Energy management glossary

Energy management Glossary

We’ve all been there where someone’s using their industry phrases and acronyms and you have no idea what they’re talking about.

Although we would always encourage you to ask what something means or what something stands for, we know that’s not always possible.

To help we’ve put together an energy management glossary, but if there is anything else out there that you’d like us to cover in our energy management glossary, please let us know!

Your Energy Management Glossary:

Baseline – this is the usual energy consumption for a building, contract or company on which energy saving progress is measured. Think of this as the starting point for what the consumption runs at normally.

BMS or BEMS – A computer-based system that controls and monitors a building’s mechanical and electrical equipment such as heating, ventilation, lighting, and power systems. In offices and factories for example, a BMS can automate and take control of these operations in the most efficient way possible, saving energy.

Carbon footprint – this is the total amount of greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide and methane) produced to support our activities. Carbon footprint is measured in the equivalent tons of carbon dioxide.

Degree Days – Degree days are a simplified form of historical weather data. They are commonly used in energy monitoring and targeting to model the relationship between energy consumption and outside air temperature.

ECM (Energy Conservation Measures) – Any type of project carried out to reduce the amount of energy used by a given process, technology or facility.

EMIS (Energy Management Information System) – This is essentially a performance management system which enables businesses to plan, make judgments and take action to manage energy usage and reduce cost.

Energy consumption – Quantity of energy used. It is measured in Kilowatt-hour (kWh), or 1000 watts of electricity being used for 1 hour.

EMS (Energy Management System) – Tool used by a company that seeks to improve its energy performance. The system engages employees across the organisation to use recollected energy usage data and cooperate in the process. An Energy Management System improves operational efficiency, decreases energy consumption and diminishes environmental impacts.

EnPIs (Energy Performance Indicators) – Indicators defined by an organisation that measure energy performance.

ESCO (Energy Service Company) – Entity that delivers an extensive range of energy services. These services include: implementation of energy efficiency projects, energy conservation and energy supply, among others.

Fossil fuels – Coal, petroleum, and natural gas. The burning of fossil fuels to create energy is also responsible for the emission of carbon dioxide. This activity produces about double the amount of carbon dioxide that what natural processes can absorb, contributing to global warming.

Gateway – Device that by means of a connection to the Internet links two different networks. These devices collect data periodically and send it over the connected network.

Greenhouse gases – Gas molecules that trap the sun’s heat preventing the Earth from freezing. The ones present in the Earth’s atmosphere are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapour. Human activities like the burning of fossil fuels are increasing the amount of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide, in the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to the greenhouse effect.

Greenhouse effect – Process beneficial to the Earth when it occurs naturally since it keeps it warm. It consists of greenhouse gases absorbing some of the radiation generated by the sunlight’s energy and warming the atmosphere to a suitable temperature.

HVAC (Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) – A system that provides good indoor air quality by means of adequate ventilation and thermal comfort.

IPMVP (International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol) – Internationally recognised protocol that assists in validating savings when deploying energy reduction projects. The protocol allows the quantification of energy savings performance of energy conservation measures (ECMs).

ISO 50001:2011 – International and voluntary standard created as a global response to climate change. It chases a reduction of companies CO2 emissions by giving companies a framework on how to succeed with an EnMS. The standard is based in ISO’s Plan, Do, Check, and Act approach.

Joule (J) – Standard unit of energy or work, equal to the work done by the force of one newton when its point of application moves through a distance of one meter in the direction of the force.

Load curve – Graphical representation of the variation in energy demand over a period of time.

Megawatt – One million watts.

MPRN – this stands for Meter Point Reference Number and is a unique reference number which, like the Meter Point Administration Number (MPAN), is specific to your property.

Negawatt – Unit of power representing an amount of energy saved (in Watts), which is the result of energy conservation or increased energy efficiency.

Newton (N) – Derived unit of force. One Newton is the force needed to accelerate 1 kilogram of mass at the rate of 1 meter per second squared.

Passive consumption – Energy consumed during non-productive hours or throughout the day due to passive loads.

Peak energy times – Hours of the day when the demand on the electric grid is higher. The times vary by location and season and usually, electricity is more expensive at these hours.

Power factor – An indicator of the efficiency of the power being used. A power factor of 1 means 100% of the supply is being used efficiently. A 0,5 power factor means the use of the power is being wasteful.

Reactive power – The power generated by machines or appliances when voltage and current go up and down at different times. This power represents nothing useful and should be reduced.

Reactive penalties – A reactive power charge that electricity supply companies add to the bill whenever the power factor falls below a previously set figure.

SEU (Significant Energy User) – Indicates the equipment that has been identified as consuming a significant proportion of an organisation’s total energy demand.

Sub-metering – Allows you to monitor individual loads to account for the actual energy consumption.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) – Computer system for collecting and analysing real time data. It is used to automate or monitor industrial processes to assist in making decisions by providing real time operational data.

Utility meter – A metering device used to measure either electricity usage, the volume of fuel gases, water usage, or heat.

Watt (W) – Derived unit of power (Joule per second). A Watt expresses the rate of energy conversion with respect to time.

AM&T – Automated monitoring & targeting – are products that are specifically designed to measure energy consumption, record and distribute metered energy data, and analyse and report on energy consumption.

BACnet – is a communication protocol for Building Automation and Control (BAC) networks that leverage the ASHRAE, ANSI, and ISO 16484-5 standard protocol.

OAT (Outside air temperature) – is an important factor regarding the building energy balance. Outdoor air temperature affects the heat transfer through external walls and roofs and the heat transfer by ventilation. Moreover, outdoor air temperature is a driving force for natural ventilation, as the difference between indoor and outdoor air temperature causes the stack effect.

CUSUM – In statistical quality control, the CUSUM is a sequential analysis technique developed by E. S. Page of the University of Cambridge. It is typically used for monitoring change detection.

Deadband –  or dead-band (also known as a dead zone or a neutral zone) is a band of input values in the domain of a transfer function in a control system or signal processing system where the output is zero (the output is ‘dead’ – no action occurs).

MPAN – stands for Meter Point Administration Number and is sometimes known as a Supply Number of S Number. It is an electricity supply number which is unique to a property and is used by energy companies to decide on your electricity rates.