PBOP – Post-Retirement Benefits Other Than Pensions: A term used in calculating revenue and expenditures for utilities.
Peak-load Plant: A plant usually housing old, low-efficiency steam units; gas turbines; diesels; or pumped-storage hydroelectric equipment normally used during the peak-load periods.
PG&E - Pacific Gas and Electric Company: One of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the U.S. The company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, serves approximately 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California . On the Internet at http://www.pge.com/.
PBR – Performance-Based Ratemaking: Under performance-based ratemaking, non-fuel costs are indexed to changes in inflation and customer growth, minus a productivity target, such that base rates to customers would be expected to decline in real terms.
PCN – Personal Communications Network: These include cellular, wireless, and cordless communication.
PCS – Personal Communications Services: New wireless services that feature "number portability," or the means to be contacted anywhere on a single number and that will be competitors in the future to cellular carriers.
PCS – Personal Communications Systems: A generic term for mass-market mobile phone service
PD - Proposed Decision: A PUC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) prepares a Proposed Decision at a proceeding's conclusion that the Commissioners vote on.
PDA – Personal Digital Assistant: A handheld device that combines computing, telephone and Internet
Peak Demand: The maximum level of use by customers of a system during a specified period of time; may apply to a class of customers only or the entire company, depending on the intended use of the data.
Peaking Capacity: Capacity of generating equipment normally reserved for operation during the hours of highest daily, weekly, or seasonal loads. Some generating equipment may be operated at certain times as peaking capacity and at other times to serve loads on an around-the-clock basis.
Pelagic: Of, or pertaining to, the seas or oceans; fish, such as herring, living at the surface of large bodies of open water.
Penstock: Steep gradient pipe or channel for gravity acceleration of water for driving electric generators in hydroelectric plants.
Peripheral Equipment: Separate units or devices connected to a computer, such as printers.
Permit: Authority to operate issued by the PUC to telephone carriers who by statute are not regulated as public utilities.
Petitioner: Any party who files a petition in a PUC proceeding, such as a petition to modify a Commission decision, or a petition to intervene in a proceeding.
PGA – Purchased Gas Account: A rate-adjustment mechanism that allows an energy utility to recover through rates its fuel and fuel-related expenses.
PGC – Public Goods Charge: A non-bypassable surcharge imposed on all retail sales to fund public goods research, development and demonstration, and energy efficiency activities, and support low-income assistance programs.
PGT – Pacific Gas Transmission: A natural gas pipeline system that runs to the Canadian border provides direct access to Canadian gas supplies.
PH: A measure of the acidity in the water.
PHC – Prehearing Conference: A formal PUC hearing at which the parties determine the scope and nature of a proceeding and at which the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) establishes a schedule for the proceeding.
PIC – Primary Interexchange Carrier: The PIC is the main long distance carrier used for "1+dialing" through which all interstate long distance toll calls are made.
Plant-Use Electricity: The electric energy used in the operation of a plant. This energy total is subtracted from the gross energy production of the plant; for reporting purposes the plant energy production is then reported as a net figure. The energy required for pumping at pumped-storage plants is, by definition, subtracted, and the energy production for these plants is then reported as a net figure.
PM – Average Profit Margin: Operating revenues less operating expense divided by operating revenue.
PM10: Particulate Matter (smaller than 10 microns)
PN – Public Notice: A Public Notice is issued by the PUC to notify the public of an action taken or an upcoming event.
POD – Presiding Officer's Decision: A ruling in a proceeding issued by a PUC Administrative Law Judge.
POI: Point of Interconnection.
Point of Diversion: The place along the stream channel where a diverter takes control of the water.
Pollutants: Substances that enter the environment or become concentrated within it, and that has or may have a detrimental biological effect, whether by natural causes or resulting from human activity.
POLR - Provider of Last Resort: Serves as a back-up electric service provider in the competitive retail electric market in the event a retail electric provider leaves the market for any reason.
Pooling: An informal name for a settlement process in which all participating companies first receive their costs and then earn the same rate of return.
Potable Water: Water suitable for drinking.
POU – Public-Owned Utility: A utility owned by its customers, who elect the organization's board of directors.
Power: The rate at which energy is transferred. Electrical energy is usually measured in watts. Also used for a measurement of capacity.
Power Marketers: Business entities engaged in buying, selling, and marketing electricity. Power marketers do not usually own generating or transmission facilities. Power marketers, as opposed to brokers, take ownership of the electricity and are involved in interstate trade. These entities file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for status as a power marketer.
Power Pool: An association of two or more interconnected electric systems having an agreement to coordinate operations and planning for improved reliability and efficiencies.
PPA – Power Purchase Agreements: Agreements between utilities and power generators to procure power on behalf of the utility's consumers.
PPH – Public Participation Hearing: PUC hearings at which statements from the general public are taken.
Price Cap Indexing Mechanism: The formula for setting local telephone company rates; the formula updates revenues each year based on inflation and expected productivity improvements, plus or minus factors beyond the company's control.
Primary Treatment: The first level of treatment given to sewage to remove solids.
Prime Carrier: A certificated or permitted motor carrier that engages other carriers or subhaulers.
Printout: Hard copy; the printed roll or pages of information transmitted by a computer to a printer.
Private Line (Leased Line): A telephone line allowing unlimited service between two points at a special rate and not connected to the regular telephone network. Private lines are available for a number of uses, such as data transmission, fire and burglar alarm circuits, as well as voice transmission.
Private Water Utility: A water service that is owned by individuals or a corporation and sells water to customers.
Protestant: A party who files a protest to an application or other filing by another party.
Protozoa: Microscopic animals causing disease in humans.
Psia - Pounds per square inch absolute: Equal to gauge pressure plus local atmospheric pressure.
PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network: A domestic telecommunications network usually accessed by telephones.
Public Trust Doctrine: The legal doctrine that protects the rights of the public to use watercourses for navigation, commerce, fisheries, recreation, open space, preservation of ecological units in their natural state, and similar uses for which those lands are uniquely suited. It is based on the California State Constitution and goes back to English Common Law. The California Supreme Court state, "The state has an affirmative duty to take the public trust into account in the planning and allocation of water resources, and to protect public trust uses whenever feasible."
Pub. Util.: Public Utilities.
PUC Code: The laws, rules, regulations and standards governing utilities in the state of California.