Definitions for "PURPA"
Public Utilities Regulatory Powers Act
The Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978. Among other things, this federal legislation requires utilities to buy electric power from private "qualifying facilities," at an avoided cost rate. This avoided cost rate is equivalent to what it would have otherwise cost the utility to generate or purchase that power themselves. Utilities must further provide customers who choose to self-generate a reasonably priced back-up supply of electricity.
PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATORY POLICIES ACT. A federal law setting out rate design standards for consideration by states. PURPA requires utilities to buy power at equitable rates from businesses that generate it as a by-product of some other industrial process (cogeneration).