Some relevant terms, organizations, programs – listed alphabetically in acronym or whole-word form

Some relevant terms, organizations, programs – listed alphabetically in acronym or whole-word form

(Updated November 24, 2013)


ACORE: American Council on Renewable Energy - "Dedicated to building a more secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy."

AEL: Advanced Energy Legislation Tracker -

AG: Attorney General - New Mexico -

ALEC: American Legislation Exchange Council - a conservative organization involved with others in a national campaign to roll back state renewable energy standards.

ANM: Aggregated net metering - refers to one party aggregating multiple meters.

AWEA: American Wind Energy Association:

BLM: Bureau of Land Management (US) - for New Mexico -

BTM: Behind the meter system - Can be large or small in terms of generating capacity. Characteristics are: The generating unit is located with load. No utility-owned transmission or distribution facilities are used to deliver the energy from the generating unit to the load. The generation interconnection is located behind a retail customer meter.

CCC: Cooperative Consumer Coalition - (in New Mexico) a group which includes Exxon Mobil Corp. and Enterprise Products Operating, LLC - companies that consume large amounts of electricity through NM coops served by Tri-State.

CCCW: Conejos County Clean Water, Inc. (CO) -

CDBG: Community Development Block Grant - (US-HUD) - for economic, energy, housing development (facilitated? through county government) - New Mexico -

CEC: Clean Energy Collective (Carbondale, CO) - develops community-owned renewable energy solutions for electric utilities and their customers (e.g. Taos Community Solar) including the country's first community-owned solar arrays.

CELDF: Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund - “Building sustainable communities by assisting people to assert their right to local self-government and the rights of nature.”

CHP: Combined heat and power: Cogeneration or (CHP) is the use of a heat engine or power station to simultaneously generate electricity and useful heat.

CMU: County/municipal utility

CNEE: [Colorado State University's] Center for the New Energy Economy - aims to serve anyone interested in clean energy legislation in any state in the US, including crafting legislation. "The Center works directly [free of charge] with Governors, state energy offices, regulators, and policy makers to provide technical assistance on policies and strategies that will facilitate America’s transition to a New Energy Economy."

CPV: Concentrating Solar Photovoltaic - uses an advanced optical system to focus a large area of sunlight onto each cell for maximum efficiency. CPV panels are mounted on trackers to keep the focal point on the cell as the sun moves across the sky.

CSP: Concentrated solar power – refers to systems that use mirrors or lenses to concentrate a large area of sunlight, or solar thermal energy, onto a small area.

DG: Distributed generation – also known as on-site generation, dispersed generation, embedded generation, decentralized generation, decentralized energy, distributed energy or district energy – generates electricity from many small energy sources.

DSM: Demand-Side Management - The planning, implementing, and monitoring activities of electric utilities that are designed to encourage consumers to modify their level and pattern of electricity usage.

EDF: Environmental Defense Fund – "EDF protects the Earth's resources using smart economics, practical partnerships and rigorous science."

EE: Energy efficiency

EEI: Edison Electric Institute – represents all US investor-owned electric companies whose mission is to ensure members' success by advocating public policy, expanding market opportunities, and providing strategic business information.

EIA: U.S. Energy Information Administration. Renewables -

EV: Electric vehicle

FIT: Feed-in Tariff – A federal policy tool encouraging deployment of renewable electricity technologies. Money paid to a customer by a power company for excess electricity generated by a renewable energy source.

GEC: Green energy cooperative – offers 100% renewable electricity generated locally.

Geothermal: Recently, this term is applied to any heat stored in earth and available as a renewable energy resource.

Grid: The network of wires and cables that transport electricity from a power plant to electricity users.

GTC: Green transmission grid – power lines that can carry electricity generated from renewables between local grids and over long distances.

HEARTH: Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act (2012) - federal rules for renewable energy leases on tribal lands.

