Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Term Definition


Advanced Distribution Management System

A comprehensive solution for OMS, EMS, SCADA, and DMS that integrates the tools into one interface to support monitoring, analysis, control, planning and optimization of the distribution and transmission network.


Advanced Metering Communication Device

The smart meter and meter module component of the AMI. Measures the commodity that is consumed, and transmits the data to an AMRC.


Advanced Meter Regional Collectors

Part of the AMI that collects meter read data from smart meters and transmits that data to the AMCC.


Advanced Metering Control Computer

Receives meter read data from the AMRC and stores it.  Also known as the Head End System.


Advanced Metering Infrastructure

The infrastructure that collects meter read data.  It consists of three layers:

  • AMCD (Advanced Metering Communication Device)
  • AMRC (Advanced Metering Regional Collector)
  • AMCC (Advanced Metering Control Computer)


Applicability Statement 2

A protocol for transmitting data securely over the Internet.

AS2 Client

Applicability Statement 2 Client

An application used to transport data using AS2 protocol.


Application Service Provider

A business that provides software services over computer networks and the Internet.


Automatic Vehicle Location System

A fleet management system that allows utilities to remotely track the geographic locations of their vehicles through means of GPS technology.


Billing Quantity

Usage data that has been through VEE and framing and is ready for use in billing.


California Metering Exchange Protocol

An industry standard data format first mandated by the State of California in 1998. CMEP is intended to transmit gas and electric utility metering, billing, and administrative information between companies. It is a common file format for export of meter data from the AMI.

Class Load Profile Estimation

Class Load Profile Estimation

Can be used for estimation when there is no historic data.  CLP is an average that is created for each interval of the year based on the customer class.


Critical Peak Pricing

Rate structure that can occur when wholesale prices for electricity are very high due to constrained supply. Goal is to dramatically reduce the load by raising prices for a short time period.


Current Transformers/Potential Transformers

A type of transformer that allows the meter to take a reading from an electrical service connection with a higher current/voltage than the meter is able to handle. If the current/voltage is too high to be measured by a meter, a CT/PT is applied to lower it to a value that can be safely and easily measured.

CT/PT Multiplier

Current Transformers/Potential Transformers Multiplier

The multiplier that should be applied to recorded usage data when a CT/PT has been applied to a meter.  This billing multiplier is the product of the meter multiplier and any applicable CT and PT ratios.


Customer Information System

System used to manage customer, account, consumption, and billing data.


Datacap Input file / Datacap Output file

Used for manual meter reading.  The DCI is a file generated out of the CIS that lists accounts to be read by meter readers.  The DCO is a file generated out of the meter reader’s handheld device back to the CIS.

Demand Management

Demand Management

Demand management programs encourage consumers to reduce or shift energy usage through education and incentives.


Distribution Management System

Used to monitor, control, and analyze the distribution network. A DMS provides improved operator awareness and decision-making and improves safety and protects assets.


Demand Response

The ability to respond to changes in the electricity market, such as when demand and prices are high. Consumers may choose to reduce their consumption to save money.


Demand Response Management System

A DRMS connects the flow of data from demand response devices to and from the utility.  Used for load balancing and to optimize demand response capabilities.


Electronic Business Transaction

Usage EBT is created by the utility and transferred to the retailer to obtain pricing for bill quantities.


Energy Management System

A system used to optimize, supervise, and control the transmission grid and generation assets.



The ability to do work or the ability to move an object.  Electrical energy is measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).


Enterprise Service Bus

A scalable solution for integrating systems. Rather than point-to-point interfaces, the ESB acts as the broker of information, publishing data to the bus so that authorized systems can subscribe to it.

Field Staking System

Field Staking System

A system that enables the utility to use data gathered during the work order process and digitally update the GIS. In the field, stakers use handheld pen tablet computers to perform their design work. This process involves drawing from scratch or staking directly.


File Transfer Service

FTS is a network protocol used to provide secure data transfers.

Framing Structure

Framing Structure

A method a utility uses to bill its customers: periodic, time of use (TOU) or hourly.

For each day, the MDM/R framing process determines what time periods define the intervals to be summed in each bin. The output of the framing process is a set of daily Billing Quantities.


Geographic Information System

A system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present geographically referenced data.


Graphic User Interface

The most commonly-used type of computer interface.  Allows users to interact using graphics rather than text commands.

HAN-in-Home Display

HAN In-Home Display

See IHD.


Head End System

Head End System



Historic Estimation

Historic Estimation

A method of consumption estimation using the customer’s history of consumption.


Home Area Network

A LAN for digital devices used in the home.

Hourly Meter Read

Hourly Meter Read

Measure of the cumulative consumption of electricity during a 60-minute clock period beginning at the start of the hour. Consumption is time- and date-stamped at the end of the read period.


In-Home Display

HAN in-home displays help customers track energy usage.  The displays monitor and control thermostats and other appliances to change consumption patterns and realize improved energy efficiency. The display may be portable or installed on a wall.


Incremental Synchronization

Partial updates from the system of record to downstream systems on a regular basis.


Interactive Voice Response

A computerized system that allows a customer, by phone, to select an option from a voice menu and otherwise interface with a computer system.

Interval Meter

Interval Meter

Measures peak demand, how much electricity is being used, and when it is being used.


Kilowatt Hour

1 kWh is equal to 1,000 watt hours.  1,000 watt hours would be the energy consumed by 10 light bulbs with 100 watt ratings in the span of 1 hour.

