Business energy jargon explained

Do you find the industry jargon on energy bills and contracts frustrating? This guide to jargon and abbreviations can help you to make sense of it all.

There is a tendency for business gas and business electricity suppliers to use that mean very little without explanation. One of our goals at Make It Cheaper is to demystify business energy terminology so that owners can make and informed and considered choice about reducing their bills and switching to improved rates. Here's our guide to some commercial energy abbreviations:


Agreed Read Dispute

An industry-wide process to resolve problems arising when closing and opening meter readings do not correspond during a switch or change of tenancy.


Automated Meter Reading

Available from Smart Meters, these readings provide instant and accurate data about commercial electricity consumption.


Annual Quantity or Annual Agreed Quantity

An estimate of future consumption of commercial gas, as calculated by the distribution network, Transco.


Authorised Supply Capacity

This only applies to Maximum Demand customers and is the commercial electricity 'load' allowed to be taken to run industrial equipment.


Climate Change Levy

A charge introduced by the Government in 2001 on commercial electricity and gas, intended to encourage less consumption and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.


Carbon Dioxide

A greenhouse gas, measured in tonnes, that makes up the Carbon Footprint belonging to each commercial electricity user.


Carbon Reduction Commitment

A scheme designed to improve energy efficiency in large organisations and mandatory for the 5,000 biggest commercial electricity users in the UK.


Calorific Value

A measurement of the energy contained in gas and usually quoted in megajoules per cubic metre (MJ/m3).


Department of Energy and Climate Change

Created by the Government in 2008 to 'ensure our energy is secure, affordable and efficient'.


Estimated Annual Consumption

Similar to AQ but for profiling the consumption of commercial electricity, based on historic billing information. Sometimes known as Calculated Annual Consumption or CAC.


Electricity Central Online Enquiry Service

A service provided by the electricity suppliers and distribution companies which notifies the relevant organisations when someone is switching commercial electricity supplier.


European Union Emissions Trading Scheme

A scheme to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide to meet targets set out in the Kyoto Protocol.



The name for meters with the profile number '00' that are used by energy-intensive businesses whose average peak electricity demand was greater than 100kW in any three months of the previous year.



A unit of power required to run industrial machinery.



The standard unit to which business electricity charges relate.


Levy Exemption Certificate

Issued by Ofgem to exempt the holder from paying Climate Change Levy in addition to business electricity charges.


Liquefied Natural Gas

Gas cooled so that it condenses into a liquid and can be more easily transported and stored.


Maximum Demand

The highest expected load drawn from the network by an intensive commercial electricity user. Maximum Demand meter profile numbers begin with '05, 06 07, 08' and usually have their own types of tariff.


Meter Point Administration Number

Also known as a 'supplier number' or an 'S number', this is the unique identifying number that can be found on a business electricity price bill. The first two digits give your meter profile (03 or 04 for small businesses, 05 to 08 for maximum demand and 00 for half-hourly.


Meter Point Reference

The unique identifying number of a commercial gas supply. It is 10 digits and can be found on a bill.


Meter Serial Number

A unique number used to identify a meter which will be displayed on the front of most meters.


Office of Gas and Electricity Markets

The organisation set up to regulate and promote competition within the deregulated energy industry.


HM Revenue & Customs form to claim exemption or discount from the Climate Change Levy (CCL).


Renewable obligation certificate

Holds details of exactly how a unit of renewable electricity was produced, who produced it and who bought the electricity.

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