Glossary of terms

Please refer to this list for an explanation of common metering and electricity industry terms.

TermAcronymDefinition
Advanced Metering Infrastructure AMI An integrated system of meters, communications networks, and data management systems that enables two-way communication between providers and customers.
Advanced meters which are capable of collecting interval data at 15 or 30 minute intervals allow electricity to be charged according to demand based tariffs.
Otherwise known as : Smart Metering
Amp   Refer amphere
Ampere   An amphere is a unit used to define the rate of flow of electrical current. Measuring A amphere measures the electromagnetic force between electrical conductors carrying electric current. High currents require a wire with a larger diameter to minimise losses which cause cable temperature rise.
Otherwise known as : amp
Australian Energy Market Commission AEMC The independent rule-maker for Australia’s electricity and gas markets.
Australian Energy Market Operator AEMO The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) operates the National Electricity Market (NEM) as well as the retail and wholesale gas markets of south eastern Australia  ensuring that all Australians have access to reliable, secure, affordable and sustainable energy. In Queensland the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) was previously known as The National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO).
Australian Energy RegulatorAERRegulates electricity networks and covered gas pipelines.
Australian Renewable Energy AgencyARENAAn agency established by the Australian government in 2012 to improve the competitiveness of renewable energy technologies and increase the supply of renewable energy in Australia.
Automatic Meter ReadingAMRAn AMR system collects and transfers aggregated kWh usage, and in some cases demand, via an automatic means such as automated data loggers, a drive-by vehicle, or walk-by handheld system. AMR meters utilising automated data loggers connect to utility/energy meters to store and send meter readings remotely without the need to visit a site and manually read a meter (one-way communication).
Average Daily LoadADLThe average daily consumption of electricity by a customer.
Behind the meter Behind the meter refers to anything that happens onsite, on the energy user's side of the meter. Includes; Renewable energy (Solar PV), battery storage, demand side response, additional revenue streams.
Bulk Energy Supply Bulk supply relates to when building management purchases energy for the whole building at a lower commercial rate and on sells to individual accounts within their building.
Change Over Switch Changes the revenue metering from one supply feed point to a standby supply feed point.
Child A child meter is a connection point that is not directly connected to the distribution network. The child meter is generally part of an embedded network and electricity is supplied via a parent connection point which is connected to the distribution network. Child connection points may be classified as on-market or off market.
Refer: Embedded Network, off-market, on-market
Contestable A commercial electricity customer within a certain usage bracket (Type 1-4 for example). Contestable metering services are open to competition, meaning the customer can choose a metering provider for their electricity metering needs.
Current TransformerCTA current transformer converts the current flowing in the consumer’s mains to a level suitable for a meter. The current transformer has errors that have been measured and can be applied to calibrate the meter.
Customer Administration and Transfer SolutionCATSA set of procedures, principles and obligations made under the National Electricity Rules as part of Market Settlement and Transfer Solutions (MSATS), and applicable to NMI (National Metering Identifier) small and large classifications.
Cyclic Data Meter data which is collected in re-occurring sequences – for example on a quarterly basis
Distributed Energy ResourcesDERDistributed energy resources (DER) is the name given to renewable energy units or systems that are commonly located at houses or businesses to provide them with power or actively manage demand. Examples  include rooftop solar PV units, battery storage, thermal energy storage, electric vehicles and chargers, smart meters, and and demand response via hot water systems, pool pumps, smart appliances and air conditioning control.
Otherwise known as : Behind the meter
Distribution Loss FactorDLFThe loss of energy, due to electrical resistance and the heating of conductors, as electricity flows through the transmission and distribution networks.
Distribution Network Service ProviderDNSPA business that build, maintain and operate the distribution networks in the national electricity market (NEM). Distribution networks in transport electricity from transmission networks at lower voltages to end-use customers.
Distribution Use of System ChargeDUOSCharge levied by distribution network businesses to recover operations and maintenance costs and investment returns on distribution assets.
Dumb Meter A traditional meter which only displays basic energy usage information for face reads by walkers, typically every quarter. No other data features available, basic functionality only.
Embedded Network Private electricity networks that serve multiple customers and are located within, or connected to, a distribution or transmission system through a parent connection in the National Electricity Market. Past the parent connection the Asset owner (commonly the building owner) takes ownership and responsibility for the; electrical infrastructure, switchboards, ducts and reticulation. In some instances they also take ownership of the tenancy meters. Embedded networks can contain residential, large or a combination of customers depending on the location and type of installation.
Embedded Network ManagerENMThe Embedded Network Manager (ENM) is a service provider accredited by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO). The purpose of the ENM is to facilitate the transfer of a customer from off-market to on-market (and back again if required).
Embedded Network OperatorENOThe Embedded Network Operator (ENO) manages the purchase and on-selling of electricity to off-market end users via a “large market customer” or “bulk” tariff. The ENO is responsible for appointing an Embedded Network Manager (ENM) to manage the movement of customers on and off market within their embedded network.
