appliance: A device or machine for performing a specific task
bill: An itemized statement of goods or services
blades: A broad flat surface; found on turbines
boiler: A tank in which water is turned to steam for heating or power generation
check sheet: Form used during Watt Watchers of Texas patrols to record energy usage data
coal: A black combustible solid used to provide heat during power generation
compact fluorescent lamp (CFL): A type of fluorescent lamp which screws into a regular socket or plugs into a small light fixture, that uses less energy than a typical incandescent bulb but more than an LED bulb
conserve: To keep from being lost, damaged or wasted; saved
cost benefit analysis: The process of weighing the total expected costs vs. the total expected benefits of one of more actions in order to choose the most profitable option
crisis: A time of great danger whose outcome decides whether possible bad consequences will follow
dial: The face of a meter or gauge on which a pointer indicates an amount
draft: Breeze that occurs in a closed space. Air is leaking in from the outside causing the space to be less efficient.
efficiency: Ability to produce a desired effect or product with a minimum of effort, expense, or waste.
electric outlets: Areas where appliances can be plugged in to receive electricity.
electricity: An electric current supplied by a public utility for lighting or heating.
energy: The capacity of a physical system doing work.
Energy Star: A voluntary partnership with equipment manufacturers across a variety of industries to reduce the power consumption and the pollution associated with the use of electricity.
fluorescent light: A glass tube/bulb that is coated with a fluorescent substance that gives off light when the mercury vapor inside the tube is acted upon by a current.
gas: The fluid form of a substance which can expand indefinitely (not a solid or a liquid)
generator: A machine for producing electricity
high pressure steam: Water is heated to create steam and is then forced against the blades of a turbine at high pressure to power a generator
incandescent: Glowing with intense heat; shining brightly; a lamp in which the light is produced by a filament of conducting material contained in a vacuum and heated to incandescence by an electric current
insulate: To cover with a non-conductive material in order to prevent the passage or leakage of electricity or heat
insulation: Any material used to insulate
kilowatt: A unit of electrical power equal to 1,000 watts
kilowatt-hour (kWh): A unit of electrical energy or work equal to the power supplied by one kilowatt for one hour
lifetime cost: The cost of an appliance over the lifetime of the appliance
light emitting diode (LED): An electronic component that gives off light when activated. LED bulbs are more efficient than incandescent or compact fluorescent bulbs.
meter: An instrument for measuring and recording the quantity or rate of flow of gas, electricity or water
miles per gallon (mpg): the number of miles a vehicle can drive using one gallon of fuel
oil: Any of various kinds of greasy combustible substances obtained from mineral sources; petroleum
organize: To provide with structure
periodic appliance: An appliance that is used once in a while such as the washing machine or dishwasher
plug sealer: Used to insulate the opening around a switch or plug so that air cannot escape into the walls.
power generation: The process of creating electricity from an energy resource
power management: A process that allows monitors and computers to enter low power states when they are sitting idle
pounds per square inch (psi): a unit of measure used for pressure
rate of return: The quotient of the annual dollar savings divided by the system’s total installed dollar cost. Expressed as a percent.
save: To preserve for future use; to avoid expense
screen saver: A program used on a computer monitor to protect the screen from burn in. Not necessary with newer computers
simple payback: The quotient of the total installed cost divided by the first year’s dollar savings of an appliance
spend: To use up, consume, exhaust or wear out
strategy: A plan or action
survey: A detailed inspection by gathering information through observations
switch plate: The cover over an electrical switch such as to turn on the lights
tally: An account or score
temperature: A measurement of heat
thermostat: Apparatus for regulating temperature
tire pressure gauge: Apparatus used to measure the pressure inside a tire
turbine: An engine or motor having a drive shaft driven by the impulse of steam, wind, or flowing water against the curved blades of a wheel.
under-inflated: Not enough air inside an object.
utility: A company providing services such as water, electricity or gas
waste: To use up or spend without real need
wind turbine: A generator operated by the winds’ rotation of large blades; used as a source of power