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Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94102

Glossary

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R

R. – Rulemaking: A proceeding opened by the PUC to consider the creation or revision of rules or guidelines in a matter affecting more a utility or a broad sector of the industry.

R&O – Report and Order:  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may issue a Report & Order amending the rules or deciding not to do so.  Summaries of R&Os are published in the Federal Register. This triggers a 30-day period for Petitions for Reconsideration.

RA – Remote Access:  The ability to gain access to a computer via another computer that is at a different location.

Railroad and Railway Services: Railroad and railway services include electricity supplied and services rendered to railroads and interurban and street railways, for general railroad use, including the propulsion of cars or locomotives, where such electricity is supplied under separate and distinct rate schedules.

Raker Act of 1913: Republican John E. Raker of California introduced the Hetch Hetchy Act to Congress, commonly referred to as the Raker Act giving water rights to San Francisco , the city of Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts.

RAL – Residential Access Line:  Telephone line from a residence to a carrier's central office.  Called local loop.

Rate Base: This is generally calculated by adding up the original cost of all the physical assets and then subtracting the accumulated depreciation and deferred income tax.

Rate Design: The various rates per class of customer or service charged by a utility.

Rate Structure: The various rates charged by a utility for its services.

Ratemaking Authority: A utility Commission's legal authority to fix, modify, approve, or disapprove rates, as determined by the powers given the commission by a State or Federal legislature.

Rationing: Placing a restriction on the quantity of water a customer may use during or in anticipation of a water shortage.

RC – Rate Center :  A specified geographic location used by the telephone company to determine interchange mileage for rate determination purposes.

RC – Repeating Coil:  The telephone industry's term for a voice-frequency transformer.

RCC – Radio Common Carrier:  A communications common carrier that provides radio paging and mobile telephone services to the public.

RD&D – Research, Development & Demonstration: Utility programs to develop new technologies and prove their commercial feasibility.

RDBMS – Relational Database Management System: A database that lets you retrieve information from two or more files by using a common field to link the files (i.e., ORACLE).

Reach: A section of a stream or river between two specified points or possessing some common characteristic(s).

Reclaimed Water: Municipal, industrial or agricultural wastewater treat and/or managed to produce water of quality suitable for additional uses.

Redd: Fish spawning nest, or group of nests, dug in a gravel bed.

Redundancy: Duplicate equipment that is provided to minimize the effect Reading : The ability to monitor gas, electricity, or water meters over telephone lines, through a distribution network, or by radio link.

Renewable Resources: Naturally, but flow-limited resources that can be replenished. They are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time. Some (such as geothermal and biomass) may be stock-limited in that stocks are depleted by use, but on a time scale of decades, or perhaps centuries, they can probably be replenished. Renewable energy resources include: biomass, hydro, geothermal, solar and wind. In the future, they could also include the use of ocean thermal, wave, and tidal action technologies. Utility renewable resource applications include bulk electricity generation, on-site electricity generation, distributed electricity generation, non-grid-connected generation, and demand-reduction (energy efficiency) technologies.

Repeater: An electronic device used to amplify signals that have become too weak.

Re-regulation: The design and implementation of regulatory practices to be applied to the remaining regulated entities after restructuring of the vertically integrated electric utility. The remaining regulated entities would be those that continue to exhibit characteristics of a natural monopoly, where imperfections in the market prevent the realization of more competitive results, and where, in light of other policy considerations, competitive results are unsatisfactory in one or more respects. Regulation could employ the same or different regulatory practices as those used before restructuring.

Res. – Resolution: An official ruling of the PUC on matters handled through informal practices.

Resale Telephone Carriers: Companies that resell telephone service to individual customers but own a minimum of transmission facilities.  Generally, facilities consist of one switch in each city, with all lines leased from a telephone utility.

Resellers: Companies that purchase blocks of numbers at wholesale or bulk prices from cellular firms at reduced rates for resale to individuals or corporations.

