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, pumping 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
between 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, which 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 defines 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 high wholesale market prices or when system
reliability is jeopardized.”. Demand response measures include incentivebased 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 incentive-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 reliability needs.
Distributed
generation
Distributed generation, also called on-site generation, dispersed
generation, embedded generation, decentralized
generation, decentralized energy or distributed energy,
generateselectricity from many small energy sources. Most countries generate
electricity in large centralized facilities, such as fossil fuel (coal, gas
powered), nuclear, large solar power plants or hydropowerplants. 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 actions 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
level 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
process
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 about 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 forheating, 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 (TRCs), are tradable, non-tangible
energy commodities in the United States that represent proof that 1megawatthour (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 monitoring 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 reporting
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