Glossary

Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

A

ACEEE
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy


Avoided Energy Supply Costs
A value used in calculating benefits that describes projections of electricity and natural gas costs that would be avoided due to reductions in electricity and natural gas use resulting from improvements in energy efficiency; this value is established through periodic regional studies.


Adjusted Gross Savings
As used in the GHG Reductions page, actual energy savings, as adjusted by impact factors, without factors related to attribution applied.


Annual Savings
Energy savings from an installed measure during a year.


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B

BCR / BC Ratio
Benefit-Cost Ratio, calculated as the total lifetime benefits of a program divided by the total resource costs of the program.


Benefits
The net present value, converted into dollars, of all savings over the lifetime of an energy efficiency measure, initiative, program, sector or portfolio. Benefits are used to determine cost-effectiveness. The primary source of benefits is the Avoided Energy Supply Component (AESC) study. There are four categories of benefits: (1) Electric Benefits: the avoided cost of generating electricity, (2) Gas Benefits: the avoided cost of supplying natural gas, (3) Other Resource Benefits: the avoided costs from other resources such as oil and propane, and (4) Non Resource Benefits: Non-Energy Impacts (NEIs) not specific to a resource (i.e., operations & maintenance cost savings).


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C

C&I
Commercial and Industrial (non-residential).


CO2
Carbon Dioxide


Closure Rate
As used on the Home Energy Services (HES) page, the percentage of customers completing a weatherization installation out of the total number of customers receiving a full Home Energy Assessment (HEA).


Cost-Effective
Situation in which the benefits of an energy efficiency program exceed the costs of that program, calculated using the TRC test, in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Guidelines of the Department of Public Utilities.


Council
Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, an advisory council established by G.L. 25 § 22 made up of members representing various sectors; see www.ma-eeac.org. Also referred to as the “EEAC.”


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D

Department or DPU
Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities


DOER
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources


DRIPE
Demand Reduction-Induced Price Effect, which is a measurement of the value of demand reductions in terms of the decrease in wholesale energy prices, resulting in lower total expenditures on electricity or natural gas across a given grid.


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E

EE
Energy Efficiency


Energy Efficiency Advisory Council
An advisory council established by G.L. 25 § 22 made up of members representing various sectors; see www.ma-eeac.org. Also referred to as the “Council.”


EERF
Energy Efficiency Reconciliation Factor


EM&V
Evaluation, Measurement and Verification


EPA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Evaluated Savings
As used in reporting, actual savings adjusted by updated EM&V impact factors finalized prior to a report.


Evaluation & Market Research
Budget category that includes costs associated with evaluation activities, including costs related to cost-effectiveness evaluation, market research (e.g., baseline studies, market assessments, and surveys), impact and process evaluation reports, tracking and reporting program inputs and outputs, funding studies, and other costs clearly associated with evaluating the program.


Expenditures
Total costs (i.e., the budget in planned values and the actual spending in reported values).


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F

Forward Capacity Market (FCM)
An electric wholesale market that assures the power system will have sufficient resources to meet future demand for electricity. The market is designed to promote economic investment in supply and demand resources where they are needed most. Capacity resources may be new or existing resources and include supply from power plants, import capacity, or the decreased use of electricity through demand resources, such as energy efficiency. Electric PAs use proceeds from participation in the FCM to fund energy efficiency measures and such funds offset amounts to be recovered from customers.


Forecasted Sales
As used on the Sales & Savings page, the forecast of energy sales used in setting goals for the relevant three-year plan.


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G

GHG Reductions
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions


Green Communities Act
An Act Relative to Green Communities, Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008, codified at G.L. c. 25 §§ 19, 21-22. Signed into law on July 2, 2008.


Greenhouse Gas
Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are often called greenhouse gases. Some, like carbon dioxide, occur naturally and are emitted through both natural processes and human activities, but other greenhouse gases (e.g., fluorinated gases) are created and emitted solely through human activities. The principal greenhouse gases that enter the atmosphere because of human activities are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and fluorinated gases.


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H

HEA
Home Energy Assessment, an in-home visit where residential customers receive instant savings measures and recommendations for weatherization, including air sealing and insulation, recommendations and connections to heating, cooling, water heating equipment, and other qualified efficient product rebates, and connections to the HEAT Loan.


HES
Home Energy Services, also known as Residential Conservation Services, a core initiative in the Residential Whole House program that provides residential customers, living in single family (1-4 unit) homes, energy efficiency recommendations and incentives that enable customers to identify and implement cost-effective energy efficiency improvements.


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I

Impact Factor
Generic term for persistence, realization rates, in-service rates, non-coincident connected demand factors, etc., developed during the evaluation of energy efficiency programs and used to calculate net savings.


Income Eligible
Customers who are at or below 60 percent of the state median income level, and any programs/sectors that serve such customers. Also referred to as Low-Income. The income eligible residential energy efficiency programs are implemented through the low-income weatherization and fuel assistance program network in accordance with the Green Communities Act.


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K

kW
Kilowatt


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L

LEAN
Low-Income Energy Affordability Network


LBR
Lost Base Revenue, which are costs collected by distribution companies not operating under a decoupled rate structure, that account for revenues not collected by the company’s distribution business as a result of the energy efficiency undertaken during the program year.


Low-Income
Customers who are at or below 60 percent of the state median income level, and any programs/sectors that serve such customers. Also referred to as Income Eligible. The income eligible residential energy efficiency programs are implemented through the low-income weatherization and fuel assistance program network in accordance with the Green Communities Act.


