Your browser is unsupported

We recommend using the latest version of IE11, Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.


ASHRAE: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers

Alternative and Renewable Energy: Energy sources often referred to as “clean” and “green” due to their lack of polluting effect when consumed. Alternative/renewable energy sources include solar, wind, biomass, hydro power, and geothermal.

Carbon Offset: represents the emission reduction that occurs when an individual company or organization directly or indirectly (by funding projects in other locations) removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or prevents a certain quantity of greenhouse gases from being released.

Conspicuous Energy Use: Obvious or excessive energy waste.

Energy Consumption: The amount of energy, as sourced from fossil fuels or renewables, used by the University of Illinois Chicago.

Energy Star: A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency voluntary program that helps businesses and individuals save money and protect our climate through superior energy efficiency. Products that are Energy Star rated meet energy efficiency criteria.

EPEAT: is a certification for computers and other electronic products. The standard’s evaluation criteria include energy efficiency, reduction and elimination of environmentally sensitive materials, materials selection, design for end-of-life, product longevity and life cycle extension, end-of-life management, corporate performance, and packaging characteristics. EPEAT currently registers products in 41 countries and regions.

Fossil Fuels: Non-renewable, finite energy sources, including oil, coal, and natural gas that formed when prehistoric plants and animals died and were buried by layers of rock.

Green Building: Green building is a holistic concept that starts with the understanding that the built environment can have profound effects, both positive and negative, on the natural environment, as well as the people who inhabit buildings every day. Green building is an effort to amplify the positive and mitigate the negative of these effects throughout the entire life cycle of a building. Generally, this means that the planning, design, construction, and operations of buildings elevate these considerations: energy use, water use, indoor environmental quality, material selection, and the building's effects on its site.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The release of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, high-GWP gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6), water vapor, and ozone, into the Earth’s atmosphere, increasing trapped heat in the atmosphere and thus warming the planet.

Metering: An energy efficiency technique that related energy consumption data to the appropriate energy drivers, providing an understanding of how energy is being used and opportunities to reduce consumption.

Net Zero Energy Ready: Buildings that are designed in the present that can be easily adapted to meet the energy needs of the future with using simple building modifications. Zero-energy buildings combine energy efficiency and renewable energy generation to consume only as much energy as can be produced onsite through renewable resources over a specified time period. For example, a new building that does not employ solar power in the present must construct a roof to allow for the additions of the installation of photovoltaic power in the future.

Occupied: Periods of time when a building or space is normally staffed and operated where building automation system will turn on and run HVAC equipment on normal temperature setpoints for occupant comfort and maintain proper indoor air quality..

Space Heater: Small, portable electric heating devices often used when central heating is inadequate.

Strategic Energy Management: is a long-term approach that drives increased energy savings and greater savings persistence as compared to the conventional single-measure retrofit approach. It focuses on continuous improvement across whole buildings and campuses, not just short-term savings from single technologies. It sets energy savings goals through effective, measured improvements and operations of all building systems. It is applicable to a portfolio of buildings. Tracking and reporting systems are used to measure progress towards goals. It institutionalizes best practices to sustain savings over time.

Setup temperature: Temperature at which HVAC equipment will turn on and bring temperature below this temperature in an unoccupied summer mode.

Setback temperature: Temperature at which HVAC equipment will be turned back on in order to heat building above this setpoint during an unoccupied winter mode.

Unoccupied: Periods of time when a building or space is minimally occupied and does not need to run HVAC equipment to maintain comfort or indoor air quality and can turn equipment off until a setback or set-up temperature is reached, or building becomes occupied.