Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report

January 11, 2011




By: Kevin McCarthy, Principal Analyst

You asked for a chart of energy acronyms and abbreviations, which we present in Table 1. We provide links to the websites of the agencies and entities described in the first part of the table (click the acronym while holding down the “control” key to go to the website).

Table 1: Energy Acronyms and Abbreviations

Acronym or




Agencies and Entities


Connecticut Energy Advisory Board

Advisory body responsible for reviewing the procurement plans submitted by electric companies and representing the state in regional energy planning, among other things.


Connecticut Innovations, Inc.

A quasi-public agency that administers the state's Clean Energy Fund, among other things.


Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative

A nonprofit organization that purchases power and provides other services to the state's municipal electric utilities.


Department of Environmental Protection

The state agency that regulates air emissions and water discharges from power plants and issues water diversion permits.


Department of

Public Utility Control

Regulates public service (utility) companies, including electric, gas, and water companies. Among its responsibilities are setting rates and licensing competitive electric suppliers.


Energy Conservation Management Board

Also called the Energy Efficiency Board, this group reviews electric and gas company efficiency plans and budgets.


Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC regulates the wholesale electric and gas markets and licenses hydropower facilities.

ISO-New England

Independent System Operator-New England

ISO-New England administers the regional wholesale electric market. It is responsible for dispatching (turning on and off) power plants and other resources to meet electric demand in the region.


Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Federal agency that licenses and regulates the operation of nuclear power plants, among other things.


Northeast Utilities

Parent company of Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and Yankee Gas Services, as well as utilities in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.


Office of Consumer Counsel

OCC represents ratepayer interest in DPUC and federal proceedings.


Office of Policy and Management

OPM has several energy responsibilities, including purchasing electricity and gas for state agencies and tracking energy prices.


UIL Holdings Corporation

Parent company of United Illuminating (UI), Connecticut Natural Gas, and Southern Connecticut Gas.

Units of Energy and Related Concepts


British Thermal Unit

The amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. A kilowatt-hour of electricity equals 3,412 BTUs, a cubic foot of natural gas contains about 1,030 BTUs, and there are about 112,000 BTUs in a gallon of gasoline.



A unit of electric force. Most transmission lines in Connecticut operate at a capacity of 115 to 345 kv.



The amount of electricity used by 10 one-hundred watt light bulbs in one hour. A typical Connecticut residential consumer uses about 700 kwh per month.


1,000 cubic feet of natural gas

Unit of measurement for natural gas. A typical residential customer in Connecticut uses about 65 mcf per year.



A unit of electric generating capacity. A commercial power plant typically has a capacity of 500 to 1,000 MWs.


Transmission and distribution

Electric transmission systems move power at high voltage for long distances, primarily from generating plants to substations.  Distribution systems move power at lower voltages from substations to homes and businesses.

Charges on Electric and Natural Gas Bills


Competitive transition assessment

The part of a consumer's electric bill used to cover the electric company's stranded costs i.e., costs that had previously been approved by DPUC (primarily for power plants) whose continued recovery was jeopardized by the start of competition in the electric industry.


Economic recovery revenue bonds

Under PA 10-179, these bonds will be issued to help balance the state's budget. The bonds will be repaid by a charge on electric bills, affecting CL&P customers starting July 2011 and UI customers in late 2013.


Federally-mandated congestion charges

Charges on an electric bill that are related to congestion on the state's transmission system, including the costs of programs designed to reduce congestion.


Generation service component

The part of an electric company's or competitive supplier's bill that reflects its costs in buying power on the wholesale market.


Systems benefit charge

A charge to cover the cost of implementing various public policies affecting electric companies, such as the winter shut-off moratorium. On electric bills, the SBC is included in the combined public benefits charge, which also includes 0.3 cents per kwh for energy efficiency programs and 0.1 cents per kwh for renewable energy programs.


Conservation adjustment mechanism

A charge on gas bills that is used to fund gas efficiency programs.


Purchased gas adjustment

A mechanism that adjusts gas rates up or down depending on changes in the cost of gas purchased by the gas company. On gas bills, the adjustment is reflected in the supply charge.

Other Acronyms and Abbreviations


Combined heat and power

A type of technology, also called cogeneration, that uses the steam produced in electric generation for heating.


Distributed generation

Small scale power production facilities, often located on a customer's premises. An example of a “customer-side DG” facility would be a generator located in a factory. In contrast, “grid-side DG” facilities are located at substations and other electric distribution facilities.


Forward capacity market

Auction mechanism used by ISO-New England that seeks to ensure that there are sufficient resources (generating capacity and demand-side measures) to meet New England's electric demand.


Greenhouse gases

Gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, that contribute to global climate change.


Integrated resources plan

The law requires electric companies to prepare these plans, which are subject to review by the CEAB and approval by DPUC. In the plans, the electric companies must determine their future demand and plan to meet this demand through a cost-effective mix of efficiency measures and power purchases.


Local distribution companies

Natural gas companies (Connecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Yankee Gas Services)


Low income home energy assistance program

A federal program that helps low income consumers pay their energy bills. LIHEAP funds the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program.

PA 98-28

Public Act 98-28

Legislation adopted in 1998 that restructured the electric industry to allow consumers to choose an electric supplier other than their electric company. The act also established the Clean Energy Fund and Energy Efficiency Fund. Often called the “dereg bill”.



Solar energy technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity.


Renewable energy credit

Credits earned by renewable energy generators that are bought and sold in the wholesale electric market to facilitate compliance with the renewable portfolio standard.


Regional greenhouse gas initiative

An initiative by Connecticut and other northeastern states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants using a “cap-and-trade” mechanism.


Renewable portfolio standard

A state requirement that electric companies and competitive suppliers get part of their power from renewable resources. There are specific requirements for three classes of resources. In 2011, the companies and suppliers must get 7% of their power from class I resources such as solar, wind, or fuel cell energy; this proportion increases in steps to 20% in 2020.