Glossary

A B C E F G I L M P S W

Jan 21
Air Source Heat Pumps

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An air source heat pump (ASHP) is a heating and cooling system that uses outside air as its heat source and heat sink. Under the principles of vapor compression refrigeration, an ASHP uses a refrigerant system involving a compressor and a condenser to absorb heat at one place and release it at another. In domestic […]

Anaerobic Digestion

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Anaerobic digestion is a series of processes in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. It is used for industrial or domestic purposes to manage waste and/or to release energy. Wikipedia

Biomass

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Biomass, as a renewable energy source, is biological material from living, or recently living organisms. As an energy source, biomass can either be used directly, or converted into other energy products such as biofuel. Wikipedia

BREEAM

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BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is a voluntary measurement rating for green buildings that was established in the UK by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Since its inception it has grown in scope and geographically, being exported in various guises across the globe. Its equivalents in other regions include LEED North America and Green Star […]

Carbon Offsetting

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A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere. Carbon offsets are measured in metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e) and may represent six primary categories of greenhouse gases. The categories include: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), […]

Clean Energy Utility

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Utilities that provide sustainable energy that includes renewable energy sources such as hydroelectricity, solar energy, wind energy, wave power, geothermal energy, and tidal power. Some also provide technologies designed to improve energy efficiency. Here are some examples of Green Energy Utilities: Green Energy UK (WhatGreenHome Affiliate – we negotiated one month free for you!) Ecotricity

Climate Change

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Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (i.e., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by […]

Code for Sustainable Homes

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The Code for Sustainable Homes is an environmental assessment method for rating and certifying the performance of new homes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is a national standard for use in the design and construction of new homes with a view to encouraging continuous improvement in sustainable home building. Information from BREEAM Code […]

Energy Efficient Lighting

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Lighting provided by compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), also called compact fluorescent light, energy-saving light, and compact fluorescent tube, is a fluorescent lamp designed to give the same amount of visible light compared to general-service incandescent lamps, but CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer. A CFL has […]

Energy Performance Certificate

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Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were introduced in England and Wales on 1 August 2007 as part of Home Information Packs (HIPs) for domestic properties with four or more bedrooms . Over time this requirement was extended to smaller properties. When the requirement for HIPs was removed in May 2010, the requirement for EPCs continued. The […]

Feed-in To National Grid

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This is when you generate electricity and feed it into the National Grid for others to use. Some Governments pay out grants and incentives when you generate electricity and sell it back to the grid. Wikipedia

Fuel Cells

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A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Wikipedia Home fuel cell Article  

Jul 08
Green Home

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A green home is an environmentally sustainable residence, designed, constructed and operated to minimise or [eliminate where possible] the total environmental impacts and embodied energy use. The main strategies to achieve a green home include: design or certify in accordance with an accredited institution (BREEAM, LEED, Passivhaus, etc.) reduced energy loss or consumption (energy efficiency) […]

Jan 21
Greenhouse Gases

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A greenhouse gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the […]

Ground Source Heat Pumps

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A geothermal heat pump, ground source heat pump (GSHP), or ground heat pump is a central heating and/or cooling system that pumps heat to or from the ground. Wikipedia

Insulation (Wall, Floor, Roof & Cavity)

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Building insulation materials are thermal insulation used in the construction or retrofit of buildings. The materials are used to reduce heat transfer by conduction, radiation or convection and are employed in varying combinations to achieve the desired outcome (usually thermal comfort with reduced energy consumption). Wikipedia

LEED for Homes

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LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Homes is a voluntary rating system for single and multifamily, affordable and market rate housing projects. LEED for Homes promotes the design and construction of high-performance homes – energy efficient, resource efficient, and healthy for occupants. A home that achieves LEED certification has been designed to maximize fresh […]

Local & Sustainable Building Materials

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A building that is sustainable must by nature be constructed using locally sustainable materials, i.e. materials that can be used without any adverse effect on the environment, and which are produced locally, reducing the need to travel. There are key criteria that can be used to judge whether a material is sustainable or not, namely: […]

Micro Combined Heat & Power

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A micro-CHP system is a small heat engine (power plant) which provides all the power for an individual building; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, mechanical energy and electric power. Wikipedia

Micro Hydro

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Micro hydro is a type of hydroelectric power that typically produce up to 100 kW of electricity using the natural flow of water. These installations can provide power to an isolated home or small community, or are sometimes connected to electric power networks. Wikipedia

Micro Wind

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Small wind turbines are wind turbines which have lower energy output than large commercial wind turbines, such as those found in wind farms. These turbines may be as small as a fifty watt generator for boat, caravan, or miniature refrigeration unit. More information

Passivhaus

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The term passive house (Passivhaus in German) refers to the rigorous, voluntary, Passivhaus standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling. Wikipedia

Photovoltaic Thermal

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Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors, sometimes known as hybrid PV/T systems or PVT, are systems that convert solar radiation into thermal and electrical energy. Also sometimes known as Solar Thermal. Wikipedia

Prefabricated Construction

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Prefabricated homes, often referred to as prefab homes, are specialist dwelling types of prefabricated building, which are manufactured off-site in advance, usually in standard sections that can be easily shipped and assembled. Shipping container architecture is a form of architecture using steel intermodal containers (shipping containers) as structural element, because of their inherent strength, wide […]

Smart Meter Technology

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A smart meter, also sometimes refered to as home energy monitors is usually an electrical meter that records consumption of electric energy and communicates that information back to the account holder or utility for monitoring, efficient energy management and billing purposes. Smart meters enable two-way communication between the energy source and us. Wikipedia

Solar Photovoltaic

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Photovoltaic systems (PV system) use solar panels to convert sunlight into electricity. A system is made up of one or more photovoltaic (PV) panels, a DC/AC power converter (also known as an inverter), a racking system that holds the solar panels, electrical interconnections, and mounting for other components. Wikipedia

Solar Thermal

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Solar thermal energy (STE) is an innovative technology for harnessing solar energy for thermal energy (heat). Wikipedia

Sustainable Transportation

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Sustainable transport (or green transport) refers to any means of transportation with low impact on the environment, and includes non-motorised transport, i.e. walking and cycling, transit oriented development, green vehicles, car sharing, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles. Wikipedia  

Waste Recycling

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Recycling is processing used materials (waste) into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for ‘conventional’ waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. Recycling […]

Water Management

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Water management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources. Wikipedia

Window Insulation

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Generally there are 4 ways to improve the insulation of a window to block out cold or the sun: 1. Double glazing using glass 2. Using glass with heat reflective properties 3. Sticking on thermal reflective plastic 4. Double glazing using heat-shrink plastic film and double sided tape. The frames can also be significant especially […]