Energy Dictionary

heat rate

A measurement used in the energy industry to calculate how efficiently a generator uses heat energy. It is expressed as the number of BTUs of heat required to produce a kilowatt-hour of energy. Operators of generating facilities can make reasonably accurate estimates of the amount of heat energy a given quantity of any type of fuel, so when this is compared to the actual energy produced by the generator, the resulting figure tells how efficiently the generator converts that fuel into electrical energy.