Technical Glossary - U

UA: A measure of the amount of heat that would be transferred to a given surface or enclosure (such as a building envelope) with a one degree Fahrenheit temperature difference between the two sides. The UA is calculated by multiplying the U-Value by the area of the surface (or surfaces).

Utility distribution company. An entity that owns a distribution system for the delivery of energy to and from the ISO-controlled grid and that provides regulated, retail service to eligible end-use customers who are not yet eligible for direct access, or who choose not to arrange services through another retailer.

Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle ( ULEV):
A vehicle certified by the California Air Resources Board to have emissions from zero to 50,000 miles no higher than 0.040 grams/mile (g/mi) of non-methane organic gasses, 1.7 g/mi of carbon monoxide, and 0.2 g/mi of nitrogen oxides. Emissions from 50,000 to 100,000 miles may be slightly higher.

Ultrahigh Voltage Transmission:
Transporting electricity over bulk-power lines at voltages greater than 800 kilovolts.

Unbundling: Disaggregating electric utility service into its basic components and offering each component separately for sale with separate rates for each component. For example, generation, transmission, and distribution could be unbundled and offered as discrete services.

Universal Hazardous Waste (UHW): Certain hazardous, widely generate materials such as batteries, pesticides, and thermostats.

Universal Service:
Electric service sufficient for basic needs (an evolving bundle of basic services) available to virtually all members of the population regardless of income.

Unleaded Gasoline: Gasoline that has had tetraethyl lead removed in conformance with federal and state regulations.

Upcycling: The process of recycling in such a way that new products are of higher economic value.

Upgrade (Electric Utility):
Replacement or addition of electrical equipment resulting in increased generation or transmission capability.

Uprate (Electric Utility):
An increase in the rating or stated measure of generation or transfer capability.

Upstream: A term used in the petroleum industry referring to the exploration and production side of the business. This includes pipelines but production before reaching the refinery.

Uranium: A radioactive element, found in ores, of which atoms can be split to create energy.

Uranium Enrichment: The process of increasing the percentage of pure uranium above the levels found in naturally occurring uranium ore, so that it may be used as fuel.

A regulated entity which exhibits the characteristics of a natural monopoly. For the purposes of electric industry restructuring, "utility" refers to the regulated, vertically-integrated electric company. "Transmission utility" refers to the regulated owner/operator of the transmission system only. "Distribution utility" refers to the regulated owner/operator of the distribution system which serves retail customers.