The Ultimate Energy Glossary

Advanced Meter

 – An advanced meter is a meter which allows your energy consumption to be measured at half-hourly intervals. They automatically pass these meter readings to your energy supplier. As they are constantly measuring consumption the readings are very accurate meaning you only get billed for your actual consumption, as opposed to estimated consumption, if you have an Advanced Meter.

Amp

 – Amp is short for ampere, a unit used to measure electrical current. It is a measurement of the electromagnetic force between electrical conductors carrying electric current. It is named of André-Marie Ampère, a French mathematician and physicist considered the father of electromagnetism

Annualised Advance

 – This is an annualised projection of energy consumption. It is formed by comparing the difference between two actual meter readings. This is the data a supplier will pay on.

AQ (Annual Quantity)

 – The Annual Quantity is the estimated consumption of a gas meter point. The consumption history from the last 12 months is used to determine the AQ. An AQ is calculated for all Supply Meter Points.

Apparent Power

 – Apparent power the combination of reactive and true power. It is the product of a circuit’s voltage and current. Apparent power is measured in the unit of Volt-Amps (VA) and is symbolised by the capital letter S.

Applying supplier

 – The applying supplier is also known as the future supplier of a meter. It is a term used when there is a supplier transfer (when a customer switches their supplier) and so the meter comes under different control. It is sometimes also known as the incoming supplier or new supplier.

Available Supply Capacity (ASC)

 – This refers to the amount of electricity that the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) has to make available for your meter/usage. Essentially is the maximum amount of electricity that you can draw from your meter at any point. In is measured in KVA (KiloVolt-Ampere)

Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC)

 – This is a legal document which define the rules and governance for the balancing mechanism and imbalance settlement processes of electricity in Great Britain. Essentially they are the rules that govern the settlement and metering systems in the electricity market. The BSC is managed by ELEXON.

Big 6

 – The Big 6 are the major energy suppliers in the UK. They used to be considered to be British Gas, E.On, Scottish Power, nPower, SSE, and EDF. However in recent years nPower have been absorbed by E.On and OVO Energy acquired much of SSE’s domestic customers. For the time being nPower and SSE still retain their own branding but in years to come they will be absorbed entirely by E.On and OVO, respectively.

Buy-Out Fund

 – Buyout funds are a type of private equity fund are usually only open to wealthy investors. A buyout fund takes money from investors and uses it to buy other companies. Sometimes this involves taking companies in the public domain into the private sector. It generally intends to improve the company’s operations and costs and then resell the company to other investors or back into the public market.

Calorific Value (CV)

 – This refers to the amount of energy released when a known volume of gas is completely combusted under specified conditions. It is essentially a measurement of energy or heat that occurs as a result of burning a fuel.

Capacity

 – see ASC, the amount of electricity that the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) must provide to your supply at all times.

Change of Tenancy

 – This is the action of moving out or into a property and having to alert your supplier that you need to end your contract. Your supplier will end your contract for the current premises and will usually offer you a quote on providing the supply for your new property, too.

Climate Change Levy (CCL)

 – Introduced in 200, CCL is an environmental tax charged on the energy that businesses use. It was introduced to encourage businesses to become more energy efficient with regard to how they operate. Theoretically it helps reduce the overall carbon emissions for the country and encourage suppliers to use renewable energy sources.

Communications Service Providers (CSP)

 – This is a provider that transports information electronically. The term encompasses public and private companies in the telecom (landline and wirless).The telecommunications businesses Arqiva & Telefónica facilitate the functionality of smart metering.

Consumption

 – This is the amount of energy that has been used by a customer, also known as the absolute usage of a meter. The amount is derived from the meter advance and can be applicable to any time period. Most often you are updated of your annual consumption.

Contract End Date

 – This is the end of a fixed price period for the amount you pay for your energy supply. Your supplier will supply past this date until the supply end date but the charges may change.

Contracts for Differences (CfDs)

 – Replacement for RO. CfD is a financial contract that pays the differences in the settlement price between the open and closing trades. CfDs enable two parties to enter into an agreement to trade on financial instruments. It is a mechanism used for top-up payments to renewable plants when electricity price is below a set level.

