The language and terms used within the energy industry can sometimes be confusing. Therefore the Utility Centre have compiled a list of terms and there definitions to help avoid confusion.
Meters that automatically pass accurate meter readings to energy suppliers
An amp is electrical current
The actual rate of consumption over a period between two actual meter readings
AQ (Annual Quantity)
The term used to describe the annual consumption of a gas customer’s meter
Apparent power is equal to the product of volts and amps
The future supplier of a meter, also known as the incoming supplier or new supplier when subject to a transfer
Available Supply Capacity (ASC)
The maximum amount of electricity that can be drawn via the meter at any point. Measured in KVA
Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC)
The rules that govern the settlement and metering systems in the electricity market. Managed by ELEXON
The major energy suppliers in the UK: BGB, SSE, nPower, E.ON, Scottish Power and EDF
Where a supplier is unable to meet the RO they must make payments into a fund for renewable investment
Calorific Value (CV)
The quality of gas measured by the release of energy when gas is completely combusted under specified conditions
As ASC, the maximum amount of electricity that can be drawn via the meter at any point. Measured in KVA
Change of tenancy
The situation where a business energy customer moves in to a premise without a contract being in place
Climate Change Levy (CCL)
Introduced in 2001 and levied on businesses to incentivize the use of renewable to increase efficiency and reduce carbon emissions
Communications Service Providers (CSP)
The telecommunications businesses, Arqiva & Telefónica who will facilitate the full functionality of smart metering
The absolute usage of a meter, derived from the meter advance and applicable to any time period, most often annual
Contract End Date
The end of a fixed price period, the supplier will supply past this date until the supply end date
Contracts for Differences (CfDs)
Replacement for RO, mechanism for top-up payments to renewable plants when electricity price is below a set level
The measure used to convert cubic meter gas units into kWh, the standard correction factor is 1.02264
A snap shot indicator of a business’ credit worthiness used to determine the products, rates and terms suppliers will offer
D0010 – Meter Readings
The flow that communicates Meter Readings taken from a customer meter to the industry
D0019 – Metering System EAC/AA Data
Derived from the D0010, the flow communicates the estimated annual consumption of a meter
D0036 – Validated Half Hourly Advances for Inclusion in Aggregated Supplier Matrix
The flow that contains the meter readings, demand and advances of a Half Hourly Meter
D0055 – Registration of Supplier to Specified Metering Point
Registers the supplier’s intent to register a meter to their portfolio
D0057 – Rejection of Registration
Reports a rejection of the D0055 because certain critical industry data does match that held by MPAS
D0058 – Notification of Termination of Supply Registration
Informs the incumbent 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 incumbent 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
Sent to the new supplier to inform them that the incumbent supplier has objected to the transfer of the meter
Data Aggregator (DA)
The entity that sums the meter readings gathered in order to identify the demand levels in any combination of meters
Data Collector (DC)
The entity that collates the meter readings and attributes them to metering systems, customers and suppliers
Data and Communications Company (DCC)
The entity responsible for linking the 53 million smart meters with the systems of the energy suppliers and network operators
Flows transmitted between the MOP, DC, DA, MPAS, Supplier and Distributor via the DTN facilitating actions in the competitive market
Data Retriever (DR)
The ‘man in the van’ who reads meters; in a Smart Meter this can simply be a SIM card
Data Service Provider (DSP)
The entity that operates the system controlling the movement of smart meter messages, a smart meter era DR and DC
Data Transfer Catalogue (DTC)
The dictionary of the various flows, activities and participants within the DTN
Data Transfer Network (DTN)
The data network that enables automated communications between the relevant market participants facilitating change of supplier activity
DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change)
The government department responsible for the energy industry & which controls Ofgem
Standard charges applied to Change of Tenancy customers before they agree or refuse a contract with the incumbent supplier
The numeric score provided by Experian to represent a business’ credit worthiness
Distribution Network (Distributor)
The 14 ‘regional’ networks that connect to the transmission system and manage electricity distribution to homes and businesses
DUoS (Distribution Use of System)
The charges related to a meter’s usage of the distribution network representing around 18% of the average business energy bill
Economy 7 Meter
A two-rate meter to provide cheaper energy off-peak between 1am and 8am and commonplace in bakeries and take-aways
The party that manages the BSC focusing on settlement processes, metering systems & managing supplier adherence to industry rules
Small scale generation, often renewable, that is in place at a site of an energy consumer and not a generator
