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Basic terminology of energy management

Updated on December 25, 2009

Following are the important terms used in energy management system.

  1. Energy Management: A continuous planning process which is used to accomplish the efficient use of energy in a building or system.
  2. HAVAC System: A common abbreviation for the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system. The total mechanical system provides comfort heating, ventilation, and air conditioning for a building.
  3. Life Cycle Cost: The cost over the entire life span of a piece of equipment including operating and maintenance cost.
  4. Load: Part of a system that converts one form of energy into another form of energy. Electric motor is an example of a load. It converts electrical energy into mechanical energy
  5. Path: The medium through which energy travels from a source to load. A type of path is the electrical wiring used to distribute power in a building.
  6. Payback: The time required to recover the initial cost of an energy saving purchase or modification which is made.
  7. Retrofit: Changes made in a building to make it more energy efficient. These changes require capital investment to accomplish.
  8. Source: Part of system that supplies energy to other parts of the system. Example of a source are:
  • An emergency generator that supplies electrical energy to a building in case of power failure
  • A battery that supplies energy to start an automobile.

9. Air Conditioning: The treatment of air in a building, which is accomplished by controlling its temperature, humidity, and purification.

10. Audit: The process by which a person or person go through a building and identify energy and or cost saving that would result if certain energy conservation changes were made in the operation of a building or if modifications were made to the building.

11. Co-generating: Production of energy of more than one kind at the same time, such as electrical energy produced together with heat energy in the form of steam or hot water.

12. Energy Conservation: The efficient use of system that consume energy.

13. Energy Management System: A computer based control system that is used to monitor and determine operational patterns of electrical and mechanical equipment of a building.


Energy Management is a fairly simple procedure. Its major objective is to conserve energy. To have effective energy management, people must have “energy awareness” and a desire to conserve energy. An obvious benefit of energy conservation is that organization save money as a result of their effort.


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