Energy Management PlatformEMPOur integrated software program and data delivery system specifically designed to help you manage energy at multiple geographically dispersed facilities with diverse energy consumption profiles. EMP Multi Plus enables the collection of data to make compliance reporting simple.
Financially Responsible Market ParticipantFRMPThe market participant who is responsible for dealings with AEMO in relation to a specific load. Usually a retailer, Generator, Market Customer or an MSGA, identified as such in respect of a connection point in MSATS.
GigajouleGJOne gigajoule (GJ) equals one billion joules (J).
See also: Joule (J), Kilojoule (KJ) and Megajoule (MJ)
GigawattGWA unit of power equal to one billion (109) watts.
See also: Watt, Kilowatt, Megawatt
Gigawatt HourGWhA measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of one billion watts for one hour.
See also: Watt Hour, Kilowatt Hour, Megawatt Hour
Harmonics Harmonics relates to the distortion of the mains power wave-form. Can cause heating of motors and problems in electronic equipment.
InfoDynamics InfoDynamics is our intuitive online data management and information reporting business tool that empowers you with answers to make informed management decisions regarding electricity, gas and water consumption.
Interval Data Interval data is meter data which is collected in defined intervals – typically every 15 or 30 minutes.
JouleJJoules (J) are the metric standard for measuring the volume of natural gas converted to energy content. However gas utilities will display megajoules (MJ) or gigajoules (GJ) on your bill depending on usage as a single joule (J) is a very small amount of energy.
See also: Kilojoule (KJ), Megajoule (MJ) and Gigajoule (GJ)
Kilo volt amp reactive hourskvarhA measure of energy supplied but not converted into work.
KilojouleKJOne megajoule (KJ) equals one thousand joules (J)
See also: Joule (J), Megajoule (MJ), and Gigajoule (GJ)
Kilovolt ampkV.AThe power which appears to flow in the wires but may not all be converted into useful work. It is also a unit of measure, used to rate electrical equipment.
KilowattKWA unit of power equal to one thousand watts
See also: Watt, Megawatt, Gigawatt
Kilowatt HourkWhA measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of one thousand watts for one hour.
See also: Watt Hour, Megawatt Hour, Gigawatt Hour
Load Profile By mapping energy usage over a set period of time you can define an energy profile showing peaks and troughs of usage.
Local Network Service ProviderLNSPThe organisation that owns the poles and wires used to distribute electricity to premises within a geographical area and in the relevant participating jurisdiction.
Loss FactorLFAnnual calculations reflecting the amount of electricity lost on electrical transmission and distribution networks.
Market Settlement and Transfer SolutionsMSATSThe procedures published by AEMO under clause 7.2.8 of the National Electricity Rules, which include those governing the recording of financial responsibility for energy flows at a connection point, the transfer of that responsibility between market participants, and the recording of energy flows at a connection point.
Maximum DemandMDMaximum demand is the highest level of electrical demand monitored in a particular period (usually for a month period). In Queensland, power is measured as the average demand over 30 minutes. This is done by adding up the energy consumed, dividing by the interval of time and then taking into account the power factor of the connection (where possible), giving units of power, kVA. The highest average 30 minute period of demand over a month is known as the peak demand. Peak demand can represent a large portion of your total utility bill, depending on the overall rate structure that your business accesses through your retailer. In other states maximum demand may be calculated using 15 minute intervals.
MegajouleMJOne megajoule (MJ) equals one million joules (J)
See also: Joule (J), Kilojoule (KJ) and Gigajoule (GJ)
MegawattMWA unit of power equal to one million watts
See also: Watt, Kilowatt, Gigawatt
Megawatt hourMWhA measure of electrical energy equivalent to a power consumption of one million watts for one hour.
See also: Watt Hour, Kilowatt Hour, Gigawatt Hour
Meter Data AgencyMDARefer MDP
Meter Data File FormatMDFFThe standard format for delivery of metering data to market participants, service providers and registered participants.
Meter ProviderMPA Meter Provider provides the design, installation and maintenance of metering schemes including communications equipment of a National Electricity market customer, as defined in the National Electricity Code (NEC).
In MSATS, it is referred to as an MPB.
Metering Asset Management PlanMAMPA plan submitted by service providers to manage the performance of metering installations over their lifecycle.
Metering CoordinatorMCThe Metering Coordinator is a registered participant role within the National Electricity Market (NEM), with the overall responsibility for metering services at a customer’s connection point within a distribution or transmission system.
The Role Code used in MSATS for an MC is ‘RP’
Metering Data ProviderMDPAEMO accredited organisations authorised to collect, process and deiver meter data in the National Electricity Market (NEM)
Multi Utility Metering The measuring of multiple utilities such as gas, electricity, hot/cold/waste water, temperature, humidity and more.
National Electricity CodeNECThe National Electricity Code defines the rules for wholesale electricity trading and access to electricity networks.
National Electricity Code AdministratorNECAThe National Electricity Code Administrator Limited that will supervise, administer and enforce the National Electricity Code.
