Energy Terms & Acronyms (simple list)

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ENERGY ACTION TEAM

Interfaith Environmental Network

Organizing for Congregational Energy Action Teams


Energy
Terms & Acronyms (simple list)


Definitions

Carbon Capture and
Sequestration

Carbon capture and storage (CCS),

(carbon capture and sequestration),
refers to technology attempting to prevent the release of large quantities of
CO2 into the atmosphere from fossil fuel use in power generation and other
industries by capturing CO2, transporting it and ultimately, pumpi
ng it into
underground geologic formations to securely store it away from the
atmosphere.


Carbon neutral

Carbon neutrality
, or having a

net zero carbon footprint
, refers to achieving
net zero

carbon emissions

by balancing a measured amount of carbon
released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying
enough

carbon credits

to make up the difference. It is used in the context of
carbon dioxide releasing processes, associated with transportation, energy
production and industrial processes.

Carbon offsets

A

carbon offset

is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or

greenhouse
gases

made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made
elsewhere.
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]

Conservation

Energy conservation

refers to efforts made to reduce energy consumption.
Energy conservation can be achieved through increased

efficient energy use
,
in conjunction with decreased

energy consumption

and/or reduced
consumption from conventional energy sources

Covenant

a solemn agreement to engage in or refrain from a specified action. It is
commonly found in religious contexts, where it refers to sacred agreements
be
tween a god and human beings.

Demand response

In electricity grids,

demand response

(DR) is similar to

dynamic
demand

mechanisms to manage
customer consumption of electricity in
response to supply conditions, for example, having electricity customers
reduce their consumption at critical times or in response to market
prices.
[1]

The difference is that demand response mechanisms respond to
explicit requests to shut off, whereas dynamic demand devices passively shut
off when stress in the grid is sensed. Demand response can involve actually
curtailing power used or by
starting on site generation which may or may not
be connected in parallel with the grid.
[2]

This is a quite different concept
from

energy efficiency
, which means using less power to perform the same
tasks, on a continuous basis or whenever that task is performed. At the same
time, demand response is a component of smart energy demand, whi
ch also
includes energy efficiency, home and building energy management,

distributed
renewable resources
, and electric vehicle charging.


ENERGY ACTION TEAM

Interfaith Environmental Network

Organizing for Congregational Energy Action Teams


Energy
Terms & Acronyms (simple list)


The DOE d
efines demand response as: “changes in electric usage by end
-
use
customers from their normal consumption patterns in response to changes in
the price of electricity over time, or to incentive payments designed to induce
lower electricity use at times of hi
gh wholesale market prices or when system
reliabil
ity is jeopardized.”
.

Demand response measures include incentive
-
based programs that pay users to reduce their electricity consumption in
specific times (such as load management and direct control to turn down
customers’ heaters or air conditioners in an emergency situation),
or pricing
programs such as time
-
of
-
use rates, critical peak pricing, or real time pricing,
where customers are given a price signal and expected to moderate their
electricity usage in times when prices are high. Most early demand response
programs were in
centive
-
based and control
-
oriented, so the utilities could
operate and control the customers’ usage and tell exactly when and how much
load changed; these are viewed as reliable, predictable programs that can be
trusted as a resource to meet grid reliabili
ty needs.

Distributed
generation

Distributed generation
, also called

on
-
site generation
,

dispersed
generation
,

embedded generation
,

decentralized
generation
,

decentralized energy

or

distributed energy
,
generates
electricity

from many small energy sources. Most countries generate
electricity in large centralized facilities, such as

fossil fuel

(
coal
,

gas
powered
),

nuclear
, larg
e

solar power plants

or

hydropower
plants. These plants
have excellent economies of scale, but
usually transmit electricity long
distances and negatively affect the environment. Distributed generation allows
collection of energy from many sources and may give lower environmental
impacts and improved security of supply.

Downstream

All process and ac
tions that take place before you or a point in a process

Efficiency

Doing more with less.
Efficient energy use
, sometimes simply called

energy
efficiency
, is the goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to
provide products and services. For

example,

insulating a home

allows a
building to use less heating and cooling energy to achieve and maintain a
comfortable temperature. Installing

fluorescent lights

or
natural

skylights

reduces the amount of energy required to attain the same
l
evel of illumination compared to using traditional

incandescent light
bulbs
.

Compact fluorescent lights

use two
-
thirds less energy and may last 6 to
10 times longer than incandescent lights. Improvements in energy efficiency
are most often achieved by adopting a more efficient technology or production
pro
cess

Energy audit

An

energy audit

is an inspection, survey and analysis of

energy

flows
for

energy
conservation

in a building, process or system to reduce the amount
of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output(s).