HERS: Home Energy Rating System – In the town of Taos, a HERS certificate is required under the Land Use Development Code, High Performance Building Program. HERS Certificate.pdf

ILSR: Institute for Local Self-Reliance - (national, based in Minneapolis) – a nonprofit organization and advocacy group that provides technical assistance to communities about local solutions for sustainable community development in broad areas such as Banking, Broadband, Energy, and Waste through local purchasing.

IOU: Investor-owned utility

IPAA: Independent Petroleum Association of America – "the national association representing the thousands of independent crude oil and natural gas explorer/producers in the United States. It also operates in close cooperation with 44 unaffiliated independent national, state and regional associations, which together represent thousands of royalty owners and the companies which provide services and supplies to the domestic industry."

IPANM: Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico – "the voice of the independent oil and gas producers in NM [who] advance and preserve the interests of [those producers and educate] the public to the importance of oil and gas to the state and all our lives."

KCEC: Kit Carson Electric Cooperative - a member-owned electric distribution cooperative which serves members in Taos, Colfax and Rio Arriba counties in NM. Receives most of its power from Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. based in Denver, CO. KCEC is also a leader in being instrumental in locally produced solar power, and on October 22, 2013, won the prestigious Utility of the Year Award from the (national) Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).

LEED: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – LEED Green Building Rating System is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.

LIHEAP-NM: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (New Mexico)

Megawatt: One million watts of electrical energy. Examples: The amount of power drawn by 10,000 100-watt light bulbs when they are turned on. Lightening can potentially discharge power measured in the hundreds of megawatts.

NABCEP: North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners - offers certification and certificate programs to renewable energy professionals throughout North America.

NEE: New Energy Economy (based in Santa Fe, NM) – dedicated to "creating economic opportunity in New Mexico powered by clean energy".

NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act - one of the first laws ever written (1969) that establishes the broad national framework for protecting our environment. NEPA's basic policy is to assure that all branches of government give proper consideration to the environment prior to undertaking any major federal action that significantly affects the environment.

Net Metering: A contractual arrangement that permits an electrical utility customer (using a meter that reads inflows and outfows of electiricty) to sell any excess power she generates over her load requirement back to the electrical grid to offset consumption. Depending on individual state or utility rules, the net excess generation may be credited to her account (in many cases at the retail price), carried over to a future billing period, or ignored.

NMGCC: New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce - "creates new opportunities for business by advocating on behalf of renewable energy, strengthening local economies, and seizing the green business advantage."

NMGCO: New Mexico Gas Company – headquartered in Albuquerque and locally managed. Provides natural gas to more than 500,000 customers in NM.

NMPRC: New Mexico Public Regulation Commission - regulates the utilities, telecommunications, and motor carrier industries to ensure fair and reasonable rates, and to assure reasonable and adequate services to the public as provided by law. Also promotes public safety through the offices of state fire marshal, the firefighter training academy, and pipeline safety bureau and transportation division

NMSEA: New Mexico Solar Energy Association – an "educational 501c (3) non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting solar energy and related sustainable practices."

NRDC: National Resources Defense Council – a large international environmental action group combining 1.4 million members and online activists with more than 350 lawyers, scientists and other professionals.

NREL: National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, CO) – "we focus on creative answers to today's energy challenges. From fundamental science and energy analysis to validating new products for the commercial market, NREL researchers are dedicated to transforming the way the world uses energy."

PACE: Property Assessed Clean Energy - a means of financing energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations for buildings. –

PHEV: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

PNM: Public Service Company of New Mexico (subsidiary of PNM Resources) - based in Albuquerque, "PNM Resources is an energy holding company with 2012 consolidating operating revenues of $1.3 billion. Through its regulated utilities, PNM and TNMF, PNM Resources serves electricity to more than 739,000 homes and businesses in New Mexico and Texas."

PPA: Power purchase agreement

PRC: Public regulation commission - (see "NMPRC")

PUC: Public utilities commission (CO, and some other states)

PURPA: (US) Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act (1978) - meant to promote greater use of domestic renewable energy.

