Alphabets of electricity – master the terms

To make it as easy as possible for our customers to navigate the world of electricity, we have compiled a list of key terms and their short definitions on this page.

Do you have additional questions that you could not find an answer to? On this page you can find the contact information for our customer service, where you can get answers to your questions!


Backup power supply

Backup power sources, or larger backup power stations, signify a rechargeable power source that can also be carried outside the home. Like a charger, they are exploited to use and charge electrical devices and electronics.


Basic fee

There are two types of basic fees. The basic fee for electricity is a monthly fixed fee that covers the electricity company's fixed costs. The basic electricity transmission fee, on the other hand, covers various maintenance and repair costs of the electricity distribution network.


Carbon footprint

Carbon footprint refers to carbon dioxide emissions caused by human activity or the use of a service or product. The carbon footprint can be calculated by finding out how much greenhouse emissions the production, consumption and finally disposal of a certain matter cause. Basically, every activity causes some kind of carbon footprint, whether it's cooking, traveling, or browsing the Internet.


Electric energy

Electrical energy is electricity consumed by electrical equipment, electronics and, for example, heating, which is produced from various energy sources in electrical power plants. The electric utility announces the hourly price of electricity in kilowatt hours either in the form of snt/kWh or c/kWh, which allows you to monitor your own household's electricity consumption. 


Electricity exchange

The electricity exchange determines the next day's cheapest price for electricity, i.e. the spot price, according to the demand and supply of electricity. Nord Pool operates as an electricity exchange in the Nordic countries. See Nord Pool.


Electricity tax

Tax paid on electricity consumption, which is collected by the distribution company responsible for electricity transmission. About a third of the electricity bill consists of electricity tax, which also includes value added tax (VAT) and maintenance guarantee fee.


Electricity transmission

Electricity transmission signifies the transfer of electricity from the producer to the consumer, and it consists of the local electricity distribution company's basic fee and the electricity consumption fee (c/kWh). The basic fee is determined based on your place of residence, and electricity transfer cannot be tendered.


Energy label

Energy label indicates the energy efficiency level of the device, and it can also contain other useful information about the electrical device, such as its size and sound level. The EU's new energy labels show energy efficiency on a scale A–G, of which the category A is the most energy-efficient and category G the least.


Energy source

Energy sources, or energy forms in other words, are substances from which energy is produced and thus tell about the origin of energy. Energy sources are divided into renewable, such as wind and solar, and non-renewable, such as oil and coal.


Exchange electricity

Exchange electricity refers to electricity that is traded on the electricity exchange. The electricity exchange sets a price for it, which varies hourly according to the market. This is also called the spot price of electricity. See Spot price.


Fossil fuel

Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy sources that have been stored in the ground for millions of years. Non-renewable energy sources, such as oil, peat, natural gas, and coal, consist of biomass and burning them causes carbon dioxide emissions, in addition which they are also likely to be depleted in the future.



Hydropower is a renewable form of energy that is produced in hydropower plants by converting the flow of water into energy. The flowing water is passed through the turbine of the hydroelectric plant, which in turn rotates the generator, which further converts the hydropower into electrical energy. The water flow utilizes the falling motion and the height differences of the water surfaces.


Kilowatt hour

A kilowatt-hour of electricity, or kWh for short, is a unit of electrical energy that is used to measure energy and its consumption. It tells how much electricity is consumed in kilowatts in one hour, and it is expressed either in the form of snt/kWh or c/kWh.


Main grid

The main grid refers to the national electricity transmission trunk network, to which all electricity-producing power plants, factories, stations, and distribution networks are connected. The main grid enables trading between electricity producers and consumers both domestically and cross-border.


Maintenance guarantee fee

The maintenance guarantee fee is included in the electricity tax, and it ensures the operation and maintenance of the electricity network in the event of disturbances.



The electricity company's margin is a commission added to the spot price of electricity, which varies according to the contract and the electricity company's own conditions. The margin is expressed in kilowatt hours.


Nord Pool

Nordic electricity trading place where electricity is sold and bought. Nord Pool operates in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. See Electricity exchange.


Renewable energy

As the name suggests, renewable energy sources are naturally renewable, inexhaustible, and sustainable materials and natural resources. Renewable energy sources include solar, wind and hydropower, biomass and biogases, geothermal heat and various energies collected from waves and tidal movements. When talking about renewable energy, the term green electricity can also be used.


Solar power

Solar power is renewable energy that is created when the sun's radiant energy is converted into electric current. In practice, this happens when the photons contained in the sunlight hit the solar panels and are absorbed by the semiconductor materials that conduct electricity. Electric current is generated in the solar panels when these absorbed photons detach electrons. Solar power is an unlimited source of energy, and it does not produce harmful emissions or noise pollution to the environment.


Spot price

The hourly changing price of electricity, which is always formed for the next day according to demand and supply on the electricity exchange. See Exchange electricity.



The watt, or W, is a unit of power that tells how much energy a certain device consumes – the higher the wattage, the more electricity it uses. One kilowatt hour is 1000 watts.


Wind power

Wind power is a renewable form of energy that is produced by wind turbines and larger wind farms through the rotating movement of the blades. The movement of the turbine blades also rotates the plant's axle, which in turn causes the power plant's generator to rotate and thus produce electricity that is fed into the power grid. Wind turbines produce electricity when the wind is 3–25 m/s.