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Glossary of Terms

Carbon dioxide that planes, cars, factories, etc. produce, thought to be harmful to the environment:
The total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organization, service, place or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent.
A state of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. This can be achieved by balancing emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal or by eliminating emissions from society
Going beyond carbon zero by making additional ‘positive’ or ‘net export’ contributions by producing more energy on site than the building requires and feeding it back to the grid.
A climate action plan is a detailed and strategic framework for measuring, planning, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and related climatic impacts.
A change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
When an entity removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than you emit. Often synonymous with the term Climate Positive.
The act of reducing carbon emissions produced.
Demand response is an electric utilizes programming method that allows end use customers to reduce their electricity usage during periods of higher power prices.
Also known as Distributed Generation, refers to often smaller generation units that are located on the consumer's side of the meter. Examples include roof-top solar units and wind generators.
Transportation vehicles that have a battery instead of a gasoline tank, and an electric motor instead of an internal combustion engine
Transportation vehicles that are run on a combination of gasoline and electric fuel sources, i.e., vehicles that have a battery, an electric motor, a gasoline tank, and an internal combustion engine.
The process of replacing technologies that use fossil fuels (such as coal, oil, and natural gas) with technologies that run on electricity.
Also known as Battery Storage, are devices which capture of energy produced or later use to reduce imbalances between energy demand and energy production. This energy derives from renewable sources, like solar and wind, and released when customers need power most.
Strategies designed to maximize energy efficiency, by eliminating energy waste. Energy efficiency brings a variety of benefits: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing demand for energy imports, and lowering our costs on a household and economy-wide level.
The responsible use and protection of the natural environment through active participation in conservation efforts and sustainable practices by individuals, small groups, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and other collective networks.
Non-renewable resources including oil, coal and natural gas, that formed when prehistoric plants and animals died and were gradually buried by layers of rock. Over millions of years, different types of fossil fuels formed -- depending on what combination of organic matter was present.
A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range, causing the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.
A heat pump is a device that can heat a building by transferring thermal energy from the outside using the refrigeration cycle. Many heat pumps can also operate in the opposite direction, cooling the building by removing heat from the enclosed space and rejecting it outside.
The generation of electricity using flowing water (typically from a reservoir held behind a dam or other barrier) to drive a turbine that powers a generator.
An assessment of one’s future electric needs and a plan to meet those future needs. It is “integrated” in that it looks at both demand side (conservation, energy efficiency, etc.) resources as well as the more traditional supply side (generation/power plants, transmission lines, etc.) resources to inform how best to meet future electric energy needs.
A naturally occurring mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons consisting primarily of methane in addition to various smaller amounts of other higher alkanes. Usually, levels of trace gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and helium are also present.
The use of nuclear reactions to produce electricity. Nuclear power can be obtained from nuclear fission, nuclear decay, and nuclear fusion reactions. Presently, most electricity generated from nuclear power is produced by nuclear fission of uranium and plutonium in nuclear power plants.
Peak Demand on an electrical grid refers to the highest electrical power demand that has occurred over a specified time-period. Peak demand is typically characterized as annual, daily, or seasonal and has the unit of power. Energy utilized during the period or window of time where demand is highest is considered On-peak demand. Conversely, all other consumption is Off-Peak.
Generally defined as energy that is collected from resources which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat. Wind, solar and biomass are three emerging renewable energy sources.
Power generated from solar panels, which use sunlight as a source of energy to generate direct current electricity
Time-of-Use pricing is an electric rate schedule that adjusts the price of your electricity based on when you're using it. During hours of high-energy usage, the cost of using electricity is higher as well, which more accurately reflects the cost of electricity on the grid at that time. By adjusting usage, we can reduce strain on our grid to increase resiliency and better manage carbon output.
Wind power or wind energy is mostly the use of wind turbines to generate electricity. Wind power is a popular, sustainable, renewable energy source that has a much smaller impact on the environment than burning fossil fuels.