Global Warming

Global warming

refers to the rising average temperature of

Earth
's
ENERGY ACTION TEAM

Interfaith Environmental Network

Organizing for Congregational Energy Action Teams


Energy
Terms & Acronyms (simple list)


atmosphere and oceans, which began to increase in the late 19th century and
is projected to continue rising. Since the early 20th century, Earth's average
surface temperature has increased by about

0.8 °C

(1.4

°F), with abo
ut two
thirds of the increase occurring since 1980.
[2]

Warming of the

climate

system is
unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain that most of it is caused
by increasing concentrations of

greenhouse gases

produced by human
activities

such as

deforestation

and the burning of

fossil fuels
.
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]

These
findings are recognized by the national science academies of all major
industrialized nations.
[7]
[A]

Renewable energy

Renewable energy

is

energy

which comes from

natural resources

such
as

sunlight
,

wind
,

rain
,

tides
, and

geothermal heat
, which
are

renewable

(naturally replenished). About 16% of global final energy
consumption comes from renewables, with 10% coming from
traditional

biomass
, which is mainly used for
heating
, and 3.4%
from

hydroelectricity
. New renewables (small hydro, modern biomass, wind,
solar, geothermal, and biofuels) accounted for another 3% and are growing
very rapidly.
[1]

Renewable
energy
credits, RECs

Renewable Energy Certificates

(
RECs
), also known as

Green
tags
,

Renewable Energy Credits
,

Renewable Electricity Certificates
,
or

Tradable Renewable Certificates

(
TRC
s), are tradable, non
-
tangible
energy commodities in the United States

that represent proof that 1
megawatt
-
hour

(MWh) of

electricity

was generated from an eligible

renewable
energy

resource (
renewable electricity
).

Solar renewable energy
certificates

(
SRECs
) are RECs that are specifically generated by solar energy.

Smart meter

A

smart meter

is
usually an

electrical meter

that records consumption
of

electric energy

in intervals of
an hour or less and

communicates that
information

at least daily back to the

utility

for monitorin
g and billing
purposes.
[7]

Smart meters enable two
-
way communication between the meter
and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can
gather data for remote r
eporting

Solar array

A

photovoltaic array

(or

solar array
) is a linked collection of

solar panels
.
[2]

Photovoltaic systems

(
PV system
) use

solar panels

to convert sunlight into
electricity. A system is made up of one or more solar panels, usually a
controller or power converter,

and the interconnections and mounting for the
other components. A small PV system may provide energy to a single
consumer, or to an isolated device like a lamp or a weather instrument. Large
grid
-
connected PV systems can provide the energy needed by many
customers.

Upstream

All processes and actions that take place before you or a point in a process


ENERGY ACTION TEAM

Interfaith Environmental Network

Organizing for Congregational Energy Action Teams


Energy
Terms & Acronyms (simple list)


Acronyms

AE

Austin Energy

AEO

Annual Energy Outlook


BTU

British Thermal Unit


CCS

Carbon Capture and Storage (from dirty fossil fired generator plants)

CDM

conservation and demand management

CEC

California Energy Commission

CFL

compact fluorescent light bulb

CHP

Combined Heat and Power, aka cogeneration, heat engine generates
electricity and useful heat

CO2

carbon dioxide


CPP

Critical Peak
Pricing

CSP

Concentrated Solar Power (mirrors boil liquid to drive turbines and
generators)

DCR

debt
-
coverage ratio


DG

Distributed Generation

DOE

U.S. Department of Energy

DRG

Distributed Renewable Generation

DSM

demand
-
side management


EE

Energy
Efficiency

EPA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


ESU

Energy Service Utility


an electric utility type

GHG

Greenhouse Gases

HP

horsepower


HVAC

heating, ventilation, and air conditioning


ICAP

installed capacity


IOU

Investor Owned Utility

IOU

investor
-
owned utility


IRP

integrated resource planning


KW

Kilowatt (unit of power consumption (or generation), 1000 watts)

KWh

Kilowatt hour (unit of energy used for billing, 1000 watt hours)

LNG

liquefied natural gas


ENERGY ACTION TEAM

Interfaith Environmental Network

Organizing for Congregational Energy Action Teams


Energy
Terms & Acronyms (simple list)


LSE

load serving entity


MMBTU

million BTU

MW

megawatt


MWh

megawatt
-
hour


NEBs

non
-
energy benefits


NOx

nitrogen oxides


NPV

net present value


NTG

net
-
to
-
gross ratio


NWPCC

Northwest Power and Conservation Council


NYSERDA

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

PACT

program administrator cost test (same as UCT)


PCT

participant cost test


PSE

Puget Sound Energy


PV

Photovoltaic

R&D

Research and Development

RIM

ratepayer impact measure test


ROE

return on equity


RPS

renewable portfolio standard


RTP

Real
-
Time Pricing

SCE

Southern California Edison


SCT

societal cost test


SEER

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio


SG

Smart Grid

SI

Smart Integrator


an electric utility type

SOx

sulfur oxides


T&D

transmission and distribution


TCCGT

combined cycle gas turbine


TOU

Time of Use

TOU

time of use


TRC

total resource cost test


TWh

terawatt
-
hour


ENERGY ACTION TEAM

Interfaith Environmental Network

Organizing for Congregational Energy Action Teams


Energy
Terms & Acronyms (simple list)


UCAP

unforced capacity


UCT

utility cost test (same as PACT)


VOC

volatile organic compound


WACC

weighted average cost of capital