Correction Factor

 – The measure used to convert cubic meter gas units into kWh, the standard correction factor is 1.02264. This converts the amount of gas supplied into the amount of gas actually consumed.

Credit Score

 – A snap shot indicator of a business’ credit worthiness used to determine the products, rates and terms suppliers will offer. Lenders will use this number to help them decide how likely it is that they will be repaid on time if they give a person a loan or a credit card. It is built on your credit history.

D0010

 – Meter Readings

 – This refers to the flow that communicates Meter Readings taken from a customer meter which are then given to the industry (passed onto their supplier).

D0019

 – Metering System EAC/AA Data

 – Derived from the D0010, the flow refers to the estimated annual consumption of a meter.

D0036

 – Validated Half Hourly Advances for Inclusion in Aggregated Supplier Matrix

 – This is the flow that contains the meter readings, demand and advances of a Half Hourly Meter.

D0055

 – Registration of Supplier to Specified Metering Point

 – This registers the supplier’s intent to register a meter on to their portfolio.

D0057

 – Rejection of Registration

 – This reports a rejection of the D0055 because certain critical industry data does match that held by MPAS.

D0058

 – Notification of Termination of Supply Registration

 – This informs the current supplier that the new supplier is intending to take ownership of the meter on the date stated.

D0064

 – Notification of an Objection to Change of Supplier Made By the Old Supplier

 – Notification that the current supplier is ‘objecting’ to the transfer of the meter point to the new supplier.

D0067

 – Notification of an Objection to Change of Supplier Sent to the New Supplier

 – This is sent to the new supplier to inform them that the current supplier has objected to the transfer of the meter.

Data Aggregator (DA)

 – This is an organisation that adds together the meter readings gathered by a supplier. From this they can identify the demand levels across any combination of meters.

Data Collector (DC)

 – Often an individual or an entity that collects the meter readings and then attributes them to metering systems, customers and suppliers. Essentially this is the act of attaching meter data to its source(s).

Data and Communications Company (DCC)

 – This is a company who are responsible for linking the 53 million smart meters in the UK to the systems of their respective suppliers and network operators. This company ensure that smart meter readings reach the suppliers without the customer nor the supplier having to do any additional work.

Data Flow

 – This is the path of data from initial source document to data entry to the processing of final reports. Data changes format and sequence (within a file) as it moves from program to program. Flows are transmitted between the MOP, DC, DA, MPAS, Supplier and Distributor via the DTN. The sharing of relevant data facilitates and informs actions in the competitive market.

Data Retriever (DR)

 – Sometimes colloquially referred to as the ‘man in the van’. This individual is responsible for reading meters and then inputting this information into the supplier’s data. In a Smart Meter this can simply be a SIM card, removing the need for a physical reading to take place.

Data Service Provider (DSP)

 – This refers to the company who are responsible for operating the system which controls the movement of smart meter messages. This entity is the smart meter equivalent of the DR and DC (see Data Retriever and Data Collector).

Data Transfer Catalogue (DTC)

 – This refers to a dictionary which contains explanations of the various flows, activities and participants within the DTN 9see data Transfer Network). It can help provide clarity when identifying one of the aforementioned.

Data Transfer Network (DTN)

 – The Data Transfer Network is a data network which enables automated communications between the relevant market participants. This network facilitates any activity regarding consumers changing their suppliers.

DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change)

 – The DECC was a government department. The department is responsible for the energy industry. The DEEC also has jurisdiction over and controls Ofgem. It was replaced by BEIS.

Deemed Rates

 – This refers to the standard charges applied to, typically, Change of Tenancy customers. They are issued before a customer has agreed or refused a contract with the current supplier for the premises. Often customers will be paying more than they need to, hence the incentive to begin a contract with the supplier as soon as possible.

Delphi

 – The Commercial Delphi score is an analytical tool designed to highlight the strength, performance and ultimately the creditworthiness of companies with one single, numerical score. The score ranges from 0-100, with the lowest scoring companies carrying the highest credit risk.

