Glossary of Electric Utility Industry Terms

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KCM – An acronym used for a short period of time in the past to represent a thousand circular mils. The term KCM has been replaced by KCMil. (See KCMil below)

KCMil – A method of measuring conductor size that stands for thousand circular mils. K represents kilo for 1,000. C represents circular, and mil, M, is 1/1000 of an inch. A wire that is one mil in diameter has an area of one circular mil or 1 KCMil. KCMil replaced MCM for sizing conductors.

K-Factor – A design criteria used in transformers to ensure that a transformer can safely handle the harmonics it will experience. (CAEDS, EDS, IESO)

KVA (kVA when using the EEI standard) – The total power in a system. Total power is measured in KiloVolt-Amperes. In a purely resistive circuit, the total power, measured in KiloVolt-Amperes, will be the same as the work-producing power measured in watts. For general discussion, KVA and KW can be considered to the same.

KVAR – A unit of measure for reactive power representing kilovolt amperes reactive. Pronounced “kay-var.” (See reactive power)

KVAR (kVAR when using the EEI standard)Charge – A charge implemented by electric utilities, on commercial and industrial customers, if the ratio of work producing power to the total power drops below a level set by the electric utility. A kVAr charge is also called a power factor charge or a reactive charge.

KW (kW when using the EEI standard) – The work-producing power in a system. It is measured in KiloWatts.

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