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Flashcards in Energy and Atmosphere Deck (19):

British Thermal Unit (Btu)

The amount of heat to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water from 60 to 61 Fahrenheit. This standard measure of energy is used to describe the energy content of fuels and compare energy use.


Building Envelope

The exterior surface of a builing-the water walls, windows, roof and floor; also referred to as the building shell.



A device that removes heat from a liquid, typically as part of a refrigeration system used to cool and dehumidify buildings.


Compact Fluorescent Lamp (CFL)

A small fluorescent lamp, used as a more efficient alternative to incandescent lighting; also called a PL, twin-tube or biax lamp (EPA).


Energy Efficiency Products and Systems

Building components and appliances that use less energy to perform as well as or better than standard products.


Energy or Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Capita

A community's total greenhouse gas emissions divided by the total number of residents.


Energy Management System

A control system capable of monitoring environmental and system loads and adjusting HVAC operations accordingly in order to conserve energy while maintaining confort. (EPA)


Energy Star Rating

A meassure of a building's energy performance compared with that of similar buildings as determined by the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. A score of 50 represents average building performance.


Energy Use Intensity

Energy consumption divided by the number of square feet in a building, often expressed as British thermal units (Btus) per square foot or as kilowatt-hours of electricity per square foot per year (kWh/sf/yr).


Fossil Fuel

Energy derived from ancient organic remains, such as peat, coal, crude oil and natural gas. (EPA)


HVAC Systems

Equipment, distribution system and terminals that provide the processes of heating, ventilating or air-conditioning. (ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007)


Lighting power Density

The installed lighting power per unit area.


Measures of Energy Use

Typical primary measures of energy consumption associated with buildings include kilowatt-hours of electricity , therms of natural gas and gallons of liquid fuel.



Not capable of being replaced;permanently depleted once used. Examples of nonrenewable energy sources are oil and natural gas; nonrenewable natural resources include metallic ores.


Performance Relative to Benchmark

A comparison of a building system's performance with a standard, such as ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.


Performance Relative to Code

A comparison of a building system's peformance with a baseline that is equivalent to minimal compliance with an applicable energy code, such as ASHRAE Standard 90 or California's Title 24.


Photovoltaic (PV) Energy

Electricity from photovoltaic cells that convert the energy in sunlight into electricity.


Renewable Energy

Resources that are not depleted by use. Examples include energy from the sun, wind and small (low-impact) hydropower, plus geothermal energy and wave and tidal systems. Ways to capture energy from the sun include photovoltaic, solar thermal and bioenergy systems based on wood waste, agricultural crops or residue, animal and other organic waste, or landfill gas.


Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)

A tradable commodity representing proof that a unit of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source. RECs are sold separately from the electricity itself and thus allow the purchase of green power by a user of conventionally generated electricity.