Benchmarking is the process of measuring and comparing an organization's performance or practices against similar organizations or industry standards in order to identify areas for improvement and best practices. It involves collecting and analyzing data related to various aspects of an organization's operations, such as productivity, quality, efficiency, and costs, and using this information to establish benchmarks or targets for improvement. Benchmarking can be applied to various areas of an organization, including finance, marketing, operations, and sustainability, and can be used to drive continuous improvement and innovation.
Decarbonization refers to the process of reducing or eliminating the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that result from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. The goal of decarbonization is to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and to mitigate the impact of climate change. Decarbonization can be achieved through various means, including transitioning to cleaner energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower, improving energy efficiency, and developing new technologies that capture and store carbon emissions.
Energy burden refers to the percentage of a household's income that is spent on energy bills. It is typically calculated by dividing a household's annual energy costs by their annual income. A high energy burden can be an indicator of energy poverty, which occurs when a household is unable to afford adequate heating, cooling, and lighting, as well as other essential energy-related services. Energy burden can be influenced by a range of factors, including the energy efficiency of a household's dwelling, the local cost of energy, and the household's income level.
Energy poverty refers to a condition where individuals or households lack access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services that are necessary to meet their basic needs. This can be due to a variety of factors, including inadequate infrastructure, high energy costs, low income levels, or a lack of access to modern energy technologies.
Energy poverty can have serious negative impacts on people's health, education, and economic well-being. It can lead to increased levels of indoor air pollution from the use of traditional fuels like wood or charcoal, which can cause respiratory problems and other health issues. It can also limit access to modern communication technologies, such as cell phones and the internet, which can make it difficult for people to access important information or to participate fully in the economy.
Reducing energy poverty requires a comprehensive approach that includes investment in energy infrastructure, support for the development and adoption of modern energy technologies, and targeted programs to assist low-income households and communities.
Median Weather Normalized Site Energy Use Intensity (EUI) is a metric used in the field of building energy performance analysis to compare the energy performance of buildings. EUI represents the amount of energy consumed by a building per square foot of floor area per year, normalized for weather conditions.
The median weather normalized site EUI is the value that separates the top 50% of buildings with higher EUI values from the bottom 50% of buildings with lower EUI values, after the EUI values of all buildings in a particular dataset have been sorted in ascending order. It is a useful metric for comparing the energy performance of buildings within a particular building sector, such as commercial or multifamily residential buildings. By comparing a building's EUI to the median EUI of similar buildings, it is possible to assess whether a building is performing better or worse than its peers in terms of energy consumption.
A revolving loan is a type of loan where the borrower can withdraw and repay funds repeatedly as needed, up to a predetermined credit limit. As the borrower repays the loan amount, the credit line replenishes, allowing the borrower to use the funds again. This type of loan is commonly used for ongoing projects where the financing needs may fluctuate over time. In the case of a green revolving loan fund, the loan is used specifically to finance energy efficiency or sustainability projects, with the savings generated from these projects used to repay the loan and fund future projects.
Waste diversion refers to the practice of reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfills or incinerators by diverting it to other destinations such as recycling, composting, or reuse. It involves diverting waste from the traditional disposal methods and finding ways to repurpose or recycle it, so it does not end up in landfills or incinerators.
Waste diversion is an important strategy to reduce the environmental impact of waste, conserve natural resources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By diverting waste from landfills, we can decrease the amount of methane gas produced by decomposing organic matter, which is a significant contributor to climate change.
Common waste diversion practices include source reduction, recycling, composting, and anaerobic digestion. Source reduction involves reducing the amount of waste produced at the source by implementing waste reduction practices, such as using reusable containers or reducing packaging. Recycling involves collecting and processing materials such as paper, plastic, and metal to be reused in the manufacturing of new products. Composting involves breaking down organic waste, such as food scraps and yard waste, into nutrient-rich soil that can be used for gardening and agriculture. Anaerobic digestion is a process that converts organic waste into biogas, which can be used to generate electricity or heat.
Weatherization is the process of making a building more energy-efficient and comfortable by improving its thermal envelope, which includes the building's walls, roof, foundation, doors, and windows. The goal of weatherization is to reduce the amount of energy required to heat or cool a building, thus lowering energy bills, improving indoor comfort, and reducing the building's environmental impact.
Weatherization techniques may include adding insulation to walls and ceilings, sealing air leaks around windows and doors, upgrading heating and cooling systems, and installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Weatherization is typically done through a combination of measures that are customized to the specific needs of a building and its occupants. Many government programs and utility companies offer weatherization assistance to low-income households and other eligible customers as a way to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.