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Popular Utility Contractors Terms
A utility contractor is responsible for transmitting gas and electricity. Duties of a contractor include installing and repairing the equipment necessary for transmission. Gas and electricity lines are required in both residential and commercial settings. Meters are located on site to measure the amount of gas and electricity consumed each month. Lines may be installed above or underground. Generally, when making repairs underground, it may take longer for utility workers to reach the lines. For a better understanding of the field, please look below for some of the more common terms to become familiar with.
Peaking Capacity - Peaking capacity is a term used to describe the top operation of generating equipment.
Demand Interval - The demand interval is the time period where electricity flow is measured. It is commonly measure in 15-, 30- or 60- minute increments.
Tariff - A tariff defines the general pricing and policies set by a utility contractor. Regulators typically must approve tariffs to ensure that a contractor is operating in good faith.
Kilowatt-hour (kWh)- Kilowatt-hour is a unit of measurement that defines electricity and power usage.
Transformer - A transformer is a device that reduces the amount of voltage in an electricity system.
British Thermal Unit (BTU) - BTU is a unit of energy that defines the value of energy as it is used to power heating and cooling systems.
Transmission - Transmission refers to the voltage electric lines that are used to transmit electricity over long distances.
Power Plants - A power plant is a facility that is designed to convert gas and oil into electrical energy.
Circuit - Circuits are the overhead lines and underground cables that carry power from the plant to customer.
Utilities are public commodities or services, such as electricity and water, that are provided by a public utility company. A good example of this is your local electric company, which supplies power to homes and businesses. Utility contractors are the skilled professionals that install, repair, and maintain such power systems. This may involve underground and above ground electric wiring, along with telephone line installation, maintenance, gas line repair, and water tank installation.
They use a wide range of machines and equipment to perform their jobs, and can usually be found on construction sites. They also come out to homes and businesses to perform repairs and other work on a daily basis. Some are plumbers, some are engineers, and some have experience with heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC). Still, others are electricians by trade, or private general contractors.
Each one has his or her own specialty, such as repair of sewage systems, for example. Others work exclusively with gas, while others have training with water tanks and systems. Most work on both residential and commercial jobs. Telephone companies have technicians on staff that have expertise in installing above ground and underground phone and Internet lines for customers.
Public utilities are subject to local, state, and federal regulations, which can help to control and stabilize market power, as well as facilitate competition.
To work as a utility contractor, one must have experience in utility maintenance and repair, fixing and laying lines for telephones, water pipes, and sewage systems. Those looking for work as utility contractors can check out job postings and job banks online. Those looking to hire a utility contractor can also head to the Internet, list classifieds, or get referrals from other companies.