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Flashcards in Electricity Bills Deck (43)
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What are Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs)?

Utilities that are beholden to their stockholders but are charted and regulated at the state level.


Who reviews and approves the rates of IOUs?

The state Public Utility Commission


How does a Public Utility Commission review and approve the rates of IOUs?

1. The revenue necessary to cover costs plus profit is determined
2. Rates are then set to recover these costs, to provide the required revenue


Who controls the wholesale sale or purchase of electricity between different states?

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)


What are Municipal Utilities?

Utilities owned and operate by local municipalities


What are Rural Electric Cooperatives?

Coops operated by board of directors made up of customers


What's usually the single biggest cost for a utility?

Building and maintaining power plants


What's one of the advantages of the IOU model?

The sole responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the grid rests on a single local utility


Where does the responsibility of the utility end?

At the meter


What do municipal or cooperative utilities usually do with profits?

Return them back to the customers in the form of reduced rates or rebates


What is a rate schedule for?

Establishing the contractual relationship between the utility and a customer based on the primary type of electrical service


What's a rider?

A secondary agreement attached to a primary rate schedule. Used to provide add-on services or to make adjustments to primary schedules.


Customers are separated into Classes depending on the type of facility:

Residential, General Service (Commercial), Lighting


What is Low-use Residential service?

A lifeline rate that meets the needs of low-income or fixed-income elderly residents with low consumption


What is Standard residential service?

The most common rate schedule. Includes customer charge, kWh charge, REPS adjustment, and tax.


What is Seasonal use pricing?

Utilities may charge residential customers more for electricity used in the summer than winter


Each day the utility sees a peak. How does it shift electricity to times of low demand?

By pricing electricity consumes at on-peak hours higher than electricity consumed at off-peak hours


Rate schedules for commercial and small industrial customers are determined by their ___________.

Their demand in kW


What do Time-of-Use schedules do?

Schedule rates that highly incentivize the shifting of load to off-peak times with extremely low demand charges, and no demand ratchet.


What are voltage discounts?

Discounts given to customers who own and operate their own transformers, shifting the cost of buying, installing, and maintaining equipment to the customer.


What's cogeneration?

The on-site production of electricity and thermal energy


What are curtailable loads?

The customer is compensated by a reduction in their bill for every month for each kW of curtailable load available for shutdown during the peak season regardless of if the loads are curtailed or not.


How are municipalities charged for traffic signal electricity?

They are charged a flat monthly charge per signal depending on the number of lamps and how many hours a day it operatues


How are municipalities or neighborhoods charged for street light electricity?

They are charged a flat monthly charge per fixture


How is own and maintains street light fixtures, even on private property?

The utility


How is sports field lighting charged?

It is always metered at one point of service entry, and the customer is charged for demand and energy.


What's a Customer Charge?

A small flat monthly fee rendered to all customers regardless of energy consumption. Covers the utility's fixed overhead costs such as reading meters and sending out bills.


What's an Energy Charge?

The charge for the actual kWh used, to cover the costs of generation and transmission.


What are the three types of energy charges?

Flat rates, Tiered rates: Declining and Increasing block rates


What are energy charge flat rates?

Constant charges regardless of the amount used. Typical for residential and small commercial customers.