Distributed generation (DG) refers to power generation at the point of consumption. Generating power on-site, rather than centrally, eliminates the cost, complexity, interdependencies, and inefficiencies associated with transmission and distribution.
A utility owned by private investors, as opposed to one owned by a public trust or agency; a commercial, for-profit utility as opposed to a co-op or municipal utility. IOU is rarely used in the energy industry to refer to a promissory note, and utility by itself typically refers to a public utility.
While IOUs comprise only a small minority of the total number of utility companies in the U.S., they serve more than two-thirds of the U.S. population. IOUs are usually subject to different regulations than publicly-owned utilities and co-ops, and they pay taxes as corporate citizens.
A financial arrangement in which a third-party developer owns, operates, and maintains the photovoltaic (PV) system on your roof (or another site), and you purchase the system’s electricity for a predetermined period. With PPAs, you avoid the high upfront costs of installing solar and pay a monthly rate that is at a discount to the utility’s rate. This arrangement is similar to a solar lease, but instead of paying for the actual solar panels, you pay for the system’s electricity.