Reserve Margin: The amount of unused capacity or idle capacity that a utility has at the period of peak demand.

Reservoir: A facility for storing water until it is to be used.

Residential: The residential sector is defined as private household establishments which consume energy primarily for space heating, water heating, air conditioning, lighting, refrigeration, cooking and clothes drying. The classification of an individual consumer's account, where the use is both residential and commercial, is based on principal use. For the residential class, do not duplicate consumer accounts due to multiple metering for special services (water, heating, etc.). Apartment houses are also included.

Restoration: The re-establishment of a consumer's service by rerouting, substitution of parts, or some other means.

Restructuring: The process of replacing a monopoly system of electric utilities with competing sellers, allowing individual retail customers to choose their electricity supplier but still receive delivery over the power lines of the local utility. It includes the reconfiguration of the vertically integrated electric utility.

Retail: Sales covering electrical energy supplied for residential, commercial, and industrial end-use purposes. Other small classes, such as agriculture and street lighting, also are included in this category.

Retail Market: A market in which electricity and other energy services are sold directly to the end-use customer.

Revenue Requirement: The total amount of revenue needed to pay all operating and capital costs of doing business.

Reverse Osmosis: A process forcing water through membranes that contain tiny holes removing chemicals resulting in pure water.

RFP: Requests for Proposal.

Richter Scale: A scale, ranging from 1 to 10, for indicating the intensity of an earthquake.

Riparian: Pertaining to the environment of river and stream banks and flood plains. Sometimes the term is used more broadly for wet, mostly terrestrial, environment around any fresh water body, including seeps or springs.

Riparian Rights: Water rights based on the ownership of land bordering a river or waterway.

Riparian Vegetation: Of, adjacent to, or living on, the bank of a river or, sometimes, of a lake, pond, etc.

Riprap: Rock facing to support an embankment and prevent erosion, usually at a specific slope such as 2:1

Riverine: Riparian ecosystems encompassing both instream and adjacent riparian zones, especially their biological components.

ROE – Return on Equity: The profits distributed to common shareholders after all expenses, interest costs, and preferred stock dividends have been paid.  In ratemaking, it represents the level of revenue needed that will permit equity stockholders the opportunity to earn a fair return on their investment in the utility.

ROI – Return on Owner's Investment: Operating income divided by common equity.

ROM – Read Only Memory: Computer memory that can be read but not changed or moved.

ROR – Rate of Return: This figure, which is expressed as a percentage, reflects the utility's weighted cost of capital.

RORTA – Return on Total Assets: Net income divided by total assets.

RPS – Renewable Portfolio Standard:  A program approved by Legislation that requires utilities to reach the goal of procuring 20 percent of their retail sales from renewable sources by 2017.  The PUC accelerated that goal to 2010.

RSA – Rural Statistical Area: Changed to "Micropolitan Statistical Area," after the U.S. Census Bureau unveiled the term in 2003 justified by the fact that some parts of the U.S. are neither rural nor metropolitan.

RTU – Radiotelephone Utility: A regulated utility (generally small compared to the telephone utility firms) that provides two-way radio service and paging services.

RTU – Remote Terminal Unit:  The location where transition between a telecommunication carrier's facility and the local lines meet.

Rules – Rules of Practice and Procedure: The rules in Title 20, California Code of Regulations, governing the conduct of utilities, transportation companies, and the public in proceedings before the Commission. 

Rulemaking Number: A number assigned to a proceeding before the PUC.  This number will appear on all documents along with the docket number.

Running and Quick-Start Capability: The net capability of generating units that carry load or have quick-start capability. In general, quick-start capability refers to generating units that can be available for load within a 30-minute period.

Runoff: Drainage or flood discharge which leaves an area as surface flow or as pipeline flow, having reached a channel or pipeline by either surface or surface routes.S

 

  

Last Modified: 1/28/2008


 
 
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