Glossary of Terms

  • Affiliate
    A company that is controlled by another or has the same owner as another company.
  • Aggregator
    An entity that brings customers together to buy electricity in bulk in order to increase customers' buying power. Aggregators facilitate the sale of power but usually are not sellers.
  • Delivery Services
    Those services provided by the electric utility, including standard metering and billing that are necessary for the delivery of power to customers.
  • Delivery Charges
    Charges that cover the operating and distribution costs of the utility. These charges may also be called distribution charges.
  • Distribution
    The use of wires by the local utility to deliver electricity to a home or business. These services include standard metering.
  • Electric Utility
    An entity that provides electric power generation and delivery services within a local service area and also may sell generation services to customers in other utility service territories.
  • Fixed Price
    A plan that charges the same price per kilowatt hour each month, but the monthly bill varies based on the amount of electricity consumed.
  • Fixed Bill
    A plan that charges the same dollar amount each month for a set period of time no matter what the cost per kilowatt hour or usage is. This is different from utility budget billing plans as there is no settlement at the end of the agreement.
  • Generation
    The act of using fuels, such as fossil, nuclear or renewable energy to make electricity.
  • Kilowatt-hour or kWh
    The standard unit of measure of electricity consumed.
  • Real Time Pricing
    A residential rate plan (also referred to as a real-time pricing program) offered by both Ameren Illinois and ComEd in which customers pay electricity supply rates that vary by the hour. To participate in a residential real-time pricing program, customers without a smart meter must have a meter installed that is capable of recording hourly usage.
  • Rescission Period
    The period of time during which a customer may cancel or rescind a supply agreement without penalty
  • Supplier
    Any entity certified by the ICC that sells electricity to customers.
  • Transmission
    The delivery of electricity from a generating facility to local utility facilities, typically over high-voltage power lines.
  • Variable Price
    This type of plan is similar to the market based or index price plans. The price per kilowatt hour may go up or down with market trends, but the plan may not be tied to a market index. For example, it may be based on the supplier's average cost to purchase electricity.