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Terminology

British thermal unit (Btu): Natural gas is commonly measured in imperial units. A Btu is the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.

Cubic feet per minute (CFM):  A measure of air flow used to describe the capabilities of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. It describes the rate at which a certain volume of air moves in a certain period of time. In the case of a blower or fan, it indicates how much air it can move per minute.

Gigajoule (GJ): Natural gas is measured by volume converted to a measure of energy. The metric standard for energy content is joules (J). One gigajoule (GJ) equals one billion joules (J). A gigajoule of natural gas is about 25.5 cubic metres at standard conditions. One gigajoule of natural gas is approximately equivalent to 27 litres of fuel oil, 39 litres of propane, 26 litres of gasoline or 277 kilowatt hours of electricity.

Kilowatt: Power is the rate at which energy is generated or consumed and is measured in units (e.g. watts) that represent 'energy per unit time'. For example, when a light bulb with a power rating of 100W is turned on for one hour, the energy used is 100 watt hours. A kilowatt is a measure of 1,000 watts of electrical power.

Light-emitting diode (LED): A semiconductor device that converts electricity into light. LED lights are the latest technology in energy efficient lighting. 

Net Zero Energy:  A home that produces as much energy as it uses on an annual basis, depending on occupant behaviour. In terms of technology, materials and efficiency standards, the homes are built at least 15 years ahead of where the building industry is today. 

R-Value: The capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV): Solar cells, also called photovoltaic (PV) cells, convert sunlight directly into electricity. It is the process of converting light (photons) to electricity (voltage), which is called the PV effect.

Volatile organic compound (VOC): Are organic chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at ordinary room temperature. Their high vapor pressure results from a low boiling point, which causes large numbers of molecules to evaporate or sublimate from the liquid or solid form of the compound and enter the surrounding air. Formaldehyde is a VOC which evaporates from paint, has a boiling point of only –19 °C (–2 °F). There are many different types of VOCs, both human-made and naturally occurring chemical compounds. Most scents or odours are of VOCs.