Part of the Ombudsman Service covering the communications, energy, property and copyright licensing industries to whom escalated complaints are made
The entity that is the retail business who bills and services end user customers e.g. BGB, nPower, E.ON
EAC (Estimated Annual Consumption)
The term used to describe the forecast annual consumption of a electricity customer’s meter in lieu of an Annualised Advance
Evening Weekend Meter
A two-rate meter measuring day & evening / weekend usage. Commonplace in bakeries and take-aways
Evening Weekend & Night Meter
A three-rate meter measuring day evening / weekend & night usage. Commonplace in pubs, nightclubs and restaurants
Feed in Tariff (FIT)
A scheme to incentivise renewable energy generation. Levied on all consumers to reward those businesses with eligible generation
Fossil Fuel Levy (FFL)
A forerunner of Climate Change Levy, introduced in 1989 and which has been rated at 0 since 2002
The private business contracted to operate the MRA as MRASCO and the SEC
The producer of electricity using coal, gas, hydro, oil, wind or waves but whose fundamental principle remains the same
GWH (Giga Watt Hour)
1,000,000 kWh, 1,000 MWH
The connected nature of the globalised energy market whereby e.g. demand in Japan can affect supply and price in the UK
The network that transports energy from source to destination. Also describes the payment market between suppliers & generators
GSP (Grid Supply Point)
The point in each regional distribution network where the transmission network connects to it
Half Hourly Data (HHD)
Data sourced from a half hourly meter delivering 17,520 recordings of demand from each meter
Half Hourly Meter (HH Meter)
A high demand meter (>100kW) that records and transmits usage every half hour
Higher Distribution Cost Levy (Assistance for Areas with High Electricity Distribution Costs)
A charge to reduce the cost of the distribution of electricity in certain areas such as the North of Scotland.
The current supplier of a meter, also known as the outgoing or old supplier when subject to a transfer
Industrial & Commercial
Those customers that consume more than 300,000kWh of gas or electricity per annum and often those electricity customers fitted with a half hourly meter.
Specialised contracts for intensive gas users to cut demand in peak periods to balance the network
kVA (Kilo volt amperes)
A measure of the difference between real and apparent power arising because of inefficiencies in electrical transmission
A measure of power output or demand of a particular item, it is equal to one thousand watts
kWh (Kilowatt hour)
A measure of power taken over time; 1,000 watt-hours or 3.5 mega joules
Levy Exempt Power
Electricity from a non-fossil fuel source of generation e.g. renewable energy and therefore not liable for CCL
Line Loss Factor (LLF)
A multiplier applied to a meter & used to estimate the losses in transporting energy along the distribution network
Availability of commodity in a traded market, the higher, the stronger liquidity and lower the influence of a single transaction
LNG (Liquid Natural Gas)
Gas converted & compacted to less than 1/600th of its gaseous state to facilitate ease of transportation over long distances
The absolute consumption divided by the maximum energy ‘demanded’ at a specific point as measured by a Maximum demand meter
The pattern of a meter’s electricity usage by period to a half hour granularity. Eight profile classes represent standard profiles
Energy is lost during transportation, metered demand is therefore subject to a loss factor to gross up demand to include losses
Maximum Demand (MD)
The maximum energy ‘demanded’ by a metering system at a specific point
Maximum Demand Meter (MD Meter)
A meter that measures the maximum energy ‘demanded’ at specific points & the absolute consumption to provide the load factor
The aggregation & settlement classification for a meter i.e. Non Half Hourly or Half Hourly
MWH (Mega Watt Hour)
The gap between two meter readings derived by subtracting the earlier read from the later
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)
The collective name for the MAM and MAP, the owner and maintainer of a the meter installed in a premise
Meter Serial Number
The non-unique serial number of a gas or electricity meter, used to identify the meter and not the supply point
Meter Timeswitch Code (MTC)
Identifies the rate/time periods that a meter will support to measure meter consumption across differing periods
A business using under 100,000kWh of electricity, 293,000kWh of gas, with fewer than 10 staff and turnover less than €2m
Micro Watt Hour
1,000,000th of a kWh
Milli Watt Hour
1,000th of a kWh
M Number (MPRN, Meter Point Reference Number)
The unique reference applied to the gas supply point in a premise, the gas industry version of the S Number
The unique reference for a metering system at a supply point. The ‘bottom line’ of the S Number
The 14 regional areas that hold centralised data about each customer meter and supply point
MRA (Meter Registration Agreement)
The rules that govern the DTN and underpin the registration processes of the electricity market. Managed by MRASCO.
The organisation that is contracted to develop and manage the MRA. Operated by GEMSERV.
The Company that owns the electricity transmission network and the gas pipeline network
Network Code (The Uniform Network Code)
The legal framework of the gas industry designed to facilitate competition.
