ISO plans and schedules transmission outages, handles transmission system planning, collects transmission charges and makes payments to the actual providers. The ISO is an independent entity that controls a power grid to coordinate the generation and transmission of electricity and ensure a reliable power supply.

Kilowatt (kW): One thousand watts; measure of demand for power.

Kilowatt-hour (kWh): The standard unit of measure for electricity that is expended in one hour by one kilowatt of power.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG): Natural gas that has been liquefied by lowering its temperature to negative 260 degrees Fahrenheit.

Megawatt (MW): One thousand kilowatts. A unit of power equal to 1 million watts.

Megawatt-hour (mWh): 1 million watts used for one hour.

Natural gas transmission: Transportation of large volumes of natural gas, primarily through pipelines, to local distribution companies, electric power plants, or directly to large end-users.

Off-peak/On-peak: Block of time when energy demand and price are low (off-peak) or high (on-peak).

Peak demand: The maximum electricity load during a specified period of time.

Spot price: The price of a commodity at a specific time and location, for immediate delivery.

Ready to discuss your energy and sustainability goals?

Contact us
partners shaking hands in sunshine

Why choose Usource?

Energy Expertise

Crafting customized commercial and industrial energy strategies for over 20 years.

Renewables Expertise

NextEra Energy is the world’s largest producer of wind and solar energy

Strong Financial Backing

Part of NextEra Energy family of companies, a Fortune 500 company.

Regulatory Intelligence

Continuous monitoring at the national, state and ISO/RTO level

Learn More

Explore More Energy Options

Reducing your company’s carbon footprint and energy use can be overwhelming and complex. Usource offers a variety of energy solutions to  achieve your goals. 

No longer regarded as merely a financial investment term, ESG has come into focus for organizations of all sizes. Let us help you develop ESG strategies that produce results.

Let us help you find suppliers and vendors, vet costs and contraction terms and assist in implementation for offsite and community solar, RECs and nuclear power. 

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
Consent to display content from Spotify
Sound Cloud
Consent to display content from Sound