Load Control Switch

Load Control Switch

A device that allows a utility to turn off or reduce power to equipment and appliances at the customer’s premises, such as pool pumps, air conditioners and electric water heaters, during peak demand periods.


Local Area Network

A network that interconnects systems in a limited area.  LAN is the communication network that transmits Meter Reads from the AMCD to the AMRC.


Local Distribution Company

Local distribution companies distribute power from transmission lines to residences and businesses.



One thousand kilowatts

Mesh Network

Mesh Network

Mesh networks use other endpoints within the deployment to act as repeaters before the data is accumulated by a collection device and transported to the AMCC.

Mesh networks can be controlled or uncontrolled.  A controlled mesh network will find a pathway to an AMRC, store that pathway in the meter and consistently use that pathway to transmit data.  An uncontrolled mesh will transmit data via different pathways to the collection device.


Meter Data Management System

Performs storage and processing of data delivered by a smart metering system:

  •  Receives the meter read data: register reads and interval data
  • Analyzes the meter data and generates estimates, where required
  • Monitors the performance of the AMI network
  • Helps troubleshoot problem meters

Can receive and analyze operational data from the meters, like tamper alerts, outages, voltage alarms



Specification that defines standardized interfaces for software application interoperability in electric utilities.  MultiSpeak® assists utilities and vendors to develop interfaces without requiring custom development.


Operational Data Store



Outage Management System

An OMS helps utilities identify, manage, and resolve outages and incidents.

Peak Demand or Peak Load

Peak Demand or Peak Load

The hourly period that represents the highest point of customer consumption of electricity.


Power Line Communication

A communication technology that enables carrying data on a conductor that is also used for electric power transmission.


Periodic Synchronization

A complete, full synchronization from the system of record on a periodic basis.


Radio Frequency

Any frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum associated with radio wave propagation.  Smart meters transmit via radio frequency.

Register Read

Register Read

A meter’s total cumulative consumption from the date the meter was installed.


Regulated Price Plan

Defines the prices per KWh that local electricity utilities charge for electricity use.


Request for Proposal

As part of procurement, an RFP is a formal request issued to suppliers to submit a proposal for a commodity or service.



Retailers purchase electricity from power generators and sell it to consumers, usually at fixed prices over fixed lengths of time.  This is a financial transaction only (the physical delivery of electricity is still carried out by distributors).


Return Merchandise Authorization

Process of having a product repaired or replaced in order to receive a refund or credit for another product from the same retailer or corporation within the product’s warranty period.


Supervisory Control and Data Acquistion System

A system that allows utilities to gather and analyze real-time data to monitor and control generation and transmission systems.

Scaled Estimate

Scaled Estimate

An estimate that has been scaled using register reads.  See also Unscaled Estimate.

If the register reads provide the known consumption, the estimates can be scaled accordingly.  (Differs from unscaled estimates which are based on average usage.)


Service Delivery Point

The point at which delivery is metered or calculated. The SDP is the point at which billing occurs based on input from one or more smart meters.


Service Delivery Point Identifier

The utility supplied and controlled identifier that relates to the SDP.


Service Level Agreement

Contract in which levels of service are defined.

SEP 1.0

Smart Energy Profile 1.0

SEP 1.0 is an application protocol that was developed to allow ZigBee® low-power wireless networks to support communication between smart meters and products that monitor, control, and automate the delivery and consumption of electricity and water.

SEP 2.0

Smart Energy Profile 2.0

SEP 2.0, an enhancement of SEP 1.0, is an application protocol with IP-based HAN functionality.  The protocol can pass energy-related messages across a wide variety of wired and wireless media.  SEP2.0 will allow the next generation of smart appliances, HVAC, lighting, and energy management systems to talk with each other and interact with the Smart Grid.

Smart Grid

Smart Grid

Automation and remote-control technology applied to the electricity grid in order to improve energy efficiency.  The technology allows for two-way communication between the utility and the customer

Smart Meter

Smart Meter

A meter that collects hourly (or more granular) usage data and periodically transmits this data to the utility.  Consumption is billed as a sum of all hourly usage values

Spot Market

Spot Market

The real-time market in which a spot price is defined for the electricity sold in that hour.  The difference between the electricity spot market and that for other commodities is that with electricity, the commodity is also consumed right away, as it cannot be stored.



A cryptographic protocol that provides secure communications on the Internet.



Process whereby staking professionals map the precise locations of planned power lines during field design.


Time of Use

The sale of electricity based on rates established for certain times of day, days of week, and/or season.



A device that steps up or steps down voltage.

Unscaled Estimates

Unscaled Estimates

Estimates based on average usage.

See also Scaled Estimate.


Validation, Estimation, and Editing

Validation, Estimating and Editing of meter reads to identify and account for missed and inaccurate meter reads to derive billing data.


Wide Area Network

A telecommunications network that covers a broad area.

In the Ontario MDM/R environment, the communication network that transmits Meter Reads from the AMRC to the AMCC or, in some systems, from the AMCD directly to the AMCC. The WAN can be either public network options (such as cellular, spread spectrum) or private (including utility fiber, licensed radio frequency, etc.).


Workforce Management

Used by utilities to automate their field service process. For example, WFM systems can track the profile of equipment as well as personnel requirements so that work orders that require higher safety certifications are not assigned to personnel that are not qualified.



Wireless communication protocol designed for product interoperability in low-power wireless sensor and control networks.