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ACBM: Acronym for "asbestos-containing building material."

Account classification: The way in which suppliers of electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil classify and bill their customers. Commonly used account classifications are "Residential," "Commercial," "Industrial," and "Other." Suppliers' definitions of these terms vary from supplier to supplier. In addition, the same customer may be classified differently by each of its energy suppliers.

Account of others (natural gas): Natural gas deliveries for the account of others are deliveries to customers by transporters that do not own the natural gas but deliver it for others for a fee. Included are quantities covered by long-term contracts and quantities involved in short-term or spot market sales.

Accounting system: A method of recording accounting data for a utility or company or a method of supplying accounting information for controlling, evaluating, planning and decisionmaking.

Acid mine drainage: This refers to water pollution that results when sulfur-bearing minerals associated with coal are exposed to air and water and form sulfuric acid and ferrous sulfate. The ferrous sulfate can further react to form ferric hydroxide, or yellowboy, a yellow-orange iron precipitate found in streams and rivers polluted by acid mine drainage.

Acid rain: Also called acid precipitation or acid deposition, acid rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids formed primarily by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. It can be wet precipitation (rain, snow, or fog) or dry precipitation (absorbed gaseous and particulate matter, aerosol particles or dust). Acid rain has a pH below 5.6. Normal rain has a pH of about 5.6, which is slightly acidic. The term pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity and ranges from 0 to 14. A pH measurement of 7 is regarded as neutral. Measurements below 7 indicate increased acidity, while those above indicate increased alkalinity.

Acquisition (foreign crude oil): All transfers of ownership of foreign crude oil to a firm, irrespective of the terms of that transfer. Acquisitions thus include all purchases and exchange receipts as well as any and all foreign crude acquired under reciprocal buy-sell agreements or acquired as a result of a buy-back or other preferential agreement with a host government.

Acquisition (minerals): The procurement of the legal right to explore for and produce discovered minerals, if any, within a specific area; that legal right may be obtained by mineral lease, concession, or purchase of land and mineral rights or of mineral rights alone.

Acquisition costs, mineral rights: Direct and indirect costs incurred to acquire legal rights to extract natural resources. Direct costs include costs incurred to obtain options to lease or purchase mineral rights and costs incurred for the actual leasing (e.g., lease bonuses) or purchasing of the rights. Indirect costs include such costs as brokers' commissions and expenses; abstract and recording fees; filing and patenting fees; and costs for legal examination of title and documents.

Acre-foot: The volume of water that will cover an area of 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot.

Acreage: An area, measured in acres, that is subject to ownership or control by those holding total or fractional shares of working interests. Acreage is considered developed when development has been completed. A distinction may be made between "gross" acreage and "net" acreage:

  • Gross - All acreage covered by any working interest, regardless of the percentage of ownership in the interest.
  • Net - Gross acreage adjusted to reflect the percentage of ownership in the working interest in the acreage.

Active power: The component of electric power that performs work, typically measured in kilowatts (kW) or megawatts (MW). Also known as "real power."  The terms "active" or "real" are used to modify the base term "power" to differentiate it from Reactive Power.  See Power, Reactive Power, Apparent Power

Active solar: As an energy source, energy from the sun collected and stored using mechanical pumps or fans to circulate heat-laden fluids or air between solar collectors and a building.

Actual peak reduction: The actual reduction in annual peak load (measured in kilowatts) achieved by customers that participate in a utility demand-side management (DSM) program. It reflects the changes in the demand for electricity resulting from a utility DSM program that is in effect at the same time the utility experiences its annual peak load, as opposed to the installed peak load reduction capability (i.e., potential peak reduction). It should account for the regular cycling of energy efficient units during the period of annual peak load.

Adjustable speed drives: Drives that save energy by ensuring the motor's speed is properly matched to the load placed on the motor. Terms used to describe this category include polyphase motors, motor oversizing, and motor rewinding.