Distribution Network (Distributor)

 – This refers to the 14 ‘regional’ networks in the UK that connect to the transmission system and manage electricity distribution to homes and businesses. These 14 networks are: Electricity North West Limited, Northern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited, Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc, Southern Electric Power Distribution plc, SP Distribution Ltd, SP Manweb plc, London Power Networks plc, South Eastern Power Networks plc, Eastern Power Networks plc, Western Power Distribution (East Midlands) plc, Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) plc, Western Power Distribution (South West) plc, Western Power Distribution (South Wales) plc.

DUoS (Distribution Use of System)

 – This refers to a non-commodity charge which relates to a meter’s usage of the distribution network. Suppliers are expected to pay some of the upkeep of the energy distribution network and these costs are passed onto their customers. DUoS charges typically represent around 18% of the average business energy bill.

Economy 7 Meter

 – This type of meter records your usage on two rates; a day-time rate and a cheaper night-time rate. They provide access to cheaper energy during the off-peak period between 1am and 8am when electricity costs about 48% of what it does during the day. They are commonly found in bakeries and take-aways

ELEXON

 – ELEXON oversees the strategic operation and day-to-day management of the BSC (see Balancing and Settlement Code). They focus on settlement processes, metering systems & managing supplier adherence to industry rules. ELEXON also compare show much electricity generators and suppliers say they will produce or consume with actual volumes. Their work involves taking 1.25 million meter readings every day.

Embedded generation

 – This refers to small scale electricity generation which is conntected to the Distribution Network rather than to the high voltage National Grid. It is often renewable, typically hydro wind, solar power or sometimes Combined Heat and Power (CHP). Embedded generation is found at the site of an energy consumer and not a generator.

Energy Ombudsman

 – The Energy Ombudsman is a free, independent and impartial service. It is part of a wider Ombudsman service which covers the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing industries. Escalated complaints are directed to the Energy Ombudsman and they contact the supplier to correct the problem and apologise.

Energy Supplier

 – This refers to the companies for whom energy is a retail business. They issue bills and provide services to customers. Some examples are British Gas, EDF and E.On.

EAC (Estimated Annual Consumption)

 – This is a term used to describe the projected forecast for a customer’s annual consumption of electricity. This is estimated, meaning it is derived in lieu of an Annualised Advance/meter reading from a customer.

Evening Weekend Meter

 – This type of meter records your usage on two-rates; a day & evening rate and a weekend rate. These are commonly found in bakeries and take-aways.

Evening Weekend & Night Meter

 – This type of meter records your usage on three-rates; measuring day, weekend & night usage separately. These are commonly found in pubs, nightclubs and restaurants, generally where there is a high contrast between energy usage at different times of the day/week.

Feed in Tariff (FIT)

 – These tariffs are designed to incentivise the uptake of small-scale renewable and low-carbon energy generation. The charges are applied to all consumers. The funds levied are paid to those with eligible generation as a reward.

Fossil Fuel Levy (FFL)

 – A precursor to the Climate Change Levy, introduced in 1989. It was paid by supplier of electricity who’s fuel came from non-renewable sources in the UK. The charges are passed on from suppliers to customers, making these suppliers more expensive choices thus providing incentive for suppliers to rely mostly on renewable energy sources.

GEMSERV

 – The private business contracted to operate the MRA (Master Registration Agreement) as MRASCO (Master Registration Agreement Service Company) and the SEC (Smart Energy Code). They manage the rights and obligations of energy suppliers, network operators and other energy affiliates.

Generators

 – A method of producing electricity whereby mechanical or chemical energy are converted into electrical energy. This process occurs by capturing the power of motion and turning it into electrical energy by forcing electrons from an external source through an electrical circuit. They can be powered by coal, gas, hydro (water), oil, wind or waves. Regardless of the fuel used the fundamental principles of the mechanism remain the same.

GWH (Giga Watt Hour)

 – a unit of energy equal to 1,000,000 kWh or 1,000 MWH. 1 GWh is equivalent to the total electricity typically used by 250 homes in on year.

Global Complex

 – This refers to the interconnected nature of the globalised energy market. For example the global complex means that demand in Japan can affect supply and price in the UK.

