The electric power industry uses a lot of abbreviations, and not always in the
same formats. The list below shows how we abbreviate in our books. If a
term has more than one abbreviation (left column, below), our preferred
abbreviation is listed first. If the abbreviation has more than one meaning
(the right column), the most popular meaning appears first.


Abbreviation Meaning

A ampere, A phase primary
a a phase secondary
AA all aluminum (conductor)
AAC all aluminum conductor
AAAC all aluminum, alloy conductor (“triple-A C”)
AACSR all aluminum conductor, steel reinforced
AC, ac alternating current
AC-6201 all aluminum conductor, 6201 alloy
ACAR aluminum conductor alloy reinforced
ACB air circuit breaker
ACSR aluminum conductor steel reinforced
ACI American Concrete Institute
ACSR aluminum conductor steel reinforced
ACSR/AW aluminum conductor steel reinforced, Alumaweld
ADA American with Disabilities Act
ADC analog to digital converter
AEIC Association of Edison Illuminating Companies
AGL above ground level
AID American Institute of Architects
AISC American Society of Civil Engineers
AITC American Institute of Timber Construction
Al aluminum
ALSC American Lumber Standards Committee
AM/FM automated mapping, facilities management
amp ampere
AMR automatic meter reading
ANSI American National Standard Institute
APA American Plywood Association
APPA American Public Power Association
ASD adjustable speed drive
ASNR ambient signal-to-noise ratio
ASTM American Society for Testing and Materials
A-to-D analog to digital
AWAC Alumaweld aluminum conductor
AWG American Wire Gauge
AWPA American Wood Protection Association
AWS American Welding Society
B B phase primary
b b phase secondary
BEV billion electron volts
BIA Bureau of Indian Affairs
BIL basic impulse insulation level
BLM Bureau of Land Management
BPA Bonneville Power Administration
BSL basic switching surge level
Btu British thermal unit
BWP bushing well plug
1C single conductor (cable)
2C two conductor (cable)
3C three conductor (cable)
C capacitance, Celsius, Centigrade, C phase primary
c centi- (prefix for hundredth), c phase secondary
CAD computer-aided design
CAIDI Customer Average Interruption Duration Index (how long)
CAIFI Customer Average Interruption Frequency index (how often)
CATV cable television
CB circuit breaker
ckt, cct circuit
CEA Canadian Electricity Association
C.F., CPF coefficient of friction
cf cubic foot
CFC chlorofluorocarbon, Cooperative Finance Corporation
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
CIC cable in conduit
CL class (of watthour meter), current limiting, centerline
CLF current limiting fuse
cm centimeter
cmil, CMIL circular mil
CN concentric neutral
CO carbon monoxide (a gas)
CONC concrete
COND, cond conductor
CONN, conn connection
cos cosine
CRM customer relationship management
CSB center-side break (switch)
CPS counterpoise
CT current transformer
Cu copper
CVT capacitive voltage transformer
DA distribution automation
DB direct bury (cable), deadbreak
dB decibel
dBm decibels above or below one milliwatt
DC, dc direct current
DG distributed generation
D (delta) delta connection
DOE Department of Energy
DMS distribution management system
DSD dead soft drawn (wire hardness)
DSM demand side management
DSP distribution service provider
DVM digital volt meter
E voltage, electric field
E&O engineering and operations
ECN engineering change notice
EDPM ethylene propylene diene monomer (rubber)
EEI Edison Electric Institute
EHV extra-high voltage
EIS environmental impact statement
EMF electric and magnetic field, electromotive force
EMC Electric Membership Corporation
EMF electromagnetic field
EMI electromagnetic interference
EMS energy management system
EPA Electric Power Association, Environmental Protection Agency
ERR ethylene propylene rubber
EPRI Electric Power Research Institute
ER environmental report
ESA Endangered Species Act
ESP energy service provider
EUSERC Electric Utility Service Equipment Requirements Committee
F Fahrenheit, farad, fuse
FCI fault current indicator
FAQ Frequently Asked Question
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
FERC Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FIFO first in, first out (inventory)
FMS facilities management system
FO fiber optics
FR flame retardant, Federal Register
ft foot
g gram
G giga- (prefix for billion), gauss
G&T generation and transmission
GHz gigahertz
GIS geographic information system
GIS gas insulated switch
GPS global positioning system
gnd, grd ground
GSU generator step-up (transformer)
GW gigawatt
GWh gigawatthour
h hour
H henry, transformer primary terminal
HD hard drawn (hardness)
HDPE high density polyethylene
hp, HP horsepower
HPS high pressure sodium (light)
H2S hydrogen sulfide (a gas)
HV high voltage
HVAC heating ventilation and air conditioning, high voltage alternating current
HVDC high voltage direct current
Hz hertz
I current
IBEW International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
ID identification
I.D. inside diameter
IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
ITC independent transmission company
IPP independent power producer
ISO independent system operator
in. inch
IOU investor owned utility
IR infrared
ISO independent system operator
J junction (box), joule
JO job order