Adjusted electricity: A measurement of electricity that includes the approximate amount of energy used to generate electricity. To approximate the adjusted amount of electricity, the site-value of the electricity is multiplied by a factor of 3. This conversion factor of 3 is a rough approximation of the Btu value of raw fuels used to generate electricity in a steam-generation power plant.

Adjustment bid: A bid auction conducted by the independent system operator or power exchange to redirect supply or demand of electricity when congestion is anticipated.

Administrative and general expenses: Expenses of an electric utility relating to the overall directions of its corporate offices and administrative affairs, as contrasted with expenses incurred for specialized functions. Examples include office salaries, office supplies, advertising, and other general expenses.

Advance royalty: A royalty required to be paid in advanceof production from a mineral property that may or may not be recoverable from future production.

Advances from municipality: The amount of loans and advances made by the municipality or its other departments to the utility department when such loans and advances are subject to repayment but not subject to current settlement.

Advances to municipality: The amount of loans and advances made by the utility department to the municipality or its other departments when such loans or advances are subject to current settlement.

Adverse water conditions: Reduced streamflow, lack of rain in the drainage basin, or low water supply behind a pondage or reservoir dam resulting in a reduced gross head that limits the production of hydroelectric power or forces restrictions to be placed on multipurpose reservoirs or other water uses.

Affiliate: An entity which is directly or indirectly owned, operated, or controlled by another entity. See firm.

Afforestation: Planting of new forests on lands that have not been recently forested.

Aftermarket converted vehicle: A standard conventionally fueled, factory-produced vehicle to which equipment has been added that enables the vehicle to operate on alternative fuel.

Aftermarket vehicle converter: An organization or individual that modifies OEM vehicles after first use or sale to operate on a different fuel (or fuels).

Agglomerating character: Agglomeration describes the caking properties of coal. Agglomerating character is determined by examination and testing of the residue when a small powdered sample is heated to 950 degrees Centigrade under specific conditions. If the sample is "agglomerating," the residue will be coherent, show swelling or cell structure, and be capable of supporting a 500-gram weight without pulverizing.

Aggregate ratio: The ratio of two population aggregates (totals). For example, the aggregate expenditures per household is the ratio of the total expenditures in each category to the total number of households in the category.

Aggregator: Any marketer, broker, public agency, city, county, or special district that combines the loads of multiple end-use customers in negotiating the purchase of electricity, the transmission of electricity, and other related services for these customers.

Agriculture: An energy-consuming subsector of the industrial sector that consists of all facilities and equipment engaged in growing crops and raising animals.

Agriculture, mining, and construction (consumer category): Companies engaged in agriculture, mining (other than coal mining), or construction industries.

Air cleaner: A device using filters or electrostatic precipitators to remove indoor-air pollutants such as tobacco smoke, dust, and pollen. Most portable units are 40 watts when operated on low speed and 100 watts on high speed.

Air collector: A medium-temperature collector used predominantly in space heating, utilizing pumped air as the heat-transfer medium.

Air conditioning: Cooling and dehumidifying the air in an enclosed space by use of a refrigeration unit powered by electricity or natural gas. Note: Fans, blowers, and evaporative cooling systems ("swamp coolers") that are not connected to a refrigeration unit are excluded.

Air conditioning intensity: The ratio of air-conditioning consumption or expenditures to square footage of cooled floor space and cooling degree-days (base 65 degrees F). This intensity provides a way of comparing different types of housing units and households by controlling for differences in housing unit size and weather conditions. The square footage of cooled floor space is equal to the product of the total square footage times the ratio of the number of rooms that could be cooled to the total number of rooms. If the entire housing unit is cooled, the cooled floorspace is the same as the total floorspace. The ratio is calculated on a weighted, aggregate basis according to this formula:
Air-Conditioning Intensity = Btu for Air Conditioning/(Cooled Square Feet * Cooling Degree-Days)

Air pollution abatement equipment: Equipment used to reduce or eliminate airborne pollutants, including particulate matter (dust, smoke, fly, ash, dirt, etc.), sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, odors, and other pollutants. Examples of air pollution abatement structures and equipment include flue-gas particulate collectors, flue-gas desulfurization units and nitrogen oxide control devices.

