Energy Jargon Buster

Confused about some of the sector's terminology? Check out what it means below.



Automatic Meter Read (AMR)

AMR is the term used for a metering system that provides automatic meter readings remotely. This system uses telephone technology to transfer the data from the meter to a central hub, used for billing purposes.

Availability (kVA)

Availability (kVA) is the agreed limit of capacity for a site. For example, is a site has an availability of 100 kVA then the maximum demand / flow of electricity at any time should not exceed 100 kVA. Availability can be upgraded or downgraded.

Annual Quantity (AQ)

The annual quantity is the annual consumption measured in kWh for all meters on a particular site, this is confirmed by the network operator based on historic usage figures.


Capacity Charge

This is a fee charged by suppliers to cover investment and maintenance of the electricity network. The fee is based on the agreed capacity for the site and usually only charged for sites with an availability over 100 kVA.

Climate Change Levy (CCL)

CCL is a government tax used to encourage energy efficiency for business energy users. CCL is charged as a units / kWH by energy suppliers. The chargeable rate is reviewed 1 April each year, and to date has increased year on year since its introduction.


Daily Charge

Daily charge, otherwise known as standing charge, is a cost to energy users for the maintenance and improvement of energy networks.

Data Aggregator (DA)

The data aggregator is an agent appointed to aggregate the meter reading data and forwarding this information to the energy supplier.

Data Collector (DC)

The data collector is appointed to retrieve and validate meter data and forward this to the data aggregator.

Deemed Contract

If a customer allows a supply contract to lapse, the energy supplier will charge the customer deemed contract rates. This is a default rate for supply until the customer either agreed a new fixed price contract, or transfers to another supplier.

Distribution Use of System Charges (DUoS)

These charges are the cost to deliver electricity from the grid to the customer’s site. DUoS charges are usually included in the unit rate a supplier charges.

Dual Fuel

Only in the domestic market, a supplier may offer a dual fuel discount to a customer’s bills should they use the same supplier for electricity and gas.


Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC)

The estimated annual consumption is a measurement in kWh of the estimated usage for the upcoming year.

Energy Cost

This is the cost of the energy purchased on the wholesale market. The energy cost is the largest part of a customer’s energy price, accounting for 60% – 70% of the total unit rate.


Fixed Price Contracts

A supply contract with an agreed fixed price for all elements for the contract duration.


Half-Hourly Meter (HH)

A half hourly electricity meter is a specialised type of business electricity meter. This type of meter is connected to a telephone line and meter readings are taken every half hour, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days of the year, as the name suggests.

Half-Hourly Data (HHD)

Half-hourly data is the energy consumption information read directly from the meter itself. Suppliers analyse the HHD from a period of 12 months so that they can offer a contract price to the customer.


Kilowatt / Hour (kWh)

A standard unit of electricity consumed is measured in kilowatt hours.


Maximum Demand

Maximum demand is the highest peak of electricity usage in and half hour period, measured over a calendar month.

Maximum Demand Meter

A maximum demand meter is an electricity meter usually found in businesses with mid-electricity consumption. If the meter profile class is 05, 06, 07 or 08, then this is a maximum demand meter.

Meter Operator (MOP)

The organisation appointed to maintain and service a meter.

Meter Serial Number

The number stamped on the front of the electricity or gas meter.

Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN)

The individual reference number for all electricity meters in the UK.

Meter Point Reference (MPR)

The individual reference number for all gas meters in the UK.

Mega Watt Hour (MWh)

One thousand kWh.


National Grid

All electricity and gas in the UK passes through the national grid systems. They are responsible for feeding electricity generated in mainland UK to the distribution networks.

Non Half-Hourly Meters (NHH)

Unlike half-hourly meters, readings are taken from the meter itself by a meter reader, or by the customer.



The regulating body for electricity and gas markets.


Reactive Power (KVAR)

The difference between the electricity being supplied and the electricity being converted into power being used i.e. electricity wastage.

Renewable Obligation (RO)

The government’s main mechanism to support renewable energy. All electricity suppliers are obligated to supply a certain amount of electricity through renewable sources, and this charge is levied to the customer. Is most cases, the RO charges are already included in the unit rates by a supplier.


Smart Metering

A smart meter has the ability to automatically take and send reads to the data collector. Used for non-half-hourly meters to provide more accurate energy bills.

Standing Charge

A daily, monthly or quarterly from a supplier to contribute to maintenance and improvement of energy networks.

Supply Number

Also known as the MPAN. This is the individual reference number for all electricity meters in the UK.


Termination Window

Unlike domestic energy contracts, all business energy supply contracts have a termination window. This is a set window of time that the customer has to provide notice that they wish to transfer to another supplier. This ranges from 28 to 90 days depending on the supplier and their T&Cs.

Transmission Use of System (TUoS)

The cost to transmitting electricity across the National Grid from where it was generated to the local distribution company.


Unit Rate

The price per unit of electricity in kWh charged by a supplier.