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Sorting out the confusion (in other words, "What the heck do they mean by that?")

AC    Ampere    B-1    Boot    BTU    CCF    Circuit    CLEC    CO    coulomb    Conjunctive Billing    Current    Customer Charge    DC    Demand    Demand Charge    Duck    Energy Charge    ECCR    Erlang    ERU    FCC    GRT    HOBIC     Horsepower    Interruptible Service    Interstate    Intrastate    ISDN    ISP    (K - Kilo)    Kilovolt    (KW)    (KWH)    LAN    LATA    LEC    Load    Load Factor    Lumen    Mega    Megawatt    MFF    Mulligan    NIC    OHM    PIC    POTS    RADAR    SFU    T-1    Tariff    Therm    Volt    Voltage    Watt    Wattage    Watt-Hour


AC - Alternating current (AC) unlike Direct current (DC) having a constant flow, flows first in one direction then in the opposite direction.

Ampere - The unit of measurement of electric current equal to the flow of electric charge of 1 coulomb per second.

B-1 - Regular business single telephone line.

Boot - British word for the trunk of a car.

BTU - British Thermal Unit. The quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

CCF - Water & sewer utilities sometimes use this as an abbreviation for 100 cubic feet. Some sell water in CCF units. There are 231 cubic inches in one US gallon. Since a cubic foot is 12 by 12 by 12 inches, a cubic foot has 1728 cubic inches. Thus one cubic foot = 1728 cubic inches = (1728/231) gallons = 7.4805 gallons. In this context, one CCF (100 cubic feet) equals about 748.05 US gallons.

Circuit - A conductor or a system of conductors through which an electric current is intended to flow.

CLEC - Competitive Local Exchange Carrier

CO - Central office. A location which houses a switch to serve local telephone subscribers.

Conjunctive Billing - The combining, for billing purposes , of the separate consumptions and registered demands of two or more points of delivery serving a single customer.

Current - A flow of electric charge.

Customer Charge - One component of a utility billing.

Demand - The average rate at which energy is delivered during a specified continuous interval of time, such as instantaneous, 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Electric demand is generally expressed in kilowatts (KW).

Demand Charge - One component of some electric bills.

Energy Charge - One component of an electric bill generally related to those costs which vary in proportion to energy (KWH) consumption.

ECCR - Energy Conservation Cost Recovery. A charge applicable to a customer's usage for recovering the cost incurred by the utility company for approved energy conservation programs.

Erlang - A measurement of telephone traffic. One Erlang is equal to one full hour of use, or 3,600 seconds of phone conversation.

ERU - Equivalent Residential Unit.

FCC - Federal Communications Commission. Click here to go to their website.

GRT - Gross Receipts Tax

HOBIC - HOtel Billing Information Center used by hotels for getting immediate charges for long distance calls placed by their guests.

Horsepower - A unit of power equal to 745.7 watts. Ratings of motors are generally measured in horsepower.

Interruptible Service - Utility service which may be interrupted by the utility company especially at times of critical capacity conditions.

Interstate - Between states (crossing a state line.)

Intrastate - Remaining entirely in a single state.

ISDN - Integrated Services Digital Network.

ISP - Internet Service Provider. A company who provides access for customers to the Internet.

(K) - Kilo. A prefix meaning a 1,000.

Kilovolt - A 1,000 volts. See volt

(KW) - Kilowatt. A 1,000 watts. See watt

(KWH) - Kilowatt-Hour. 1,000 watt-hours. It is the basic unit of electrical energy measurement. See watt-hour

LAN - Local Area Network.

LATA - Local Access and Transport Area aka Service Area. One of 196 local geographical areas in the US within which a local telephone company may offer telecommunications services.

LEC - Local Exchange Carrier. (The local telephone company)

Load - The electric power requirements of a customer for operation of appliances, electric equipment, or other current consuming devices.

Load Factor - The ratio of the average demand over a designated period of time to the maximum demand occurring in that period. Load factor may also be derived by dividing the energy in the period (KWH) by the product of the maximum demand (KW) and the number of hours (H) in the period. This is often expressed as a percentage.

Lumen - A unit of light measurement equivalent to the amount of light delivered by one standard candle at a distance of one foot.

Mega - A prefix meaning a 1,000,000.

Megawatt (MW) - a 1,000,000 watts. See watt

MFF - Municipal Franchise Fee

Mulligan - A "do-over" in golf. When a golfer hits a bad shot off the Tee. As in, "I think I'll take a Mulligan." It is mostly used by high-handicap amateurs. Hint: You don't see it used on the PGA tour.

NIC - Network Interface Card. The device that connects a device to a LAN.

OHM - A unit of electrical resistance equal to that of a conductor in which a current of one ampere is produced by the potential of one volt across its terminals.

PIC - Primary Interexchange Carrier. It is the long distance company to which traffic from a given location is automatically routed when dialing 1+ in equal access areas.

POTS - Plain Old Telephone Service. Nothing fancy, just a basic telephone line serving single line telephones.

RADAR - RAdio Detecting And Ranging. Click here for local Tampa Bay RADAR.

T-1 - Trunk level 1. A digital transmission link with a total signaling speed of 1.544 Mbps (1,544,000 bits per second)

SFU - Single Family Unit

Tariff - A utility company's assembled volume of information containing rules and regulations, rate schedules, standard forms, and other material as required by, and filed with the regulating Public Service Commission.

Therm - A unit of heat equal to 100,000 BTU

Volt - The unit of measurement of electrical force or pressure.

Voltage - The electric pressure of a circuit in an electric system measured in volts.

Watt (W) - The basic unit of electric power equal to one joule per second.

Wattage - The electric power required by an appliance or current consuming device.

Watt-Hour - The basic unit of electric energy equal to the energy of one watt acting for one hour and equivalent to 3,600 joules.

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Last modified: October 24, 2012