Alcohol: The family name of a group of organic chemical compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The series of molecules vary in chain length and are composed of a hydrocarbon plus a hydroxyl group; CH(3)-(CH(2))n-OH (e.g., methanol, ethanol, and tertiary butyl alcohol).

Alkylate: The product of an alkylation reaction. It usually refers to the high-octane product from alkylation units. This alkylate is used in blending high octane gasoline.

Alkylation: A refining process for chemically combining isobutane with olefin hydrocarbons (e.g., propylene, butylene) through the control of temperature and pressure in the presence of an acid catalyst, usually sulfuric acid or hydrofluoric acid. The product, alkylate, an isoparaffin, has high octane value and is blended with motor and aviation gasoline to improve the antiknock value of the fuel.

All-electric home: A residence in which electricity is used for the main source of energy for space heating, water heating, and cooking. Other fuels may be used for supplementary heating or other purposes.

Alternate energy source for primary heater: The fuel that would be used in place of the usual main heating fuel if the building had to switch fuels. (See Fuel-Switching Capability.)

Alternating current (AC): An electric current that reverses its direction at regularly recurring intervals.

Alternative fuel: Alternative fuels, for transportation applications, include the following:

  • methanol
  • denatured ethanol, and other alcohols
  • fuel mixtures containing 85 percent or more by volume of methanol, denatured ethanol, and other alcohols with gasoline or other fuels -- natural gas
  • liquefied petroleum gas (propane)
  • hydrogen
  • coal-derived liquid fuels
  • fuels (other than alcohol) derived from biological materials (biofuels such as soy diesel fuel)
  • electricity (including electricity from solar energy.)
"... any other fuel the Secretary determines, by rule, is substantially not petroleum and would yield substantial energy security benefits and substantial environmental benefits." The term "alternative fuel" does not include alcohol or other blended portions of primarily petroleum-based fuels used as oxygenates or extenders, i.e. MTBE, ETBE, other ethers, and the 10-percent ethanol portion of gasohol.

Alternative-fuel vehicle (AFV): A vehicle designed to operate on an alternative fuel (e.g., compressed natural gas, methane blend, electricity). The vehicle could be either a dedicated vehicle designed to operate exclusively on alternative fuel or a nondedicated vehicle designed to operate on alternative fuel and/or a traditional fuel.

Alternative fuel vehicle converter: An organization (including companies, government agencies and utilities), or individual that performs conversions involving alternative alternative fuel vehicles. An AFV converter can convert (1) conventionally fueled vehicles to AFVs, (2) AFVs to conventionally fueled vehicles, or (3) AFVs to use another alternative fuel.

Alternative-rate DSM program assistance: A DSM (demand-side management) program assistance that offers special rate structures or discounts on the consumer's monthly electric bill in exchange for participation in DSM programs aimed at cutting peak demands or changing load shape. These rates are intended to reduce consumer bills and shift hours of operation of equipment from on-peak to off-peak periods through the application of time-differentiated rates. For example, utilities often pay consumers several dollars a month (refund on their monthly electric bill) for participation in a load control program. Large commercial and industrial customers sometimes obtain interruptible rates, which provide a discount in return for the consumer's agreement to cut electric loads upon request from the utility (usually during critical periods, such as summer afternoons when the system demand approaches the utility's generating capability).

AMI: Advanced Metering Infrastructure is a term denoting electricity meters that measure and record usage data at a minimum, in hourly intervals, and provide usage data to both consumers and energy companies at least once daily.

Amorphous silicon: An alloy of silica and hydrogen, with a disordered, noncrystalline internal atomic arrangement, that can be deposited in thin-film layers (a few micrometers in thickness) by a number of deposition methods to produce thin-film photovoltaic cells on glass, metal, or plastic substrates.