Grid

 – This refers to the network which transports energy from source (generator plants) to destination (homes and businesses). The grid can also describe the payment market between suppliers & generators.

GSP (Grid Supply Point)

 – A system’s connection point at which the Transmission System is connected to a Distribution System.

Half Hourly Data (HHD)

 – This refers to data sourced from a half hourly meter. Data is delivered every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week. Roughly this amounts to delivering 17,520 recordings of demand per meter.

Half Hourly Meter (HH Meter)

 – A high demand meter which are mandatory for businesses who consume >100kW in half an hour, and optional for businesses which consumer >70kW in half an hour. They records and transmit usage every half hour to the supplier so an accurate tariff can be charged.

Higher Distribution Cost Levy (Assistance for Areas with High Electricity Distribution Costs)

 – This is a  charge introduced with the intention to reduce the cost of the distribution of electricity in certain areas where it is harder than in densely populated and industrialised areas. So far in only exists in the North of Scotland.

Incumbent supplier

 – The current supplier of a meter, also known as the outgoing or old supplier when a consumer is transferring.

Industrial & Commercial

 – This refers to customers who consume more than 300,000kWh of gas or electricity per annum. Often these electricity customers will be fitted with a half hourly meter due to their high consumption rates.

Interruptible Supply

 – This is an arrangement where commercial customers with flexible energy needs agree to have their service interrupted or curtailed periodically. This setup benefits the gas utility or supplier by helping them manage gas supply during periods of high demand

kVA (Kilo volt amperes)

 – A unit of energy which measures the difference between real and apparent power. This difference arises because of inefficiencies in electrical transmission.

kW (Kilowatt)

 – A unit of energy which measures power output or demand of a particular item, it is equal to one thousand watts.

kWh (Kilowatt hour)

 – A measurement of power taken over a period of one hour. 1,000 watt-hours is equal to 3.5 mega joules.

Levy Exempt Power

 – This is a scheme which exempts energy generated from a non-fossil fuel source (nuclear or renewable energy) from the CCL charge. Hence for suppliers who generate 50% of their energy from solar panels, 50% of their energy supply is not liable for CCL because it doesn’t generate carbon emissions.

Line Loss Factor (LLF)

 – These are multipliers applied to a meter which are used to estimate the monetary losses which occur as a result of energy lost when transporting it across the network. As the energy is distributed across the network, some energy is lost in transmission. To make up for the costs which loss of product incurs, suppliers pass the charge onto consumers.

Liquidity

 – This refers to the availability of commodity in a traded market. The higher the availability, the stronger the liquidity and so the influence once single transaction makes on the market is lower.

LNG (Liquid Natural Gas)

 – LNG refers to gas which is converted and then compacted to less than 1/600th of its gaseous state by cooling it. The cooling process is necessary because it increases ease of transportation over long distances; this is because more gas can be transported at once.

Load Factor

 – This is the ratio of the average of actual amount of some quantity and the maximum possible or permissible. For energy this means that absolute consumption is divided by the maximum energy ‘demanded’ at a specific point, as measured by a Maximum Demand Meter. It is an expression of how much energy was used in a time period, versus how much energy would have been used if the power had been left on during a period of peak demand. It is a useful indicator for describing the consumption characteristic of electricity over a period of time.

Load Profile

 – This refers to the pattern of a meter’s electricity usage by period to a half hour granularity. Eight profile classes represent standard profiles. Power producers use this information to plan how much electricity they will need to make at any available given time.

Losses

 – Some energy is lost during transportation and so metered demand is therefore subject to a loss factor. This means that the meter charge includes losses to make up for the product loss of the supplier.

Maximum Demand (MD)

 – Often referred to as MD, maximum demand is the maximum power value, usually the average across 15 minutes, reached during the billing period (the average time can vary depending on country). Once the value is higher than the amount of contracted power, the customer is liable to pay a penalty on the electricity bill.

Maximum Demand Meter (MD Meter)

 – A meter that measures the maximum energy demanded at specific points as well as the absolute consumption to provide the load factor. Due to their time lag the bimetallic movement remains unaffected by any momentary or short-duration overloads.

