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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2014
    Do we know what we are talking about?

    If you do then copy the list below and add what you think the definition is!

    1. energy savings
    2. energy use/consumption
    3. energy efficiency
    4. my preferred term is energy use reduction
    5. using energy
    6. wasting energy
    7. carbon saving!
    8. smart meter
    9. smart energy monitoring
    10. ...............
    • CommentAuthorTimber
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2014
    1. energy savings - Using less than you did before the 'saving measures' were adopted
    2. energy use/consumption - Converting one type of energy into another in order to carry out work
    3. energy efficiency - Using the smallest amount of energy necessary to do a job
    4. my preferred term is energy use reduction
    5. using energy - Converting one type of energy into another in order to carry out work
    6. wasting energy - Using more energy than is required to do the job
    7. carbon saving! - Reducing the amount of 'carbon' emitted whilst doing a job
    8. smart meter - Like a normal energy monitor but one that makes it easier for a lay person to understand the concept of energy use
    9. smart energy monitoring - As above really
    10. ...............
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeApr 5th 2014 edited
    8. smart meter - Meter that allows charging different amounts at different times of the day in a flexible way.

    Why you'd do that, how the user gets to know what's going on, etc, are all important questions but, to my understanding of the term, incidental to whether it's a smart meter or not.

    (The rest of the terms are so context dependent that it's silly to try to come up with some global definition, IMHO.)
    • CommentAuthorrhamdu
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
    1. energy savings: Reduction in energy use compared with 'the old way', often expressed as a percentage. No guesswork allowed (e.g. calculating individual savings from national averages).
    2. energy use: consumption kWh from grid + kWh microgeneration + calorific value of all fuel
    3. energy efficiency: The ratio of useful work to energy consumed. But even when comparing similar things (e.g. LED and incandescent bulbs) it's very difficult to define 'useful work' technically, let alone socially.
    4. my preferred term is energy use reduction: I have no problem with 'energy savings' provided the term is not abused or hyped. See (1)
    5. using energy: Consuming energy resources in any way, however technically inefficient or morally despicable. See (6)
    6. wasting energy: Consuming energy resources in a way which is either technically inefficient or socially unjust. So is a solar-heated outdoor swimming pool OK? Heh heh!
    7. carbon saving!: REALLY IMPORTANT. But tricky and easily-spun, especially when biomass or embodied carbon is involved. Always ask how the alleged saving is calculated.
    8. smart meter: A meter which can be used for real-time demand management. Demand management is essential for a renewables-based grid, but consumers will want fair, comprehensible tariffs - not "we will charge you what we like, when we like".
    9. smart energy monitoring: Obviously a relative term, but I suggest that electricity monitoring is not smart unless it is appliance-by-appliance. 'Smart' heating controls are mainly a sticking-plaster for poorly-insulated properties.
    • CommentAuthorbxman
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2014
    8. smart meter: a meter to balance or reduce the national peaks and troughs in demand
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2014 edited
    I am going to have a crack at this, though I agree with Ed, it is mainly contextual (that is right click on a PC application isn't it), but I shall limit it to electrical usage.

    1. energy savings: Using less overall, regardless of efficiency.
    2. energy use/consumption: Just the overall amount you use, the MJs, may or may not be in a set period of time
    3. energy efficiency: Doing more work for less energy input
    4. my preferred term is energy use reduction: No idea
    5. using energy: Having something switched on
    6. wasting energy: Leaving it switched on when there is no need
    7. carbon saving!: One measure of generation efficiency that takes primary energy into account
    8. smart meter: Just a meter that time stamps and may possibly allow for some control
    9. smart energy monitoring: What my CurrentCost and Raspberry Pi does, can have a display that quickly and clearly shows that is happening.

    10. Price, Cost and Value of Energy: This is hard, Price is the just the monetary term in £ per agreed unit (Usually £/W), Cost is the indirect and often non-monetary 'things' like resource depletion, loss of natural capital etc. Value is the benefit of using (or not using) something. Take a hospital, they are very energy inefficient, but overheating a ward is probably more cost effective that allowing patients to die of hypothermia.
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