Glossary of Terms
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A transaction that results in the transportation of gas in a direction opposite of the aggregate physical flow of gas in the pipeline. This is typically achieved when the transporting pipeline redelivers gas at a point(s) upstream from the point(s) of receipt. A backhaul condition will exist as long as the aggregate backhaul transactions total less than the aggregate forward haul transactions. A backhaul transaction can result in a delivery by non-delivery or cut back (reduction) of physical flow at a delivery point.
- Backstart Capability
The ability of a generating unit to start without assistance from an outside electric system. It’s like jump-starting your car without hooking the jumper cables to another car.
Making receipts and deliveries of gas into or withdrawals from a company equal. Balancing may be accomplished daily, monthly or seasonally, with penalties generally assessed for excessive imbalance.
- Balancing Penalty
A daily or monthly penalty assessed on the difference between volumes tendered and volumes received by the shipper. The purpose of balancing penalties is to prevent a shipper from tying up storage and line pack with excess deliveries of transportation gas, or from depleting storage and line pack by taking more gas off the system than it delivers, both of which disrupt other sales and transportation services.
- Bar Test Survey (For Gas Mains)
Leakage surveys made by driving or boring holes at regular intervals along the route of an underground gas pipe and testing the atmosphere in the holes with a combustible gas detector or other suitable device.
- Barrel (bbl)
42 U.S. gallons at 60 degrees Fahrenheit; equivalent to 6 MCF on a BTU basis.
- Base Cost of Gas
The component in the BASE TARIFF RATE which represents the average cost of purchased gas.
- Base Load
The minimum amount of electric power delivered or required over a given period, at a constant rate.
- Base Load Plant
A power plant built for the specific purpose of providing power to a utility’s customers. Engineers explain it this way because they want to be precise: A plant operated to take all or part of the minimum continuous load of a system and which produces electricity at an essentially constant rate. These plants are operated to maximize system mechanical and thermal efficiency and minimize operating costs.
- Base Load, Residential
The gas consumed by clothes dryers, water heaters, ranges and cooling. Base load does not vary with heating degree-days.
- Base Period
Recently available 12 consecutive months of actual experience. Not always the most recent 12 months. In a rate proceeding, 12 months of actual operations ending no more than 4 months before the date a rate change application is filed. In reference to the EQUITABLE SHARING MECHANISM, a representative base period must reflect a representative level of purchases by a pipeline’s firm customers during a period preceding the onset of changed conditions which resulted in reduced purchases and growth of the take-or-pay problem. See EQUITABLE SHARING MECHANISM, DEFICIENCY PERIOD, PURCHASE DEFICIENCY METHODOLOGY and TEST PERIOD.
- Base Rate
In the natural gas market, is the difference in value between gas at one delivery point and gas at another.
Billion cubic feet.
- Bell Hole
A hole dug to allow room for workmen to make a repair or connection in buried pipe, such as caulking bell-and-spigot pipe or welding steel pipe. In the broad sense, any hole other than a continuous trench opened for working on a buried facility.
- Below the Line vs Above the Line
A decision that is made to determine whether an item should be included in cost of service for establishing rates (above the line) or should not be included (below the line). The “line” referred to is utility net operating income on the income statement. “Above the Line” refers to revenues collected for and costs included in providing utility service.
- Benefit-Cost Ratio
The ratio of the value of a measure’s savings to its cost.
- Best Efforts Service
A service level offered to customers that includes the possibility that service might be interrupted on short notice, particularly during peak load periods.
- Bid Week
Last week of each month when market participants buy and sell the majority of their gas for the following month.
- Billing Cycle
The regular, periodic interval used by a utility for reading the meters of customers for billing purposes. Usually billing cycles are monthly or bi-monthly.
- Billing Demand
A charge a customer pays to reserve capacity or facilities used, regardless of the customer’s actual consumption. Billing demand may vary from actual demand during a given billing period since it can be based on a contract maximum, minimum or previous peak demand. It is also known as Ratchet or Ratcheted Demand Charge.
Methane produced by the decomposition or processing of organic matter.
- Biomass Conversion
Process by which biomass materials are burned for direct energy or by which such materials are converted to synthetic fuels.
- Blanket Certificate (Authority)
A general authority, exercised under FERC rules, to purchase, transport or sell electricity. A blanket certificate relieves the seller or buyer from obtaining prior approval for a sale or purchase.
- Blow Down
The process of reducing gas pressures by means of releasing such pressures to atmosphere.
- Blow-down Valve
Valve used to blow pressure off the pipeline. Also used in purge.
Barrels of oil equivalent; MCFE – thousand cubic feet equivalent. Used to put oil production and gas production on a comparable energy basis.
- Book Cost
The value at which property or assets are carried on a company’s books, without adjusting for depreciation, amortization or other items. Book value is the book cost minus depreciation. Because book value is designed to allow a company to recover the cost of the item, it may vary significantly from the actual market value, which is used to calculate the cost of replacing the asset at today’s prices.
- Book Value
The recorded plant cost less the accumulated depreciation.
- Boom Cat
A tractor equipped with a boom used in laying pipe.
A compressor used to raise pressure in a gas or oil pipeline.
- Booster Station
A facility containing equipment which increases pressure on oil or gas in a pipeline.
Barrels per day of crude oil or condensate.
- Branch Line or Take Off
That portion of a supply line which takes off the main header from the location of a tee on the main header.
- Broadband Over Powerlines (BPL)
Technically it’s the transmission of data along an electric company’s existing wire network. It will also allow customers to use their home wiring to create a local network, thereby allowing various devices, such as personal computers, set-top boxes, and consumer electronic devices to communicate with one another. It will also make broadband available to small communities too remote for the service-for-pay telephone or cable companies.
In CAPACITY ASSIGNMENT/BROKERING, a broker is one who sells or assigns firm transportation (or storage) capacity rights on an interstate pipeline to another entity. Also, an individual or company that buys or sells stocks, commodities, or services for others for a fee. A broker provides the function of bringing a buyer and seller together. A lease broker leases oil and gas leases for others or for the broker’s own account for later sale.
A reduction in the voltage of power supplied to customers. It results from insufficient supply of power to match demand.
- Btu Adjustment Clause
A clause in a gas purchase contract that may adjust the contract price if the heat content of the gas delivered does not fall within a specified range.
- Btu per Cubic Foot
A measure of the heat available or released when one cubic foot of gas is burned.
- Building Envelope
The walls, doors, windows and roof that separates the inside of a building from the outside.
- Bulk Power Transmission
The transport of a large amount of electricity at high voltages, usually from one utility to another, through high-voltage lines. These are usually rated at 100 kilovolts (kV) and above.
- Bull Plug
A plug that is inserted into the end of an unfinished pipeline to keep out dirt and moisture; also a plug of a particular shape with a male thread on one end and considerable length to the closed end for convenient use of a wrench.
- Bundled Sales Service
Natural gas sold on an as-needed basis, without prior scheduling, to the local distribution company at FERC-approved rates. Prior to implementation of various transportation programs, this constituted all gas delivered to an LDC.gloss
Billing for a group of services, such as generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, in a single fee.
- Burner Tip
An attachment for a burner head which forms a burner port modified for a specific application. Also, a generic term that refers to the ultimate point of consumption for natural gas.
Obtaining service from a new supplier without utilizing the facility of the former supplier.