Measurement Class

 – This refers to the aggregation & settlement classification for a meter i.e. Non Half Hourly or Half Hourly.

MWH (Mega Watt Hour)

 – This is equal to 1,000 kWh

Meter Advance

 – This refers to the gap between two meter readings. It is derived by subtracting the earlier read from the late to fin the difference between the two as a projection of usage.

Meter Asset Manager (MAM)

 – The entity who maintain the meter installed in a premise

Meter Asset Provider (MAP)

 – The entity who owns the meter installed in a premise

Meter Operator (MOP)

 – This is the collective name for the MAM and MAP, the owner and maintainer of a the meter installed in a premise.

Meter Serial Number

 – Also known as the Meter ID or MSN, the meter serial number appears on your bill. It is a mix of both letters and numbers. Its puporse is identifying the gas or electric meter. 

Meter Timeswitch Code (MTC)

 – These are three digit codes which allow suppliers to identigy the metering installed in a Customer’s premises. They indicate whether the meter is single or multi rate, pre-payment or credit, and whether it is ‘related’ to another meter.

Micro Business

 – This is generally defines as a business using under 100,000kWh of electricity, 293,000kWh of gas. They often employ fewer than 10 staff and turnover less than €2m per annum

Micro Watt Hour

 – This is equivalent to 1,000,000th of a kWh.

Milli Watt Hour

 – This is equivalent to 1,000th of a kWh.

M Number (MPRN, Meter Point Reference Number)

 – The unique reference applied to the gas supply point in a premise. It can often be found on your gas bills. This is the gas industry version of the S Number.

MPAN Core

 – This refers to the final 13 digits of the MPAN, and uniquely identifies and exit point. It consists of a two-digit Distributor ID, followed by an eight-digit unique identifier, then by two digits and a single check digit.

MPAS

 – This refers to the 14 regional areas that hold centralised data about each customer meter and supply point. They connect to the transmission system and manage electricity distribution to homes and businesses.

MRA (Meter Registration Agreement)

 – The MRA provides a governance mechanism to the processes established between electricity suppliers and distribution companies to enable electricity suppliers to transfer customers. It includes terms for the provision of Metering Point Administration Services (MPAS) Registrations. Managed by MRASCO.

MRASCO

 – It stands for Master Registration Agreement Service Company. It is the organisation that is contracted to develop and manage the MRA. It is operated by GEMSERV.

National Grid

 – This is a multinational electricity, gas and utility company. Their role is to connect people to the energy they require, and to do so safely, reliably and efficiently. It ensures that all areas of Great Britain always have enough power. 

Network Code (The Uniform Network Code)

 – This is the hub around which the competitive gas industry revolves, comprising a legal and contractual framework to supply and transport gas. It has a common set of rules which ensure that competition can be facilitated on level terms. It governs processes such as the balancing of the gas system, network planning, and the allocation of network capacity.

Objection

 – This refers to the process within the registration window where a supplier blocks the transfer. This often as a result of debt being present on an account or contracts still being in place.

Ofgem

 – Standing for the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, Ofgem are a non-customer facing industry regulator responsible for the competitive energy market. They are a non-ministerial government department reporting to DECC. Their role is to protect customers by working to deliver a greener, fairer energy system. 

Out of Contract rates

 – This refers to the electricity which is supplied after a fixed term contract when a customer has provided notice of their intention not to renew or extend their fixed term. These rates will be charged until a new contract is agreed or until the customer switches to a new supplier. 

Pass Through Charges

 – These are fees paid to other companies who operate and maintain the electricity network. For domestic customers these are all combined into a single standing charge. These charges are approved each year by the Utility Regulator and are charged by all energy suppliers (however the amounts may vary.)

PWH (Peta Watt Hour)

 – a Peta-Watt Hour is equal to 1,000,000,000,000 kWh, 1,000,000,000 MWH, 1,000,000 GWH, 1,000 TWH.

PP10

 – HMRC’s Climate Change Levy Relief Supporting Analysis document intended to prove, via supporting analysis, a business’ claim for relief.

PP11

 – HMRC’s document to inform an energy supplier of the level of relief to be applied against a business’ CCL liability.

