A market situation in which the futures prices are progressively lower in the distant delivery months.

The balancing of gas used by Consumers with the gas put into the system by the Producers, the safety of the system depends upon its consistent balancing.

Balance of Week Contracts
Contracts for the reminder of the current week.

Balancing Mechanism
The mechanism by which electricity demand is matched with electricity generation as near to real time as possible. It currently operates from three and a half hours ahead of delivery of the power up to the actual time of delivery.

The unit of pressure approximately equal to atmospheric pressure (0.987 standard atmospheres). One millibar equals 0.001 bar.

Barrel (bbl)
A unit of measure for crude oil and petroleum products. 1 barrel equals 42 US gallons, 35 Imperial gallons or 159 litres - 7.33 bbl roughly equals 1 tonne depending upon the specific gravity of the oil.

Base Load
Base load is the level below which electricity demand never drops, i.e. a site with a high maximum demand of 750 kVA whose demand never drops below 250 kVA would have a base load of 250 kVA.

Base load plant
The generating plant normally operated to meet requirement for energy on a round-the-clock basis.

Base Plan Assumptions
A document produced by Grid Operator on an annual basis describing its supply and demand forecasts for the next ten years.

Basis Differential
The difference between the price of two commodities in different, but usually related markets.

Basis Point
One one-hundredth or one percent, used to express yield differences with respect to trades.

Basis Risk
The price risk resulting from physical differences in quality and location between a hedging instrument such as a futures contract and the physical commodity itself.

Two or more electrical cells joined together that produce and store electricity.

Bear Market
A market where prices are declining.

Bear Run
Price trend is generally downward

Holding and/or demonstrating a belief that a price will fall, also describes a market that shows signs of falling.

An offer to buy a specific quantity of a commodity at a stated price.

Bilateral Energy Trading
Trading whereby two parties (for example a generator and a supplier) enter into a contract to deliver electricity at an agreed time in the future.

Billion cubic meters (BCM)
One BCM of gas is approximately 360 million therms.

See Biomass

Biogas is generated when bacteria degrades biological material in the absence of oxygen, in a process known as anaerobic digestion. Since biogas is a mixture of methane (also known as marsh gas or natural gas) and carbon dioxide, it is a renewable fuel produced from waste treatment.

Biomass, also known as biofuels or bioenergy, is obtained from organic matter either directly from plants or indirectly from industrial, commercial, domestic or agricultural products. The use of biomass is classed as a 'carbon neutral' process because the carbon dioxide released during the generation of energy from biomass is balanced by that absorbed by plants during their growth.

Back of month, the remainder of the current month.

Booked Capacity
Capacity bought by a Shipper.

Bottom Ash
The non-airborne combustion residue from burning pulverized coal in a boiler; the material that falls to the bottom of the boiler and is removed mechanically; a concentration of the non-combustible materials.

Brent Market
A widely traded forward market in North Sea Brent Crude - used as a key source of international price risk management and a benchmark for crude oil pricing under both term and spot transactions.

British Electricity Trading And Transmission Arrangements (BETTA)
The BETTA arrangement was introduced in 2005 to create a single wholesale electricity market for Great Britain. It replaced NETA, which did not cover Scotland.

British Thermal Unit (BTU, therm)
A common unit of measurement for gas prices - The quantity of heat required to raise one pound of water (about a pint and a quarter) one degree of Fahrenheit at its near point of maximum density (1034 Btu, 1cubic foot).

Balancing services adjustment data, provided by the Network Operator.

BSC - Balancing & Settlement Code
This sets out the rules that govern how metering data is collected and submitted for fiscal purposes.

An option in the Kyoto Protocol that allows a group of countries to meet their targets jointly by aggregating their total emissions. The member states of the European Union are utilizing this option.

Building Energy Management System (BEMS)
Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS) are computer systems, which enable the system operator to monitor and control building services including heating, air conditioning and lighting. 

Building Energy Rating (BER)
Legislation launch in March 2007. Under the proposed legislation the energy efficiency of new and existing non-residential buildings in terms of their heating and ventilating requirements will be judged against a naturally ventilated building benchmark.

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM)
BREEAM is used to assess the environmental performance of both new and existing buildings. Credits are awarded in each area according to performance.

Bull Market
A market in which prices are rising.

Bull Run
Price trend is generally upward.

Holding and/or demonstrating a belief that a price will rise, also describes a market that shows signs of rising.

Measure of thermal energy released by nuclear fuel relative to its mass, typically Gigawatt days per tonne of Uranium (GWd/tU).

Buyer's Market
A market in which there is an abundance of goods available in which buyers can afford to be selective, and may be able to buy at a lower price than previously prevailed.