Solid or liquid particles suspended within the atmosphere (see “sulfate aerosols” and “black carbon aerosols”).


Planting of new forests on lands that have not been recently forested.

Annex I Parties

The 40 countries plus the European Economic Community listed in Annex I of the UNFCCC that agreed to try to limit their GHG emissions: Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Economic Community, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States.

Annual Fuel Utilisation Efficiency (AFUE)

The measure of seasonal or annual efficiency of a furnace or boiler,
accounting for the cyclic on/off operation and associated energy losses of the heating unit as it responds to changes in the load, which in turn is affected by changes in weather and occupant controls. AFUE calculates the percentage of heat delivered compared to the amount of fuel supplied to the furnace.

Anthropogenic Emissions

Emissions of greenhouse gasses resulting from human activities.


PG consuming device e.g. stove, water heater, space heater.

Base Year

Targets for reducing GHG emissions are often defined in relation to a base year. In the Kyoto Protocol, 1990 is the base year for most countries for the major GHGs; 1995 can be used as the base year for some of the minor GHGs.

Baseboard heater

A heating system in which heating elements, installed in panels along the baseboard of a wall, provide non-motorized convection heating.


The baseline estimates of population, GDP, energy use and hence resultant greenhouse gas emissions without climate policies, determine how big a reduction is required, and also what the impacts of climate change without policy will be.

Basket of Gases

This refers to the group six of greenhouse gases regulated under the Kyoto Protocol. They are listed in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol and include: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Bathtub heater

A common Japanese household appliance that keeps bath water warm.


The variety of organisms found within a specified geographic region.


Living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel or for industrial production, such as wood.

Black Carbon Aerosols

Particles of carbon in the atmosphere produced by inefficient combustion of fossil fuels or biomass. Black carbon aerosols absorb light from the sun, shading and cooling the Earth’s surface,but contribute to significant warming of the atmosphere (see “radiative forcing”).


Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion.


An apparatus that generates heat (usually by burning fuel) and uses it to heat circulating water (or sometimes another liquid) in a closed system that is then used for general heating.


An option in the Kyoto Protocol that allows a group of countries to meet their targets jointly by aggregating their total emissions. The member states of the European Union are utilizing this option.

Bulk Supply

LPG supply to a consumer’s tank.

Calorific Value

The amount of heat produced by the complete combustion of a material or fuel, typically measured in units of energy per amount of material.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

CO2 is a colorless, odorless, non-poisonous gas that is a normal part of the ambient air. Of the six greenhouse gases normally targeted, CO2 contributes the most to human-induced global warming. Human activities such as fossil fuel combustion and deforestation have increased atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by approximately 30 percent since the industrial revolution. CO2 is the standard used to determine the “global warming potentials” (GWPs) of other gases. CO2 has been assigned a 100- year GWP of 1 (i.e., the warming effects over a 100-year time frame relative to other gases).

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) equivalent

The amount of carbon dioxide, by weight, emitted into the atmosphere that would produce the same estimated radiative forcing as a given weight of another radiatively active gas. Carbon dioxide equivalents are computed by multiplying the weight of the gas being measured (for example, methane) by its estimated global warming potential. “Carbon equivalent units” are defined as carbon dioxide equivalents multiplied by the carbon content of carbon dioxide (i.e., 12/44).

Carbon Sinks

Processes that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they release. Both the terrestrial biosphere and oceans can act as carbon sinks.

Carbon Taxes

A surcharge on the carbon content of oil, coal, and gas that discourages the use of fossil
fuels and aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Central residential water heating system

A system that heats all of a household’s water from one source.

Certified Emissions Reduction (CER)

Reductions of greenhouse gases achieved by a Certified Development Mechanism (CDM) project.
A CER can be sold or counted toward Annex I countries’ emissions commitments. Reductions must be additional to any that would otherwise occur. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs): CFCs are synthetic industrial gases composed of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon. They have been used as refrigerants, aerosol propellants, cleaning solvents and in the manufacture of plastic foam. There are no natural sources of CFCs. CFCs have an atmospheric lifetime of decades to centuries, and they have 100-year “global warming potentials” thousands of times that of CO2, depending on the gas. In addition to being greenhouse gases, CFCs also contribute to ozone depletion in the stratosphere and are controlled under the Montreal Protocol.



Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

One of the three market mechanisms established by the Kyoto Protocol. The CDM is designed to promote sustainable development in developing countries and assist Annex I Parties in meeting their greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments. It enables industrialized countries to invest in emission reduction projects in developing countries and to receive credits for reductions achieved.

Clean fuel

Fuels which, when combusted, produce a relatively small amount of greenhouse and otherwise harmful gases.


The long-term average weather of a region including typical weather patterns, the frequency and intensity of storms, cold spells, and heat waves. Climate is not the same as weather.

Climate change

Refers to changes in long-term trends in the average climate, such as changes in average temperatures. In IPCC usage, climate change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. In UNFCCC usage, climate change refers to a change in climate that is attributable directly or indirectly to human activity which alters atmospheric composition.

