Jargon Buster

The following are a selection of terms used within the Utility Industry, listed to help you understand some of the jargon you may encounter.



Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, transfers data to and from a subscribers premises by ‘piggybacking’ onto existing infrastructure, most commonly a standard BT analogue telephone line. This technology is now the ‘old style’ slower broadband


Annual Quantity – The amount of Gas consumed within a 12 month period, usually referring to one supply point.

Availability Charge

A charge for the amount of power which is made available to a given site, it is charged in £/KVA and is costed against the supply capacity.


Description of a market when spot prices are higher than prices for futures.

BBL pipeline

Gas pipeline from Balgzand (Netherlands) to Bacton (UK).

Beach Gas

The point at which gas is brought ashore to terminals before entering the NTS.


The price at which a party is willing to buy at.


Sentiment within the market that prices will fall.


A technology designed to be embedded in electronic devices in order to provide wireless connection over short distances.

Brent Crude Oil

Traded on the ICE and based upon North Sea Oil.


Sentiment within the market that prices will rise.


Combined cycle gas turbine – a gas fired electricity generation plant, usually used for peak demand.


Combined Heat and Power – a highly efficient way of producing electricity and heat in a single process.

CLI Presentation

Calling Line Identification. A digital network feature which allows the identity of the caller to be displayed, normally in the form of a telephone number.


Daily Metered – a supply point fitted with a device that records daily meter reads.


Distribution Use of System – the charges incurred by suppliers for distributing electricity across the local system to the supplied address.


Estimated Annual Consumption – a calculated estimate of electricity usage for a customer without half-hourly metering.

Energy Watch

A consumer complaints organisation for energy users.

Excess Availability Charges

A penalty for exceeding the agreed supply capacity level in KVA, the penalty can be up to three times the normal Availability Charge.

Fixed Cellular Terminal (FCT)

A fixed cellular terminal is a device that uses a SIM card and the GSM mobile network to allow analogue telephone devices to make and receive calls over the GSM network.

Forward Curve

The prices for future delivery of a product at various points in time, this gives a tradeable curve price quoted into the future.


Gigawatt Hour – a standard unit as a measure of power equal to 1,000,000 Kilowatt Hours.


Half-Hour Data – this is the data which is produced by a half-hour data meter, these meters are required for all users above 100kw demand.


A connection or link between energy systems (normally on different continents) to allow the transfer of energy at times of high demand.

IP Telephony (VOIP)

IP Telephony or Voice Over Internet Protocol allows users to make telephone calls over an IT network. Convergence is another element to this whereby the Voice and Data packets can be converged onto one network.


Kilovolt Amperes – Unit of Apparent power. Takes into account both active and reactive energy.


Kilowatt Hour – unit of energy consumption, equivalent to 1KW of power expended for 1 hour of time.


Load Factor – Measures energy usage efficiency and is derived from the relationship betwen unit consumption and maximum demand.


Liquified Natural Gas – Natural gas transformed into liquid form for the purpose of transportation around the globe by tanker. The UK is going to become more dependant on this unpredictable method of energy import.


Maximum Demand – The highest average demand registered in a half-hour throughout a given period.


Meter OPerator – The company appointed to install, maintain and remove metering equipment.


Meter Point Administration Number – a unique 13 digit identification number for the electricity supply to a particular site.


Meter Point Reference Number – a unique reference number identifying each gas meter.

National Grid

National Grid own, operate and develop the high voltage electricity transmission network and the UK’s principal gas transportation system.


Non half-hourly metered sites – sites with demand usually less than 100KW.


Office of Gas and Electricity Markets – responsible for regulating the Gas and Electricity Supply Industries in England, Wales and Scotland.


Market trading for delivery in the short terms as opposed to the curve which is future trading.


Public Switched Telephone Network – The Analogue Network currently in place and operated by BT.

Power Factor

This measures how effectively electricity is being used on a site. Certain types of equipment cause poor power factors. Distribution companies will charge customers for poor power factors through reactive power charges.

Reactive Power Charges

Reactive Power is measured by the Local Distributor and is billed through the supply invoices. Charges will depend on a sites power factor.

Spark Spread

The theoretical profit a gas fired power plant would make from selling a unit of electricity.

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent, non profit organisation which was created by the government to help businesses cut carbon emissions.

TUoS Charges

Transmission use of system charges – raised by National Grid to suppliers for use of their High Voltage Network.