page title icon Glossary

Jargon and industry language can be a real but surmountable barrier for understanding the local energy transition

Read on for our alphabetical list of the key terms used in our workshops, blogs and wider communications to help you navigate and build capacity.

Airtightness – Eliminating all draughts in a building. This is sometimes measured in air changes per hour and extremely airtight houses will have very low levels of air changes. As with all houses, ventilation is necessary to make sure our houses stay healthy!

Decarbonisation – Decarbonisation refers to the process of reducing the carbon emitted in the economy, achieving a lower output of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. 

EPC ratings – An Energy Performance Certificate – or EPC – is a four-page document which sets out the energy efficiency of a property on a traffic light system of A to G – A being the most efficient. An EPC provides an indication of how much it will cost to heat and power a property.

Fabric first – Building ‘fabric’ is the walls, windows, floors and roof of your home. Fabric first means improving these parts of the home first through making them ‘airtight’ and insulated to save energy, then look at renewable sources of heat and power. 

Heat pumps – These are devices used to warm and sometimes cool buildings by transferring heat energy from a cooler space to a warmer space using technology which works in the same principle like a fridge. 

Renewable energy – Energy from sources that are naturally replenishing but flow-limited; renewable resources are virtually inexhaustible in duration but limited in the amount of energy that is available per unit of time. Examples include : Solar, Wind, Hydroelectric, Geothermal and Tidal 

Retrofit – making upgrades to an existing house (like new windows or insulation) which improves its energy efficiency. 

Solar PV – Technology that can turn solar energy from the sun into electricity. 

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