Amortization: The depreciation, depletion, or charge-off to expense of intangible and tangible assets over a period of time. In the extractive industries, the term is most frequently applied to mean either (1) the periodic charge-off to expense of the costs associated with nonproducing mineral properties incurred prior to the time when they are developed and entered into production or (2) the systematic charge-off to expense of those costs of productive mineral properties (including tangible and intangible costs of prospecting, acquisition, exploration, and development) that had been initially capitalized (or deferred) prior to the time the properties entered into production, and thereafter are charged off as minerals are produced.

Ampere: The unit of measurement of electrical current produced in a circuit by 1 volt acting through a resistance of 1 Ohm.

AMR: Automated Meter Reading is a term denoting electricity meters that collect data for billing purposes only and transmit this data one way, usually from the customer to the distribution utility. 

Ancillary services: Services that ensure reliability and support the transmission of electricity from generation sites to customer loads. Such services may include: load regulation, spinning reserve, non-spinning reserve, replacement reserve, and voltage support.

Annual operating factor: The annual fuel consumption divided by the product of design firing rate and hours of operation per year.

Annual requirement: The reporting company's best estimate of the annual requirement for natural gas to make direct sales or sales for resale under certificate authorizations and for company use and unaccounted-for gas during the year next following the current report year.

ANSI assembly identifier: The serial numbering scheme adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to ensure uniqueness of an assembly serial number.

Anthracite: The highest rank of coal; used primarily for residential and commercial space heating. It is a hard, brittle, and black lustrous coal, often referred to as hard coal, containing a high percentage of fixed carbon and a low percentage of volatile matter. The moisture content of fresh-mined anthracite generally is less than 15 percent. The heat content of anthracite ranges from 22 to 28 million Btu per ton on a moist, mineral-matter-free basis. The heat content of anthracite coal consumed in the United States averages 25 million Btu per ton, on the as-received basis (i.e., containing both inherent moisture and mineral matter). Note: Since the 1980's, anthracite refuse or mine waste has been used for steam electric power generation. This fuel typically has a heat content of 15 million Btu per ton or less.

Anthropogenic: Made or generated by a human or caused by human activity. The term is used in the context of global climate change to refer to gaseous emissions that are the result of human activities, as well as other potentially climate-altering activities, such as deforestation.

API: The American Petroleum Institute, a trade association.

API gravity: American Petroleum Institute measure of specific gravity of crude oil or condensate in degrees. An arbitrary scale expressing the gravity or density of liquid petroleum products. The measuring scale is calibrated in terms of degrees API; it is calculated as follows:
Degrees API = (141.5 / sp.gr.60 deg.F/60 deg.F) - 131.5

Apparent consumption, (coal): Coal production plus imports of coal, coke, and briquets minus exports of coal, coke, and briquets plus or minus stock changes. Note: The sum of "Production" and "Imports" less "Exports" may not equal "Consumption" due to changes in stocks, losses, unaccounted-for coal, and special arrangements such as the United States shipments of anthracite to United States Armed Forces in Europe.

Apparent consumption, natural gas (international): The total of an individual nation's dry natural gas production plus imports less exports.

Apparent consumption, petroleum (international): Consumption that includes internal consumption, refinery fuel and loss, and bunkering. For countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), apparent consumption is derived from refined product output plus refined product imports minus refined product exports plus refined product stock changes plus other oil consumption (such as direct use of crude oil). For countries outside the OECD, apparent consumption is either a reported figure or is derived from refined product output plus refined product imports minus refined product exports, with stock levels assumed to remain the same. Apparent consumption also includes, where available, liquefied petroleum gases sold directly from natural gas processing plants for fuel or chemical uses.

Apparent power: The product of the voltage (in volts) and the current (in amperes). It comprises both active and reactive power.  It is measured in “volt-amperes” and often expressed in “kilovolt-amperes” (kVA) or “megavolt-amperes” (MVA).  See Power, Reactive Power, Real Power.

