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 – This is a unit of measurement used when calculating the volume of natural gas consumed or delivered. Otherwise known as Centum Cubic Feet, one CCF is equal to the volume of 100 cubic feet. Although natural gas is also commonly measured in Therms (thermal energy units), it is simpler to calculate the volume of gas in CCF rather than thermal energy units. This is why consumers often see their gas usage reported in CCF on their monthly statements instead of Therms. One CCF is equal to 1.025 Therms, so both units of measurement can be converted quite easily from one to the other.


    • 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



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


    • MCF – A unit of measurement to report the volume of natural gas consumed or delivered. Natural gas is most easily measured by volume, and in this case, h M stands for “thousand” while CF stands for “cubic feet”. One MCF is equivalent to the volume of 1,000 cubic feet. One MCF is also equivalent to about one million BTUs (British Thermal Units), where BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at sea level.



    • 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