Billing Units and Terms

Units of Measurements

Therms and kilowatt hours are basic units of gas and electricity. They are used on your bill to show how much gas and electricity you have used.

CCF (Water) - Your water meter measures the volume of water you use in hundreds of cubic feet (CCF). One CCF of water equals approximately 748 gallons. One CF equals 7.48 gallons.

CCF (Natural Gas) - Your gas meter measures the volume of natural gas you use in hundreds of cubic feet (CCF). The difference between prior and present meter readings is your usage in hundreds of cubic feet. (CCF or therms).  One CCF of natural gas equals approximately 100,000 btu's.

Kilowatt-hours - The basic unit of electric power is the watt. Because a watt is small, a unit called a kilowatt is used for measurement. One kilowatt is 1,000 watts. 

The amount of electricity recorded by your meter reflects the wattage rating of lights and appliances in your home and the length of time you use them. This is expressed in kilowatt hours (kWh). For instance, a small portable heater rated at 1,000 watts and operated for one hour would use one kWh; so would ten 100-watt light bulbs.

The difference between prior and present meter readings equals the number of kWh you used.


Energy Basics

Below are some basic facts about the terminology that describes the different types and amounts of energy you use.

  • Amps x Volts = Watts
  • kW x Hrs = kWh
  • 1000 Watts = kW
  • 1Btu = the heat needed to raise 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit (1 btu./lb. x degree F).

Conversion Factors:

  • 100 cubic feet = 1 CCF
  • One CCF = 100,000 Btus
  • One therm = 100,000 Btus
  • One kWh = 1,000 Watts = 3,413 Btus
  • 100,000 Btus/therm divided by 3,413 Btus/kWh = 29.3 kWhs/therm or CCF
  • One gallon of water weighs 8.33 Lbs.
  • One cubic foot of water = 7.48 gallons, 1 CCF = 748 gallons
  • One hundred cubic (CCF) feet of water = 748 gallons

Other Terms

ECI - ENERGY CONSERVATION INVESTMENT - EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002. The 2001 Minnesota omnibus bill requires Owatonna Public Utilities (OPU) to invest 1.5% of our gross electric revenue and .5% of our gross natural gas revenue in energy conservation programs each year. This amount is being collected from all OPU customers and will be used for approved energy conservation programs for our customers. Any unused funds at year end are turned over to the State.