Producer

 – This refers to the entity/entities who extract gas through on and offshore wells. The gas is then transported via pipelines to distribution centres who then deliver it to the market.

Profile Class

 – A classification representing one of 8 generic demand formats approximating when a typical customer of that type of meter uses energy.

Profile Class 1

 – A standardised load profile for domestic unrestricted customers using a single rate meter

Profile Class 2

 – A standardised load profile for domestic unrestricted customers using an economy 7 two-rate meter

Profile Class 3

 – A standardised load profile for non-domestic unrestricted customers using a single rate meter

Profile Class 4

 – A standardised load profile for non-domestic unrestricted customers using an economy 7 two-rate meter

Profile Class 5

 – A standardised load profile for non-domestic Maximum Demand (MD) with a Peak Load Factor (LF) of less than 20%

Profile Class 6

 – A standardised load profile for non-domestic Maximum Demand (MD) with a Peak Load Factor (LF) of between 20% and 30%

Profile Class 7

 – A standardised load profile for non-domestic Maximum Demand (MD) with a Peak Load Factor (LF) of between 30% and 40%

Profile Class 8

 – A standardised load profile for non-domestic Maximum Demand (MD) with a Peak Load Factor (LF) of over 40%

Reactive Power

 – This refers ti the difference between the electricity supplied and the electricity converted into useful power (I.e. that which you are able to use). It occurs when current and voltage are not in phase, measured in var. It is also known as apparent power. If a site has high Reactive Powe (there is a large amount of power wasted) then their current needs to flow in order to provide the same output.

Real Power

 –  Real power is the amount of actual power that can be drawn from a circuit.

RECs (Regional Electricity Companies)

 – This is the pre-privatisation era description of monopoly regional energy businesses e.g. MEB, now nPower or EMEB, now E.ON.  The change from AEBs to RECs occurred in 1990, and the privatisation of RECs also happened that year.

Registration

 – This is the name given to the process within which a customer is transferred from their existing supplier to their chosen new supplier, often occurring as a result of Change of Tenancy but also when a customer is opting for a better deal for their existing premise.

Registration Window

 – The registration window is a 28-day period prior to the intended transfer date. Within this window the new supplier applies for registration of the meter and the contract with the old supplier ends.

Regulator

 – this is also known as Ofgem, the non-customer facing industry regulator responsible for the competitive energy market. Ofgem are a non-ministerial government department reporting to DECC.

Rejection

 – This is a process within the 28-day registration window where MPAS can reject the application due to mis-matching industry data.

Renewables Obligation (RO)

 – RO is one of the main support mechanisms for large-scale renewable electricity projects in the UK. It is an obligation placed on UK electricity suppliers to source a set percentage of their energy from renewable sources. The charges for this are passed onto suppliers’ customers. It first came into effect in 2002 in England, Wales and Scotland, 2005 in Northern Ireland.

Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs)

 – These are certificates of provenance. Under the RO these are presented to Ofgem in order to prove the source and status of the energy a supplier is providing to their customers.

Retail Price

 – This is the name given to the final price for energy that the customer pays, combining all the additional charges icurred. The retail price consists of the wholesale energy, transportation, metering, losses, levies, & supplier margin.

Seasonal Time of Day Meter (STOD)

 – This is a complex meter with up to 56 rates across night, day, peak & other periods measured separately by season. Using meters which record usage at different rates often increases accuracy of predicted usage and ensures you only pay for what you use, especially when your businesses has varying energy consumption rates dependent on season/time of the day.

Settlement

 – This refers to the process within the electricity market where total and individual demand is apportioned to each supplier, customer & GSP group. It reconciles differences between a supplier’s contractual purchases of electricity and the demand of its customers.

Settlement Period

 – Each half hour in the electricity market is referred to as a ‘settlement period’. Within each settlement period total and individual demand is apportioned to each supplier, customer and GSP group.

Settlement Register

 – A settlement register is a part of a meter which runs in relation to a time period. It is used in the industry settlement process to determine usage.

Shipper

 – The entity that arranges for the gas transporter to move the gas from the producer to the customer. They are one of mant stakeholders in energy transportation.