The process within the registration window where the supplier blocks the transfer due to debt or contracts being in place
The non-customer facing industry regulator responsible for the competitive energy market, a non-ministerial government department reporting to DECC
Out of Contract rates
Punitive rates charged to customers who have refused contract terms yet remain on supply with the supplier.
Pass Through Charges
Elements of the energy price that can be changed and passed through under the contract terms e.g. levies, transportation & metering costs.
PWH (Peta Watt Hour)
1,000,000,000,000 kWh, 1,000,000,000 MWH, 1,000,000 GWH, 1,000 TWH.
HMRC’s Climate Change Levy Relief Supporting Analysis document intended to prove, via supporting analysis, a business’ claim for relief.
HMRC’s document to inform an energy supplier of the level of relief to be applied against a business’ CCL liability.
The entity who extracts gas through on and offshore wells and deliver it to the market.
A classification representing one of 8 generic demand shapes approximating when a typical customer uses their 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%
Created when current and voltage are not in phase, measured in var and also known as apparent power
Real power is the amount of actual power that can be drawn from a circuit.
RECs (Regional Electricity Companies)
The pre-privatisation era description of monopoly regional energy businesses e.g. MEB, now nPower or EMEB, now E.ON
The process by which a customer is transferred from their existing supplier to their chosen new supplier
The 28-day period prior to the intended transfer date within which the new supplier applies for registration of the meter.
Ofgem, the non-customer facing industry regulator responsible for the competitive energy market, a non-ministerial government department reporting to DECC
The process within the registration window where MPAS rejects the application due to mis-matching industry data
Renewables Obligation (RO)
An obligation placed on UK electricity suppliers to source a set % of their energy from renewable sources.
Renewable Obligation Certificates (ROCs)
Certificates of provenance, under the RO presented to Ofgem to prove the source and status of the energy.
The final price for energy that the customer pays. Consisting of wholesale energy, transportation, metering, losses, levies, & supplier margin.
Seasonal Time of Day Meter (STOD)
A complex meter with up to 56 rates across night, day, peak & other periods measured separately by season.
The process, in the electricity market, total and individual demand is apportioned to each supplier, customer & GSP group
Each half hour in the electricity market is a settlement period within which total and individual demand is apportioned
A register on a meter related to a time period & used in the industry settlement process to determine usage
The entity that arranges for the gas transporter to move the gas from the producer to the customer.
Smart Energy Code (SEC)
The multiparty agreement that sets out the contractual relationship between the DCC and the DCC Service Users. Operated by GEMSERV.
Meters that automatically pass accurate meter readings to energy suppliers and which support other functions including enabling smart appliance operation.
Smart Meter Roll-Out
The government project to install 53 million Smart & Advanced Meters between 2015 and 2020
SME (Small & Medium Enterprise)
Independently owned businesses Small: below £2.8m turnover & 50 employees Medium: below £11.2 million turnover & 250 employees
A unique identifier used in the electricity market to define the supply point for a meter and its generic characteristics.
Soft Credit Check
A credit check that leaves no footprint on financial records yet determines the products, rates and terms suppliers will offer
Embedded generators releasing surplus energy to the ‘grid’ to take advantage of price opportunities as a traditional generator would
A single rate meter, providing a single tariff for all units used. Ideal for offices, shops & cafes.
Primarily gas however small amounts of electricity can be stored, with new technologies exploring long-term mass electricity storage.
Supply End Date
The final date a supplier supplies a meter, after which they no longer hold responsibility for the energy delivered.
TWH (Tera Watt Hour)
1,000,000,000 kWh, 1,000,000 MWH, 1,000 GWH
The historic measure of gas consumption, equal to 100,000 BTU (British Thermal Units) and 29.3 kWh
TPI (Third Party Intermediary)
A broker, consultant, agent or price comparison website, i.e. any non-supplier party involved in the business energy sales process.
TNUoS (Transmission Use of System)
Charges for a meter’s usage of the transmission network, varying by length & location representing 7% of the energy bill
The first 8 digits of the S Number displaying Profile Class, Meter Timeswitch Code and Line Loss Factor.
Part of National Grid, the company that owns the gas pipeline network of the UK
The wires and pylons that carry electricity from generators to the distribution networks. Owned and managed by National Grid
The charges for and process by which gas and electricity is delivered from the generator to the meter point.
The entity, primarily National Grid Transco, that transports gas from the producer to consumers.
The three highest demand points between November and February, used to determine transmission charges applied to the largest businesses.
Vertical integration (VI)
The principle of a business owning more than one area of the energy chain: generation, transportation, metering and/or supply.
A volt is electrical pressure.
A watt is real power.
The energy market where suppliers, generators, traders and customers purchase electricity and gas via bilateral contracts or through energy exchanges.