Energy Management Glossary

Energy management is a necessity for businesses across all industries, but it's easy to get lost in the myriad of acronyms and technical terms. Whether you're a seasoned expert or just starting your journey, this glossary will help you navigate the intricate landscape of energy management.

With the increasing emphasis on financial and environmental sustainability, energy management plays a pivotal role in achieving environmental goals, reducing operational costs, and ensuring long-term profitability. Energy management is a necessity for businesses across all industries, but it’s easy to get lost in the myriad of acronyms and technical terms – so let’s de-buzz the buzzwords.

Welcome to Metry’s Energy Management Glossary

Your friendly guide to understanding the world of energy efficiency and data. 

We’ll demystify the jargon one term at a time (we’ve also thrown in a few easier ones that’ll make you feel like a seasoned pro).

  1. Energy Management System (EMS): The conductor of your energy symphony. An EMS helps monitor, control, and optimise energy consumption in a building or facility, ultimately reducing costs and enhancing energy efficiency.
  2. Energy audit: A systematic examination of energy consumption patterns within a facility to identify inefficiencies and recommend improvements. An audit investigates where you’re losing energy and suggests ways to plug those leaks. 
  3. Power factor: A measure of electrical efficiency, indicating how effectively electrical power is converted into useful work output. A high power factor means less wasted energy. 
  4. Phantom load (also called vampire draw): Sneaky energy thieves! These are the devices that continue to sip power even when turned off. The continuous consumption of energy by electronic devices, even when in standby mode or turned off, can contribute to wasted energy. Unplug or use smart power strips to slay them. 
  5. HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning): The critical infrastructure responsible for regulating temperature, humidity, and air quality within buildings – your building’s temperature control squad. Efficient HVAC systems keep you comfy without draining energy. 
  6. Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER): A metric used to evaluate the energy efficiency of HVAC systems, reflecting their cooling capacity in relation to energy consumption. It’s the efficiency score for your HVAC system; higher EER ratings mean it’s doing more with less energy. 
  7. Heating and Cooling Degree Days: Meteorological metrics used to estimate heating and cooling requirements in a specific location, aiding in energy demand forecasting and efficient HVAC system operation. These are like weather cheat codes for your heating and cooling systems and help you assess consumption data without accounting for outside factors. 
  8. Cogeneration (also known as Combined Heat and Power, or CHP): When one source of energy does double duty. Cogeneration systems produce electricity and capture waste heat for other uses. Combined Heat and Power systems that simultaneously generate electricity and useful heat from a single energy source, maximising efficiency. 
  9. Demand-side management: A strategic approach to reduce energy demand over the long term by actively influencing when and how electricity is used to reduce costs and enhance grid reliability. You can control when and how you use electricity to save money and help the power grid stay stable. 
  10. Demand response: Acting like a “light switch” (pun intended) for reducing energy usage during peak times; when the grid gets stressed, demand response programs help you cut back on electricity use. Demand response focuses on activities that reduce or shift electricity demand in response to real-time events on the grid, addressing short-term fluctuations in demand or supply.
  11. Peak demand: The period during which electricity consumption is at its highest, often influencing utility rates and requiring careful management. It’s when your building uses the most electricity in a day, often resulting in higher costs.
  12. Demand charge: A component of electricity bills based on the highest level of power demand during a billing cycle, emphasising the need for effective demand management. They’re based on the highest electricity demand (peak demand) you hit during a billing period.
  13. Smart grid: The “brain” of your power distribution. An advanced electrical grid system that employs digital technology to efficiently manage electricity generation, distribution, and consumption. It’s smart because it can adapt to changing energy needs and reduce waste.
  14. Voltage optimization: A little magic trick for saving energy. A technique employed to manage voltage levels within a facility, ensuring optimal energy utilisation. This term is often misunderstood as it suggests a selective voltage reduction that improves energy consumption in a building. However, these units typically contain a transformer within a box, which lacks selectivity and lowers voltage across all supplies, regardless of whether it provides a commercial benefit or not.
  15. EPC (Energy Performance Certificate): A standardised document that assesses and rates a building’s energy efficiency, providing valuable information to property owners and prospective buyers or tenants. It tells you how energy-efficient a place is, kind of like knowing the MPG of a car before you buy it.
  16. MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards): Government regulations stipulating the minimum level of energy efficiency that buildings, especially commercial properties, must meet to be legally rented or sold. They ensure that buildings meet a certain level of energy efficiency before they can be rented or sold.
  17. Retrocommissioning: The process of evaluating and optimising existing building systems to enhance performance and efficiency. Like a makeover for your building’s energy systems; it fine-tunes existing systems for peak efficiency.  
  18. Energy resilience: The ability of a system, building, or organisation to withstand and recover from disruptions in energy supply, ensuring uninterrupted operations during adverse events. Energy resilience means it can shrug off disruptions and keep your lights on, no matter what Mother Nature throws your way.
  19. 19. Scope 2 data (corporate scope 2 emissions): A specific category of greenhouse gas emissions data within the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – an essential element of corporate carbon reporting. Scope 2 emissions encompass indirect emissions stemming from the generation of purchased or acquired electricity, steam, heating, or cooling consumed by an organisation. Accurate measurement and reporting of Scope 2 data is vital for organisations committed to understanding and mitigating their environmental impact and demonstrating transparency in sustainability reporting. 
  20. Nearly Zero Energy Building (nZEB): The A-student in the class. nZEB is a building with exceptional energy performance, where the bulk of its energy needs (which are nearly zero or extremely low) should be predominantly met by renewable sources. This includes energy generated on-site or in close proximity from renewable sources. 
  21. Digital twins: Virtual replicas of physical assets or systems, such as buildings, that enable real-time monitoring, analysis, and optimization, resulting in energy savings and improved performance. 
  22. Building Information Modeling (BIM): An advanced digital representation of a building’s physical and functional characteristics. Digital twins are best used for building maintenance and operations while BIM is best used for construction and design.
  23. Building Automation System (BAS): A centralised control system that manages and optimises building functions such as heating, ventilation, lighting, and security, enhancing energy efficiency and occupant comfort.
  24. Predictive analytics: The use of data analysis and machine learning algorithms to forecast future energy consumption patterns, enabling proactive energy management and cost reduction. It manages things like lighting, heating, and security to keep everyone comfortable and save energy. It’s the brain behind a smart building. 
  25. PropTech stack: The combination of software, programming languages, and technologies used to manage your buildings, ensuring optimal functionality and performance. Think of it as the toolbox for building wizardry.
  26. Automatic Energy Data Collection: The process of collecting high-quality data for energy management and sustainability reporting, automatically, without installing any new hardware – which is what Metry can do for you 🙂


There you have it, your personal energy efficiency glossary! If number 26 caught your eye – feel free to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you with the data you need for energy efficient practices.

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