PV: Photovoltaic – "Light-generated voltage". A method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels composed of a number of solar cells containing a photovoltaic material.

R-value: "Resistance-value". Used specifically for insulation materials to indicate their effectiveness against the movement of heat toward cold. The higher the number, the greater the slowing of the flow of energy.

RCCLA: Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association -

RCT: Reasonable cost threshold

RE: Renewable energy

REA: Rural electricity association

REAP: Rural Energy for America Program - USDA grant program "provides financial assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses in rural America to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems; make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings and facilities; use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption; and participate in energy audits, renewable energy development assistance, and feasibility studies. It is often used in conjunction with the REAP loan guarantee program."

REC: Rural electric cooperative

REC: Renewable energy credit or certificate

RES: Renewable Electricity Standard – (also known as a Renewable Portfolio Standard –RPS) – a regulation that requires the increased production of energy from renewable energy sources.

RGCA: Rio Grande Cattlemen's Association

RMI: Rocky Mountain Institute - "an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) think-and-do tank. Co-founded in 1982 by Amory Lovins who remains an active thought leader as Chairman Emeritus and Chief Scientist, the Colorado-based organization now has approximately 75 full-time staff, an annual budget of nearly $12 million, and a global reputation.  RMI excels in radical resource efficiency, especially via integrative design. We drive progress chiefly by transforming design, identifying and busting barriers, and spreading innovation."

RMYC: Rocky Mountain Youth Corp – provides training and community service opportunities for new Mexico-area youth, ages 14-25. Crews protect, restore, and manage New Mexico's parks, houses and natural areas while developing essential job skills. RMYC and the Mortgage Finance Authority's (MFA) New Mexico Energy$Smart Program provides weatherization for making homes of low-income residents more energy-efficient.

RPS: Renewable Portfolio Standards – (see "RES")

RT: Renewable Taos – (Taos, NM) – "Local energy and a strong community, advocating for 100% clean energy for our community by 2020"

RUS: Rural Utilities Service, branch of USDA – provides "funding through grants, loans, loan guarantees, and payments for the development of rural utilities infrastructure such as water, waste management, power and telecommunications."

SEIA: Solar Electric Industries Association -

SEPA: Solar Electric Power Association - an educational non-profit organization dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar energy into their portfolio. Also ranks utilities in use of solar.

SLVEC: San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council. Renewable Energy, Transmission Lines & Documents: Resources/Infrastructure & Sensitive Areas Map of San Luis Valley, CO:

START: Strategic Technical Assistance Response Team - DOE program that helps tribes go solar.

TCS: Taos Community Solar: Taos' first community solar array (located at Taos Charter School). http://www.kcecsolar.comTherm

Thermal Solar: The process of deriving or concentrating heat from sunlight. Examples of "derived heat" are: home heating, solar cooking, clothes drying, solar heated water, and so forth. Concentrated solar thermal heat is often used to create steam, from which electric power is generated.

TRC: Total Resource Cost (test) – measures the net costs of a demand-side management program as a resource option based on the total costs of the program, including both the participants' and the utility's costs.

T-S: Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. - a wholesale electric power supplier owned by the 44 electric cooperatives that it serves. It generates and transports electricity to its member systems throughout a 200,000 square-mile service territory across Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico and Wyoming. Headquartered in Westminster, CO.

VNM: Virtual net metering – allows utility customers to share the electricity output from a single power project, typically in proportion to their ownership of the shared system. (see "Net Metering")

WELC: Western Environmental Law Center – a public interest law firm with offices in Montana, Oregon, and New Mexico.

WRA: Western Resource Advocates - (in New Mexico) works to advance the development of clean electric energy and works to advance greenhouse gas regulation -

Xcel: Xcel Energy - Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electric and natural gas company, with annual revenues of $10.1 billion. Based in Minneapolis, Minn., the company operates in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin, and provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.4 million electricity customers and 1.9 million natural gas customers.