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ACTIVE SOLAR ENERGY
Solar radiation used by special equipment to provide space heating, hot water or electricity.

ADAPTATION
Adjustment or preparation of natural or human systems to a new or changing environment which moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.

AIR POLLUTION
Unwanted particles, mist or gases put into the atmosphere as a result of motor vehicle exhaust, the operation of industrial facilities or other human activity.

AMBIENT AIR TEMPERATURE
Surrounding temperature, such as the outdoor air temperature around a building.

BIODIESEL
Any liquid biofuel suitable as a diesel fuel substitute or diesel fuel additive or extender. Biodiesel fuels are typically made from oils such as soybeans, rapeseed, or sunflowers, or from animal tallow. Biodiesel can also be made from hydrocarbons derived from agricultural products such as rice hulls.

BIOMASS
Energy resources derived from organic matter. These include wood, agricultural waste and other living-cell material that can be burned to produce heat energy. They also include algae, sewage and other organic substances that may be used to make energy through chemical processes.

BIOSPHERE
The zone at and adjacent to the earth's surface where all life exists; all living organisms of the earth.

BRITISH THERMAL UNIT (Btu)
The standard measure of heat energy. It takes one Btu to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at sea level. For example, it takes about 2,000 Btu to make a pot of coffee. One Btu is equivalent to 252 calories, 778 foot-pounds, 1055 joules, and 0.293 watt-hours. Note: In the abbreviation, only the B is capitalized.

CFCs (CHLOROFLUOROCARBONS or CHLORINATED FLUOROCARBONS)
A family of artificially produced chemicals receiving much attention for their role in stratospheric ozone depletion. On a per molecule basis, these chemicals are several thousand times more effective as greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. Since they were introduced in the mid-1930s, CFCs have been used as refrigerants, solvents and in the production of foam material. The 1987 Montreal protocol on CFCs seeks to reduce their production by one-half by the year 1998.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change refers to any significant change in the measures of climate lasting for an extended period of time. In other words, climate change includes major changes in temperature, precipitation, or wind patterns, among others, that occur over several decades or longer.

COMFORT ZONE
The range of temperatures over which the majority of persons feel comfortable (neither too hot nor too cold).

DIRECT ENERGY CONVERSION
Production of electricity from an energy source without transferring the energy to a working fluid or steam. For example, photovoltaic cells transform light directly into electricity. Direct conversion systems have no moving parts and usually produce direct current.

ECOLOGY
The study of interrelationships of animals and plants to one another and to their environment.

ECONOMIC EFFICIENCY
A term for the optimal production and consumption of goods and services. This generally occurs when prices of products and services reflect their marginal costs. Economic efficiency gains can be achieved through cost reduction, but it is better to think of the concept as actions that promote an increase in overall net value (which includes, but is not limited to, cost reductions).

ELECTRICITY
A property of the basic particles of matter. A form of energy having magnetic, radiant and chemical effects. Electric current is created by a flow of charged particles (electrons).

ENERGY
The capacity for doing work. Forms of energy include: thermal, mechanical, electrical and chemical. Energy may be transformed from one form into another.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Using less energy to provide the same service.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
A control system (often computerized) designed to regulate the energy consumption of a building by controlling the operation of energy consuming systems, such as the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and water heating systems.

ESCO - Efficiency Service Company
A company that offers to reduce a client's electricity consumption with the cost savings being split with the client.

FOSSIL FUEL
Oil, coal, natural gas or their by-products. Fuel that was formed in the earth in prehistoric times from remains of living-cell organisms.

FUEL
A substance that can be used to produce heat.

FUEL GAS
Synthetic gas used for heating or cooling. It has less energy content than pipeline-quality gas.

2017