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Common Electricity Definitions – Learn the Electrical Lingo

Every industry has specific jargon and terms that are supposed to make communications easier. Not only do some of these confuse regular customers, but they also confuse industry professionals as the same thing is called different names by different people. See our list of common industry terms below: ICI – Industrial Conservation

Every industry has specific jargon and terms that are supposed make communications easier. This is even worse in the energy industry as the same thing is called different things by different people. See our list of common industry terms below:

ICI – Industrial Conservation Initiative

The program from the government that allows larger energy consumers to achieve cost savings. (NOT Industrial Commercial Institutional)

Class A

Electricity consumers who are eligible to participate in ICI, must be above 1MW average monthly peak demand OR above 500kW and in NAICS sector “31”, “32”, “33” or “1114”.

Class B

Any consumer who is not Class A. i.e. houses, small industrial, commercial.

Global Adjustment

Monthly Charge for energy, charged differently depending on Class A or B, usually shortened to GA. It reflects the difference between the wholesale market price of electricity and the regulated rates for OPG nuclear and hydroelectric generating stations. It also covers the difference between the market price and the contracted rates payed to generators across the province.


p‍Track® is Edgecom Energy’s solution for planning and managing the ICI program in order to maximize electricity savings.    

Demand Response

Demand response provides an opportunity for consumers to play a significant role in the operation of the electric grid by reducing or shifting their electricity usage during peak periods in response to time-based rates or other forms of financial incentives. In Ontario, Demand Response is usually called the Demand Response Auction or Capacity Auction. The program is managed by the IESO and aggregators bid into the program to provide curtailment or DER resources as required. Demand Response doesn’t require predictions because the IESO decides when curtailments are required.

Base Period

The base setting period is the period during the ICI cycle in which the customer’s status as Class A is set AND the period in which the customer’s peak demand factor is defined.

Adjustment Period

The period during the ICI cycle in which the GA is charged. The actions taken during the previous base period are not reflected until the adjustment period (July 1 of each year).


Independent Electricity System Operator, operate the Ontario electricity grid. (Use to be called OPA)


Local Distribution Company, they run the local electricity grid and usually deliver the power to your home or business. They usually send you the power bill. TorontoHydro, Alectra, Wellington North Power Inc, London Hydro Inc are all examples of LDCs.

Coincident Peak or “Peak Day”

Coincident demand is the energy demand required by a given customer or class of customers during a particular time period. Coincident peak demand is the energy demand by that group during periods of peak system demand.


Reduction in electricity use for a short period of time. Usually 3 to 4 hours for the purposes of the ICI program.

Distributed Energy Resources

DERs are electricity-producing resources or controllable loads that are connected to a local distribution system or connected to a host facility within the local distribution system.

DERs can include solar panels, combined heat and power plants, electricity storage, small natural gas-fuelled generators, electric vehicles and controllable loads, such as HVAC systems and electric water heaters. These resources are typically smaller in scale than the traditional generation facilities that serve most of Ontario demand.

Energy Retrofit

Energy retrofits are upgrades to a building’s energy-consuming systems. They can involve measures ranging from superficial, low-cost measures/modifications to full overhauls or replacement of major systems.

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