Appliance: A piece of equipment, commonly powered by electricity, used to perform a particular energy-driven function. Examples of common appliances are refrigerators, clothes washers and dishwashers, conventional ranges/ovens and microwave ovens, humidifiers and dehumidifiers, toasters, radios, and televisions. Note: Appliances are ordinarily self-contained with respect to their function. Thus, equipment such as central heating and air conditioning systems and water heaters, which are connected to distribution systems inherent to their purposes, are not considered appliances.

Appliance efficiency index: A relative comparison of trends in new-model efficiencies for major appliances and energy-using equipment. The base year for relative comparisons was 1972 (1972=100). Efficiencies for each year were efficiencies of different model types that were weighted by their market shares.

Appliance efficiency standards: The National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 established minimum efficiency standards for major home appliances, including furnaces, central and room air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, dishwashers, and heat pumps. Most of the standards took effect in 1990. The standards for clothes washers, dishwashers, and ranges took effect in 1988, because they required only minor changes in product design, such as eliminating pilot lights and requiring cold water rinse options. The standards for central air conditioners and furnaces took effect in 1992, because it took longer to redesign these products. Appliance efficiency standards for refrigerators took effect in 1993.

Aromatics: Hydrocarbons characterized by unsaturated ring structures of carbon atoms. Commercial petroleum aromatics are benzene, toluene, and xylene (BTX).

Asbestos: A group of naturally occurring minerals that separate into long, thin fibers. Asbestos was used for many years to insulate and fireproof buildings. In the 1989 CBECS, information on asbestos in buildings was collected (Section R of the Buildings Questionnaire) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Asbestos treatment methods include removal, encapsulation or sealing, and enclosure behind a permanent barrier.

Ash: Impurities consisting of silica, iron, alumina, and other noncombustible matter that are contained in coal. Ash increases the weight of coal, adds to the cost of handling, and can affect its burning characteristics Ash content is measured as a percent by weight of coal on an "as received" or a "dry" (moisture-free, usually part of a laboratory analysis) basis.

Asphalt: A dark brown-to-black cement-like material obtained by petroleum processing and containing bitumens as the predominant component; used primarily for road construction. It includes crude asphalt as well as the following finished products: cements, fluxes, the asphalt content of emulsions (exclusive of water), and petroleum distillates blended with asphalt to make cutback asphalts. Note: The conversion factor for asphalt is 5.5 barrels per short ton.

Asphalt (refined): See Asphalt above.

As received coal: Coal in the condition as received by the user.

As-received condition or as-received basis (coal): Coal in the condition as received by the consumer or the laboratory analyzing the coal.

Assembly identifier: A unique string of alphanumeric characters that identifies an assembly, bundle, or canister for a specific reactor in which it has been irradiated.

Assembly type: Each assembly is characterized by a fabricator, rod-array size, and model type. An eight-digit assembly type code is assigned to each assembly type based on certain distinguishing characteristics, such as the number of rods per assembly, fuel rod diameter, cladding type, materials used in fabrication, and other design features.

Assessment work: The annual or biennial work performed on a mining claim (or claims), after claim location and before patent, to benefit or develop the claim and to protect it from relocation by third parties.

Assistance for heating in winter: Assistance from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The purpose of LIHEAP is to assist eligible households to meet the costs of home energy, i.e., a source of heating or cooling residential buildings.

Assistance for weatherization of residence: The household received services free, or at a reduced cost, from the Federal, State, or local Government. Any of the following services could have been received:

  • Insulation in the attic, outside wall, or basement/crawlspace below the floor of the house
  • Insulation around the hot water heater
  • Repair of broken windows or doors to keep out the cold or hot weather
  • Weather stripping or caulking around any windows or doors to the outside
  • Storm doors or windows added
  • Repair of broken furnace
  • Furnace tuneup and/or modifications
  • Other home energy-saving devices.

Associated-dissolved natural gas: Natural gas that occurs in crude oil reservoirs either as free gas (associated) or as gas in solution with crude oil (dissolved gas). Also see Natural gas.

Associated natural gas: See associated-dissolved natural gas above and Natural gas.

ASTM: The acronym for the American Society for Testing and Materials.

