Access Charges - Fees charged to telephone customers designed to recover the costs borne by the local network to provide local and long distance services to end users.
Affiliate - A company or person directly or indirectly controlled by, or sharing the same owner, as another company.
Aggregator - A buying group/organization that negotiates prices for a group of customers or a company that purchases a product, such as energy, in bulk for resale to retail customers.
Base Rate - The rate public gas and electric utilities charge customers for the cost of providing service, plus a profit. State regulators set base rates.
Collocation - The ability of a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) to connect its facilities to facilities owned by an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC).
Competition - When two or more entities sell similar products/services in the same consumer market. For example, more than one company sells energy and supply to New Jersey consumers in some service areas.
Competitive Billing - A provision of an electric or gas choice program that would permit customers to select the billing company for their electricity or gas service.
Cramming - A fraud in which telephone companies charge customers for products or services such as voice mail that the customer never ordered and may not have received.
Customer Choice - The ability of electricity and natural gas customers to shop, compare prices, and choose the company that generates or supplies their electricity and natural gas. Their utility continues to provide delivery service under regulated rates and conditions.
Deregulation - The removal of government regulations. Consumers can choose their energy supplier. Only the supply of electricity and natural gas is deregulated; transmission and distribution services remain regulated. This type of limited deregulation is also referred to as unbundling or restructuring.
Electricity (or Power) Marketer - A company that acts as a coordinator or broker, and obtains energy from any source or combination of sources, including independent generators, utility system power or spot purchases, for delivery to a utility or end user.
Electricity Supplier - A company that sells electricity or natural gas supply and services, such as billing or metering services. Suppliers/marketers of electricity and natural gas must be certified or licensed by the Board of Public Utilities to sell electricity to customers within the state of New Jersey.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The independent federal agency responsible for regulating interstate telecommunications services.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) - The independent federal agency responsible for regulating wholesale electric transactions and interstate natural gas pipelines.
Federal Universal Service Fund Surcharge - A surcharge on telephone bills that is used to help pay for telephone service to: people living in rural or other high-cost areas; low income customers; schools and libraries; and rural health providers.
InterLATA - A telephone call made within a specific region but outside the caller’s local calling area. See Regional Toll Call
Loop Line - For local telephone service, a communications channel from a switching center or message distribution point to the user terminal. Also known as a subscriber line.
Market Power - The ability of a seller/ buyer, either individually or in collaboration with other sellers/buyers, to affect the price of electricity in the relevant market.
PJM - Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland LLC Interconnection responsible for maintaining the Mid-Atlantic power grid.
Price to Compare - The electricity utility’s price for electricity supply. For utilities that have unbundled delivery and supply services, this price appears separately on their customer’s electricity bill. See Shopping Credit
Regional Toll Call - A call made outside the caller's local calling area and within a specified region or geographic area. Also known as an InterLATA call.
Shopping Credit - The price that an electric utility will charge its customers for the production of electricity, less any competitive transition charge (CTC). The credit is the amount consumers will use to compare offers when shopping for electricity. It is also known as the price to compare.
Slamming - The unauthorized switching of a customer's telephone or energy supply service without the customer's authorization.
Standard Offer Service (SOS) - Electricity supply purchased from a customer’s electric utility company.
Stranded Costs - Payments to utilities for investments (e.g. power plants, purchase power contracts) that were required under a regulated system and approved by the Board of Public Utilities but are not part of the utility’s regulated service under restructuring. Legislation provides that they will be recovered via the Competitive Transition Charge (CTC).
Universal Service Fee - A fee paid by all users of electricity in New Jersey to provide public interest programs for low-income users. The fees help eligible customers pay their electricity bills and also provides for energy conservation measures and weatherization.