Glossary of Energy Terms
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Note: No entries for Y or Z.
NARUC -- the national association of regulatory utility commissioners. An advisory council composed of governmental agencies of the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers. "The chief objective is to serve the consumer interest by seeking to improve the quality and effectiveness of public regulation in America."
NASUCA -- The National Association of Utility Consumer Advocates. NASUCA includes members from 38 states and the District of Columbia. It was formed "to exchange information and take positions on issues affecting utility rates before federal agencies, Congress and the courts.
NATURAL MONOPOLY -- A situation where one firm can produce a given level of output at a lower total cost than can any combination of multiple firms. Natural monopolies occur in industries which exhibit decreasing average long-run costs due to size (economies of scale). According to economic theory, a public monopoly governed by regulation is justified when an industry exhibits natural monopoly characteristics.
NCSL -- The National Conference of State Legislatures. A national advisory council which provides services to state legislatures "by bringing together information from all states to forge workable answers to complex policy questions."
NONRESIDENTIAL BUILDING -- -- any building which is heated or cooled in its interior, and is of an occupancy type other than Type H, I, or J, as defined in the Uniform Building Code, 1973 edition, as adopted by the International Conference of Building Officials.
NUCLEAR ENERGY -- Power obtained by splitting heavy atoms (fission) or joining light atoms (fusion). A nuclear energy plant uses a controlled atomic chain reaction to produce heat. The heat is used to make steam run conventional turbine generators.
NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION (NRC) -- An independent federal agency that ensures that strict standards of public health and safety, environmental quality and national security are adhered to by individuals and organizations possessing and using radioactive materials. The NRC is the agency that is mandated with licensing and regulating nuclear power plants in the United States. It was formally established in 1975 after its predecessor, the Atomic Energy Commission, was abolished.