Lifetime Savings
Energy savings over the expected length of time, in years, that an installed measure will be in service and producing savings.


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M

Mass Save®
A brand owned by Massachusetts’ gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, including The Berkshire Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Eversource Energy, Liberty Utilities, National Grid and Unitil, and used by these providers to promote their energy efficiency programs in Massachusetts.


Marketing and Advertising
Budget category that includes costs to advertise, through television, radio, billboards, brochures, telemarketing, web-sites, and mailings, the existence and availability of energy efficiency programs or technologies, and to induce customers or trade allies to participate in energy efficiency programs.


Measure
Specific technology or practice that produces energy and/or demand savings and/or other benefits for which a PA provides financial incentives.


MTM
Mid-Term Modification, as described further in the Energy Efficiency Guidelines issued by the Department of Public Utilities.


MMBTU
One million BTUs (British Thermal Units)


MWh
Megawatt hour


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N

Net Benefits
Total benefits less the sum of total resource costs (TRC).


NEI
Non-Energy Impact, which are positive or negative effects attributable to energy efficiency programs apart from energy savings, such as reduced costs for operation and maintenance associated with efficient equipment or practices, or reduced environmental and safety costs.


NOx
Nitrogen Oxide


Net Savings
Actual energy savings, as adjusted by impact factors and factors related to attribution.


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O

Other Resource Benefits
The avoided cost of resources such as oil, propane, and water (but not including electric and gas benefits).


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P

PA / Program Administrator
Utilities and municipal aggregators that offer energy efficiency programs in Massachusetts. The Program Administrators (PAs) are The Berkshire Gas Company, Cape Light Compact, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, Eversource Energy, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, and Unitil (starting in 2016, customers of Blackstone Gas Company receive energy efficiency services from National Grid).


Participant
Customer who participates in an individual program; a customer will be counted as a participant in each program in which such customer participates in a given year. The participant value may be a calculated value (in the case of upstream programs) based upon an assumed number of units.


Participant Cost
The total or incremental cost of a project or measure less the customer incentive.


Participant Incentives
Budget category that includes funds paid by the reporting Program Administrator to or on behalf of customers or trade allies as rebates or in other forms.


Performance Incentive
Compensation for a utility’s successful implementation of the energy efficiency programs, as determined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities.


Program Planning & Administration
Budget category that includes costs associated with developing program plans, including market transformation plans, research and development (R&D) (excluding R&D assigned to Evaluation and Market Research), and day-to-day program administration, including labor, benefits, expenses, materials, supplies, and overhead costs, and any regulatory costs associated with energy efficiency activities. Also includes costs for energy efficiency services contracted to non-affiliated companies such as outside consultants used to prepare plans, screen programs, improve databases, and perform legal services.


Plan
For a given period, the Three-Year Electric and Gas Energy Efficiency Plan, prepared in accordance with the Green Communities Act and reviewed and approved by the Department of Public Utilities.


Plan-Year Report
Calendar year report for 2013 forward.


Portfolio
Refers to the combination of the Residential, Low-Income and Commercial & Industrial (C&I) sectors.


Preliminary Savings
As used in reporting, actual savings applying the EM&V factors used in planning.


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R

RCS
Residential Conservation Services; see An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Residential Conservation Service, 1980 Mass. Acts 465.


RFP
Request for Proposal


Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
A regional market-based regulatory program intended to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A portion of auction proceeds are directed to electric energy efficiency programs and are used by electric PAs to offset funds needed to be recovered from customers for energy efficiency.


Resource Benefits
The avoided cost of resources such as electricity, gas, oil, propane, and water.


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S

System Benefits Charge (SBC)
A charge to customers of electric distribution companies and municipal aggregators established and used to support energy efficiency programs.


SOx
Sulfur Oxide


Sector
Categories of customers and programs that serve such customers, including Residential, Low-Income, and Commercial & Industrial (C&I).


Summer Capacity
The maximum output that generating equipment can supply to system load, as demonstrated by a multi-hour test, at the time of summer peak demand (period of June 1 through September 30). This output reflects a reduction in capacity due to electricity use for station service or auxiliaries.


STAT
Sales, Technical Assistance & Training - Budget category that includes administration, sales technical assistance and training costs to motivate (1) customers to install energy efficiency products and services, (2) retailers to stock energy efficiency products, (3) trade professionals to offer energy efficiency services, (4) manufactures to make energy efficiency products, and (5) vendor services and supplies that demonstrate benefits of energy efficiency.


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T

T&D
Transmission and Distribution


TRC
Total Resource Cost, which includes total PA expenditures, participant costs and shareholder incentive.


Technical Reference Library (TRL) (formerly Technical Reference Manual (TRM))
A guide created and used by the PAs that provides methods, formulas, and default assumptions for estimating energy, peak demand, and other resource impacts from prescriptive energy efficiency measures.


Term
Three-year term of a given energy efficiency Plan, beginning in 2010 (e.g., 2010-2012, 2013-2015, 2016-2018).


Three-Year Plan
For a given period, the Three-Year Electric and Gas Energy Efficiency Plan, prepared in accordance with the Green Communities Act and reviewed and approved by the Department of Public Utilities.


Total Resource Cost (TRC) Test
Test used to determine cost-effectiveness of Massachusetts energy efficiency programs (total lifetime benefits of a program divided by the total resource costs of the program) in accordance with the Energy Efficiency Guidelines of the Department of Public Utilities.


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Y

YTD
Year to Date


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