Atmospheric crude oil distillation: The refining process of separating crude oil components at atmospheric pressure by heating to temperatures of about 600 degrees to 750 degrees Fahrenheit (depending on the nature of the crude oil and desired products) and subsequent condensing of the fractions by cooling.

at wt: The abbreviation for atomic weight.

Auger mine: A surface mine where coal is recovered through the use of a large-diameter drill driven into a coalbed exposed by surface mining excavations or in natural sloping terrain. It usually follows contour, area, or open-pit surface mining, particularly when the overburden becomes too thick for further economical excavation.

Authorized cash distribution to municipality: The authorized cash distributions to the municipality from the earned surplus of the utility department.

Automatic set-back or clock thermostat: A thermostat that can be set to turn the heating/cooling system off and on at certain predetermined times.

Automobile and truck classifications: Vehicle classifications for automobiles and light duty trucks were obtained from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) mileage guide book. Almost every year there are small changes in the classifications, therefore the categories will change accordingly. The EPA mileage guide can be found at any new car dealership.

Auxiliary generator: A generator at the electric plant site that provides power for the operation of the electrical generating equipment itself, including related demands such as plant lighting, during periods when the electric plant is not operating and power is unavailable from the grid. A black start generator used to start main central station generators is considered to be an auxiliary generator.

Available but not needed capability: Net capability of main generating units that are operable but not considered necessary to carry load and cannot be connected to load within 30 minutes.

Average Annual Percent Change (Coal): The average annual percent change over a period of several years that is calculated by taking the nth root [where n is the number of years in the period of interest] of the result of the current year’s value divided by the value of the first year of the period; this result then has 1 (one) subtracted from it and that result is then multiplied by 100.

equation for average annual percentage change 

Where: V0 = the value for the base period.
Vn= the value for the n th period.
n = the number of periods.

Average daily production: The ratio of the total production at a mining operation to the total number of production days worked at the operation.

Average delivered price: The weighted average of all contract price commitments and market price settlements in a delivery year.

Average household energy expenditures: A ratio estimate defined as the total household energy expenditures divided by the total number of households.

Average mine price: The ratio of the total value of the coal produced at the mine to the total production tonnage.

Average production per miner per day: The product of the average production per miner per hour at a mining operation and the average length of a production shift at the operation.

Average production per miner per hour: The ratio of the total production at a mining operation to the total direct labor hours worked at the operation.

Average revenue per kilowatthour: The average revenue per kilowatthour of electricity sold by sector (residential, commercial, industrial, or other) and geographic area (State, Census division, and national) is calculated by dividing the total monthly revenue by the corresponding total monthly sales for each sector and geographic area.

Average stream flow: The rate, usually expressed in cubic feet per second, at which water passes a given point in a stream over a set period of time.

Average vehicle fuel consumption: A ratio estimate defined as total gallons of fuel consumed by all vehicles divided by: (1) the total number of vehicles (for average fuel consumption per vehicle) or (2) the total number of households (for average fuel consumption per household).

Average vehicle miles traveled: A ratio estimate defined as total miles traveled by all vehicles, divided by: (1) the total number of vehicles (for average miles traveled per vehicle) or (2) the total number of households (for average miles traveled per household).

Average water conditions: The amount and distribution of precipitation within a drainage basin and the run off conditions present as determined by reviewing the area water supply records over a long period of time.

Aviation gasoline (finished): A complex mixture of relatively volatile hydrocarbons with or without small quantities of additives, blended to form a fuel suitable for use in aviation reciprocating engines. Fuel specifications are provided in ASTM Specification D 910 and Military Specification MIL-G-5572. Note: Data on blending components are not counted in data on finished aviation gasoline.

Aviation gasoline blending components: Naphthas that will be used for blending or compounding into finished aviation gasoline (e.g., straight run gasoline, alkylate, reformate, benzene, toluene, and xylene). Excludes oxygenates (alcohols, ethers), butane, and pentanes plus. Oxygenates are reported as other hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and oxygenates.

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