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Natural Gas Glossary

British Thermal Unit (BTU)

Amount of energy needed to raise one pound of nearly frozen water (39 degrees Fahrenheit) by one degree Fahrenheit (1,000 BTU = 1 therm).

Burning Springs

Flames created when lightning strikes vents of natural gas seeping to the earth's surface.

Compressor Station

Station used to increase the pressure of natural gas when it is being transported.

Deregulation

The removal or relaxation of regulations or controls governing a business or service operation such as utilities.

Distributor

A company responsible for the transportation of natural gas from one point to another.

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

The federal agency responsible for the regulation of the production, transmission and sale of natural gas (as well as for the production, transmission and sale of electric power and the transportation of oil).

Fixed Price

A price that remains the same for a set period of time.

Local Distribution Company

Another name for natural gas utilities that deliver gas to customers.

Marketer

Natural gas marketers are companies that are approved and certified to procure natural gas and then sell the natural gas to the end-user.

Mercaptan

Odor added to natural gas to make it smell like "rotten eggs" for safety purposes.

Methane

A colorless odorless flammable gaseous hydrocarbon CH4 that is a product of decomposition of organic matter and of the carbonization of coal, is used as a fuel and as a starting material in chemical synthesis, and is the simplest of the alkanes.

Natural Gas

A mixture of hydrocarbons; mostly methane, ethane, propane and butane.

Processing plants

Plants used to purify natural gas, separating methane from other hydrocarbons.

Propane

A heavy flammable gaseous alkane C3H8 found in crude petroleum and natural gas and used especially as fuel and in chemical synthesis.

Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC)

The state regulatory agency that provides oversight, policy guidance and direction to electric/natural gas public utilities.

Supplier

A person or corporation, generator, broker, marketer or any other entity that sells energy to customers using the transmission or distribution facilities of an electric/gas distribution company.

Therm

A unit for quantity of heat that equals 100,000 British thermal units (BTU) .

Variable Price

A price that changes based on fluctuations in the market.

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