WORDS TO KNOW

There are several terms that are unique to the natural gas industry. To make things simple, we’ve spelled out some of the industry’s most common terms below. 

biogas – a mixture of gases produced by the decomposition of organic matter like agricultural waste and plant material

Btu – British thermal units; the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit

Ccf – volume of 100 cubic feet; a unit used to measure natural gas usage

CNG – compressed natural gas; is a type of alternative fuel produced by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure that can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and propane; mainly used in this form as a means of transport or storage

energy deregulation – takes place when a monopoly on energy is removed and increased competition between natural gas suppliers lets consumers choose the one that fits their needs at a lower cost

fixed rate plan – a rate that stays the same during a specific contract period

fracking – the process of drilling into the earth and using a high-pressure water mixture to release natural gas from rocks for energy use 

hydrofracking hydraulic fracturing; see “fracking”

LNG – liquid natural gas; natural gas that has been cooled to a liquid state mainly for transport or storage

Mcf – volume of 1,000 cubic feet; a measure natural gas usage 

natural gas – a clean, alternative fuel source used for generating electricity and heat

PUC – Public utility commission; a state-level government entity involved with rates and services provided by utility companies

shalesedimentary rock that forms when silt and clay-size mineral particles are compacted and broken into thin, parallel layers 

SNG – synthetic natural gas; a type of gas created from coal through thermo-chemical conversion and can be used as a substitute in regions where there may be a shortage of natural gas

syngas – see “SNG”

therm – a unit of heat equal to 100,000 Btu (British thermal units) 

variable rate plan – a rate that fluctuates with the market during a specified contract period