National Electricity MarketNEMA wholesale electricity market in which electricity in sold by generators and bought by retailers (who on-sell it to consumers) or large-scale customers. It operates in the New South Wales (and the Australian Capital Territory), Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria.
National Electricity Market Management Company LimitedNEMMCOThe organisation responsible for the administration and operation of the National Electricity Market (NEM) from May 2006 to 30 June 2009. From 1 July 2009 these functions were absorbed by AEMO.
National Electricity RulesNERThe rules made under the National Electricity Law (NEL). They govern the day-to-day operations of the National Electricity Market (NEM) and provide the framework for network regulation.
National Meter IdentifierNMIEvery connection to the national electricity network is given its own National Meter Identifier (NMI). The NMI is a unique 10- or 11-digit number used to identify every electricity network connection point in Australia.The NMI can usually be found on the meter on your premises or on your electricity bill. You can use the NMI to find out information about your electricity connection.
Off-market A child meter that does not purchase electricity directly from a retailer. Instead the off-market child purchases electricity from the electricity account holder for the whole site (usually the ENO).
Refer: Embedded Network, Child, On-market
On-market A child meter that participates directly in the electricity market.
The embedded network customer's meter is registered in the wholesale market systems (MSATS), which is operated by the market operator, AEMO. A customer can then be 'won' by any market retailer operating in the customer's area. To the retailer, the customer will become visible in the same way as other customers directly connected to the distribution system on the street.
Otherwise known as: Orphan
Refer: Embedded Network, Child, Off-market
Parent A parent connection point is a connection point that is connected directly to the distribution network and has multiple End User connection points (known as child)each with their own meters.
Otherwise known as: Gate meter
Pattern Approved Examination of the pattern (design) of a measuring instrument against national or international specifications. In Australia Pattern Approval is obtained through the National Measurement Institute.
Power FactorPFPower factor is the ratio of active power (watts) to apparent power (VA). Power Factor has a value somewhere between zero and one. The distribution utility has to provide equipment that will carry Amps, and if the Power Factor is poor (less than about 0.9), the distribution network is inefficient. This inefficiency is passed onto the customer as higher charges.
Power of ChoicePOCA government-led, industry-wide program to provide consumers with more opportunities to make informed choices about the way they consume electricity. PoC was implemented in 2017.
Private Metering Meters operated by private ‘non utility’ operators to bill tenants or to monitor energy consumption of a particular process.
See also: Embedded Networks
Remote Metering Reading a meter from a remote location. The meter or integrated ancillary equipment must be capable of data logging (storage) and electronic interrogation.
See also: Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
Revenue Metering Used to bill a customer for energy consumption. The revenue owed to the retailer, body corporate or other supplier is calculated from revenue metering.
See also: Gate meter
Smart Meter This is a term for a general class of meter which will not only measure kilowatt hours but also ‘quality of supply’ functions. It is capable of being read remotely.
Otherwise known as: Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI)
The National Association of Testing AuthoritiesNATAThe National Association of Testing Authorities is a laboratory accreditation organisation that evaluates and audits the capability and technical competence of accredited laboratories.
Total Harmonic DistortionTHDA measurement used in power systems of how much of the distortion of a voltage or current is due to harmonics in the signal.
Transients High voltage spikes superimposed on the mains power. They can cause damage to sensitive electronic equipment.
Transmission Loss FactorTLFA calculation that ensures customers aren’t charged for the electricity that is lost in transit over poles and wires.
Transmission Network Service ProviderTNSPA business that build, maintain, plan and operate the network transmission networks in the national electricity market (NEM). Transmission networks transport electricity at high voltages from a range of generators to major demand centres.
Transmission Node IdentifierTNIThe code the relevant transmission node that identifies the transmission loss factor and/or transmission use of system charge for the connection point.
Transmission Use of System ChargeTUOSCharge levied by transmission asset owners to recover costs for the provision of shared network services.
Virtual Power PlantVPPAn aggregation of resources, coordinated using software and communications technology to deliver services that have traditionally been performed by a conventional power plant. In Australia, grid-connected VPPs are focused on coordinating rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems and battery storage.
Volt The unit of electrical pressure. High voltage requires more insulation and clearances than low voltage.
Voltage Sags and Swells The mains voltage rises (swells) and falls (sags) depending on the load on the supply network and the distance the customer is from a system voltage regulator (eg substation transformer) and the design of the supply network
Voltage TransformerVTConverts the supply voltage to a voltage level suitable for a meter. The voltage transformer has errors that have been measured and can be applied to calibrate the meter.
WattWWatts are a measurement of power, describing the rate at which electricity is being used at a specific moment.  The ‘watt’ in mains power is calculated by multiplying together Volts, Amps and Power Factor.
See also: Kilowatt, Megawatt, Gigawatt
Watt HourWhWatt-hours are a measurement of energy, describing the total amount of electricity used over time. Watt-hours are a combination of how fast the electricity is used (watts) and the length of time it is used (hours).
See also: Kilowatt Hour, Megawatt Hour, Gigawatt Hour