Smart Energy Code (SEC)

 – The SEC refers to the multiparty agreement which sets out the contractual relationship between the DCC and the DCC Service Users. It is operated by GEMSERV.

Smart Meter

 – These meters remove the need for in-person/physical meter readings to be taken and then submitted to your energy supplier. Instead they automatically pass accurate meter readings to suppliers. They also support other functions including enabling smart appliance operation.

Smart Meter Roll-Out

 – This refers to the government project to install 53 million Smart & Advanced Meters between 2015 and 2020 across the UK. This aims to ultimately increase the efficiency of energy billing for both supplier and consumer.

SME (Small & Medium Enterprise)

 – Independently owned businesses which are categorised as either small (below £2.8m turnover & 50 employees) or medium (below £11.2 million turnover & 250 employees). Some suppliers have business plans which tailor specifically to this type of enterprise.

S Number

 – A unique identifier also commonly referred to as an MPAN. They are used in the electricity market to define the supply point for a meter as well as its generic characteristics.

Soft Credit Check

 – As opposed to a usual credit check, a soft credit check leaves no footprint on financial records. However, a soft credit check is still used to determine what products, rates and terms suppliers will offer certain businesses.

Spill

 – An energy spill occurs when embedded generators release surplus energy into the ‘grid’. They allow producers to take advantage of price opportunities in the market.

Standard Meter

 – In the energy world a standard emter is the most common type of electricity meter in the UK. They are a single-rate meter, providing a single tariff for all units used. They are ideal for offices, shops & cafes and measure electricity usage per kWh.

Storage

 – Gas, as well as some small amounts of electricity, can be stored for later user. However, with new technologies, the industry is exploring long-term mass electricity storage.

Supply End Date

 – This refers to the final date for which a supplier supplies a meter. After this date suppliers no longer hold responsibility for the energy delivered to a premise. This terminology is often referred to during Change of Tenancy processes.

TWH (Tera Watt Hour)

 – this is equivalent to 1,000,000,000 kWh, 1,000,000 MWH or 1,000 GWH.

Therm

 – This is the historic measure of gas consumption, equal to 100,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) and 29.3 kWh.

TPI (Third Party Intermediary)

 – A third part intermediary refers to a broker, consultant, agent or price comparison website. Essentially it is any non-supplier party involved in the business energy sales process, often providing advice and negotiation services on a consumer’s behalf.

TNUoS (Transmission Use of System)

 – This refers to the charges incurred as a result of a meter’s use of the transmission network.  The charges vary according to length & location of the consumer, representing around 7% of the energy bill.

Top Line

 – The first 8 digits of the S-Number, also known as the MPAN, found on meters. The number details the meter’s Profile Class, Meter Timeswitch Code and Line Loss Factor.

Transco

 – The National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) is a part of National Grid, the company that owns the gas pipeline network of the UK. They are a government agency which were created under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001.

Transmission Network

 – This refers to the wires and pylons which are responsible for carrying electricity from generators to the distribution networks. The Transmission Network is managed by National Grid.

Transportation

 – The charges for and process by which gas and electricity is delivered from the generator to the meter point (See Transporter).

Transporter

 – This refers to the entity which is primarily the National Grid Transco who transports gas from the producer to consumers.

Triad

 – This refers to the three highest demand points between November and February. It is used to determine transmission charges which are then applied to the largest businesses.

Vertical integration (VI)

 – This is the principle of a business owning more than one area of the energy chain: generation, transportation, metering and/or supply. It is a strategy whereby controlling more than one of the aforementioned areas means that the business can control its value or supply chain. It benefits companies by allowing them to control process, reduce costs, and improve efficienies.

Volt

 – A is the unit of electromotive force. It measures the difference of potential that would carry one ampere of current against one ohm of resistance.

Watt

 – A unit of power which demonstrates a joule of energy used or produced per second. Watt refers to ‘real power’ whilst volts refer to ‘apparent power’.

Wholesale Market

 – The energy market is where suppliers, generators, traders and customers purchase electricity and gas. It is a volatile market, subject to changes in demand and production of gas and electricity. Purchases take place via bilateral contracts or through energy exchanges.