Glossary Terms

Debt vs. Equity

An amount of money borrowed and owed by one party to another is considered debt. For example: bonds, loans, and commercial paper. Equity is a term whose meaning depends very much on the context, but in general, it refers to ownership in any asset after all debts associated with that asset are paid off.

Debt-to-Capital Ratio

A measurement of a company's financial leverage, calculated as long-term debt divided by long-term capital. Total debt includes all short-term and long-term obligations. Total capital includes all common stock, preferred stock, and long-term debt. This capital structure ratio can provide a more accurate view of a company's long-term leverage and risk, since it considers long-term debt and capital only.

Debt Service Coverage Ratio (DSCR)

The ratio of net operating income to the amount of money that is required to make regular debt payments. A DSCR of greater than one means that the project is taking in enough income to cover payments on loans. A number of less than one means that the project will have to dip into reserves or other financial resources to cover debt payments. Lending institutions generally frown on lending to projects that have a DSCR of less than one.

Coverage Ratio

A type of accounting ratio that helps measure a company's ability to meet its obligations satisfactorily. A coverage ratio encompasses many different types of financial ratios. Typically, these kinds of ratios involve a comparison of assets and liabilities. The better the assets "cover" the liabilities, the better off the company is.

Covenant

A promise in an indenture, or any other formal debt agreement, that certain actitivities will or will not be carried out. The purpose of a covenant is to give the lender more security. Covenants can cover everything from minimum dividend payments to levels that must be maintained in working capital.

Community Wind

Locally-owned, commercial-scale wind projects that optimize local benefits. Locally-owned means that one or more members of the local community has a significant direct financial stake in the project other than through land lease payments, tax revenue, or other payments in lieu of taxes. The term Community Wind refers to the method and intention of development rather than the size of the project.

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