8 energy acronyms you should know

February 10, 2022
Calling all energy nerds! You may know what FERC and MISO are, but does your spouse? How about your best friend? We invite others into the energy insiders’ conversation with a little briefer on 8 energy and utility-related acronyms everyone should know.

FERC – Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

FERC is the federal regulatory entity that ensures economically efficient, safe, reliable and secure energy for consumers. FERC is an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity, natural gas, and oil.

MISO – Midcontinent Independent System Operator

MISO is responsible for operating the power grid across 15 U.S. states, including Minnesota, and the Canadian province of Manitoba. In addition to managing the power grid within the region, MISO administers the buying and selling of electricity, and partners with members and stakeholders to plan the grid of the future.

DERs – Distributed Energy Resources

DERs are small-scale electricity supply or demand resources, such as solar or storage, that can be used individually or in aggregate and are interconnected to the electric grid.

VOS – Value of Solar

A rate designed to be equivalent to the direct benefit that a solar facility provides an electric utility, its ratepayers and society. Minnesota first passed a Value of Solar rate in 2013 – it is currently required for Xcel Energy and optional for other Minnesota utilities to adopt with community solar gardens in their territory.

ECO – Energy Conservation and Optimization Act

Passed with bipartisan support in 2021, the ECO Act updates Minnesota’s most successful energy efficiency program to date, the Conservation Improvement Program (CIP). ECO includes increased utility spending on programs serving under-resourced customers and fuel switching incentives for Minnesota’s investor-owned utilities and co-ops.

PPA – Power Purchase Agreement

A PPA is a contract between two parties, one which generates electricity (the seller) and one which is looking to purchase electricity (the buyer). For example, a wind farm might have a PPA with a local utility to buy the electricity produced by the farm.

CSG – Community Solar Garden

CSG’s are centrally-located solar photovoltaic systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. Community solar gardens are ideal for individuals or businesses that want to go solar but are unable to do so on their own. Community members subscribe to a community solar garden installed in their area and get credit on their utility bill.

EV – Electric Vehicles

All-electric vehicles, also referred to as battery electric vehicles, have an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine.

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