K Kelvin
k kilo- (prefix for thousand)
kcmil thousand circular mils (replaces MCM)
kg kilogram
kip 1,000 pounds
kHz kilohertz
km kilometer
ksi kips per square inch
kV kilovolt
kVA kilovoltampere
kVAR kilovar
kVARh kilovarhour
kW kilowatt
kWh kilowatthour
KYZ KYZ (three-wire signal output from a meter)
l liter
LB load break
lb pound
lbs pounds
LCD liquid crystal display
LED light emitting diode
LIFO last in, first out (inventory)
log logarithm
ln natural logarithm
LPT low profile transformer
LR load research
LRTP loadbreak reducing tap plug
LTC line-tap changing, load-tap changing (transformer)
M mega- (prefix for million)
m milli- (prefix for thousandth), meter
mA milliampere
MAIFI momentary average interruption frequency index
MCD maximum design cantilever
MDSP meter data service provider
mg milligram
MHD medium hardness drawn (hardness)
MG motor-generator
mm millimeter
MO maintenance order
MOT maximum operating temperature
MOV metal oxide varistor
ms millisecond
MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet
MSP meter service provider
MTBF mean time between failure
MW megawatt
µ (mu) micro- (prefix for millionth)
mil thousandth
min minute
min. minimum
mV millivolt
Mvar megavar
MVA megavolt-ampere
MW megawatt
MWh megawatthour
mW milliwatt
n nano- (prefix for billionth)
N, neut neutral
NEC National Electric Code
NECA National Electrical Contractors Association
NEMA National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association
NEPPA New England Public Power Association
NERC North American Electric Reliability Council
NESC National Electric Safety Code
NFPA National Fire Protection Association
NO normally open
NRECA National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
NWPPA Northwest Public Power Association
OA oil & air (transformer cooling)
O&M operations and maintenance
OCB oil circuit breaker
OCF overload capacity factor
OCR oil circuit recloser
OCTC off-circuit tap changer
O.D. outside diameter
OH overhead
OHGW overhead ground wire
Ω (omega) ohm
OLF overload factor
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
OTO order to operate
oz ounce
P power
Φ (phi) phase
p pico- (prefix for trillionth)
PCB polychlorinated biphenyl, power circuit breaker
PCI Prestressed Concrete Institute
PCM pulse-code modulation
PE polyethylene
PLC programmable logic controller
PDM pulse-duration modulation
PE polyethylene
pf, PF power factor
PILC paper insulated lead covered (cable)
PLT powerline technician
PMT padmount transformer
PPD public power district
ppm parts per million
PRV peak reverse voltage
PSD public service department
psi pounds per square inch
PT potential transformer (see also VT)
PUC public utility commission
PUD public utility district
PURPA Public Regulatory Policies Act
PV photovoltaic (solar panel)
PVC polyvinyl chloride
PWM pulse-width modulation
r radius
R resistor, thermal resistance insulating value
REA Rural Electrification Administration (now RUS)
REC Rural Electric Cooperative
RECA Rural Electric Cooperative Association
REMC Rural Electric Membership Cooperative
RFI radio frequency interference
RI/TVI radio interference, television interference
rms, RMS root mean square
ROW, R/W right of way
RPM, rpm revolutions per minute
RTE reducing tap elbow
RTO regional transmission organization
RTL routine test load
RUS Rural Utilities Service (formerly REA)
S switch
s, S second
SAIDI System Average Interruption Duration Index (how long)
SAIFI System Average Interruption Frequency Index (how often)
SD soft drawn (hardness)
S/N, SNR signal-to-noise (a ratio)
SCADA supervisory control and data acquisition
sec second
SF6 sulfur hexaflouride
sin sine
SMES superconducting magnetic storage
SML specified mechanical load
SPCC Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plan
SPD surge protective device
SPR sudden pressure relay
SPDT single-pole double-throw (switch)
SPST single-pole single-throw (switch)
SRM stress relief material, stress relief mastic (tape)
SSAC steel supported aluminum conductor
SSB single side break (switch)
T tera- (prefix for trillion)
tan tangent
T&D transmission and distribution
THD total harmonic distortion
θ (theta) phase angle
three phase
TOU time of use
TRXPLE tree-retardent cross-linked polyethylene (cable)
TUT total underground transformer
TVA Tennessee Valley Authority
TVPPA Tennessee Valley Public Power Association
UBP uniform business practice
UCTC under current (under load) tap changer
UD underground distribution
UFAS Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards
UG underground
UHV ultra-high voltage
UL Underwriter’s Laboratories
UG underground
UGN underground
UPS uninterruptible power supply
URD underground residential distribution
USDA United Stated Department of Agriculture
USFS United States Forest Service
USFWS United States Fish and Wildlife Service
USGS United States Geological Survey
UTS ultimate tensile strength
V volt, voltmeter
VA voltampere
VAC volts alternating current
VDC, Vdc volts dc
VAR, var voltampere reactive
VT voltage transformer
W watt
WAPA Western Area Power Administration
Wh watthour
W/O workorder
X reactance, transformer secondary terminal
XC capacitive reactance
XL inductive reactance
xfrmr, XRMR transformer
XLPE cross-linked polyethylene (cable)
Y wye connection
Z impedance
Zn zinc