5 energy efficiency terms you should know

When you're trying to follow the latest energy efficiency news, sometimes the dense terminology used in industry publications can set you back in your understanding. However, don't assume that a term has a complicated, difficult definition just because it seems long and technical. Here are some of the more commonly used terms you might find in energy efficiency news:

  • Cooperative electric utility: A cooperative utility is owned jointly by all of its customers, placing responsibility for the business on the collective. These organizations are usually tax-exempt and are now becoming more popular with the rise of solar cooperatives due to the dropping cost of home solar panels.
  • Demand response program: A demand response program is an initiative by a utility company where customers are asked to cut their energy use during a certain time of day in exchange for a discount on their bills later.
  • Fossil fuels: This term is thrown around a lot, often haphazardly, without proper definition. Fossil fuels include coal, oil and natural gas, and are formed by the compression of biological material deep underground over time. Fossil fuel burning is responsible for a large proportion of carbon emissions and are often blamed for bringing about global warming.
  • Geothermal energy: This is energy extracted from hot water or steam buried in the earth, and can be used to heat homes or to generate electric power.
  • Thermal boundary: A wall, roof, ceiling, door or window that separates an area of the home being heated from the outside or an unheated space. In order to achieve the greatest energy efficiency when heating your home, your thermal boundaries should be as impermeable as possible.

To schedule a home energy audit in the Washington D.C. area, contact Alban Inspections today.