Climate Sensitivity

The average global air surface temperature change resulting from a doubling of preindustrial atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The IPCC estimates climate sensitivity at 1.5-4.5oC (2.7-8.1oF).

Climate Variability

Refers to changes in patterns, such as precipitation patterns, in the weather and climate.

Coil electric stovetop

A type of stove which generates heat through electric resistance by means of an electric current passing through a coil.

Combination (“combi”) boilers

A boiler which generates hot water for both space and water heating purposes.

Combined heat and power

The simultaneous generation of useable heat and power in a single process.

Combustion gas

A gas generated through the combustion of a fuel.

Commitment Period

The period under the Kyoto Protocol during which Annex I Parties’ GHG emissions, averaged over the period, must be within their emission targets. The first commitment period runs from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2012.

Compression-ignition engine

An engine which uses compression of the fuel to cause ignition. This is a defining feature of a diesel engine.


Heat transfer within a substance or between substances through molecular action. Heat flows from higher-temperature areas to lower-temperature one areas.


Portable LPG container

Cylinder Supply

LPG supply in cylinders

Direct vent heater

A heater which forces exhaust away from the immediate area of the heater. Typically used to prevent contamination and human health issues.

Distributed power generation

Used in this report to mean the delivery of electric energy from the source of generation to customers.

District heating system

A large system that distributes steam or hot water to multiple buildings. The heat can be provided from a variety of sources, including geothermal, cogeneration plants, waste heat from industry, and purpose-built heating plants.

E.U. 27

An economic and political union of member states established by the Treaty of Masstricht in 1992. Current member states are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Early Crediting

A provision that allows crediting of emission reductions achieved prior to the start of a legally imposed emission control period. These credits can then be used to assist in achieving compliance once a legally imposed system begins.


A community of organisms and its physical environment.

Eddy current

A current that is induced around a closed conducting loop by the application of an external magnetic field.

Electric power frequency

The number of oscillations in an alternating current that occur within one second, measured in Hertz (Hz).

Electric resistance

A material’s opposition to the flow of electric current; measured in ohms (Ω).

Electronic ignition

An electrically controlled ignition system.

Emission standards

Government supported standards requiring applicable equipment to produce emissions below a certain maximum level to be legally sold. Varies heavily by country.


The release of substances (e.g., greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere.

Emissions Cap

A mandated restraint in a scheduled timeframe that puts a “ceiling” on the total amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions that can be released into the atmosphere. This can be measured as gross emissions or as net emissions (emissions minus gases that are sequestered).

Emissions Trading

A market mechanism that allows emitters (countries, companies or facilities) to buy emissions from or sell emissions to other emitters. Emissions trading is expected to bring down the costs of meeting emission targets by allowing those who can achieve reductions less expensively to sell excess reductions (e.g. reductions in excess of those required under some regulation) to those for whom achieving reductions is more costly.

End use

The point at which energy is used. Pertaining to the ultimate consumption of energy or fuel.

Energy carrier

A form of energy allowing for convenient transportation and use. Includes electricity and, in the future, hydrogen.

Energy conservation

The idea that the minimum amount of energy should be used for a given task. Arises chiefly from the beliefs that energy sources are limited and excess energy use is harmful.

Energy efficiency

The calorific value of the fuel used to generate heat compared to the amount of energy created. Thus, if a reaction is 50% efficient, the amount of input energy (fuel) is twice the amount of output energy (electricity).

Energy Resources

The available supply and price of fossil and alternative resources will play a huge role in estimating how much a greenhouse gas constraint will cost. In the U.S. context, natural gas supply (and thus price) is particularly important, as it is expected to be a transition fuel to a lower carbon economy.

Energy source

Any substance that supplies heat or power (such as petroleum, natural gas, coal, or Renewables).

Energy supply

The sum total of all energy sources available. May be applied to smaller divisions, including planetary, continental, national, personal, etc.

Enhanced Greenhouse Effect

The increase in the natural greenhouse effect resulting from increases in atmospheric concentrations of GHGs due to emissions from human activities.


Device(s) connecting and/or controlling LPG supply from a tank/cylinder to appliances

Equipment efficiency

The efficiency at which a particular piece of equipment converts one type of energy (electrical, mechanical, or thermal) into another.

Equivalent energy service

To perform a task done with one energy source using another.


The process by which water re-enters the atmosphere through evaporation from the ground and transpiration by plants.


A heat-generating device which combusts fuel to heat air and distribute the resulting heat through ducts or an equivalent system.

General Circulation Model (GCM)

A computer model of the basic dynamics and physics of the components of the global climate system (including the atmosphere and oceans) and their interactions which can be used to simulate climate variability and change.


Throughout this report, used to mean the generation of electrical energy via thermal or mechanical means.

Generator set (Genset)

A relatively small generator of electrical energy typically used to provide electricity for systems without easy access to the electrical grid or as a backup for critical systems.

Global Warming

The progressive gradual rise of the Earth’s average surface temperature thought to be caused in part by increased concentrations of GHGs in the atmosphere.

Global Warming Potential (GWP)

An index used to compare the relative radiative forcing of different gases without directly calculating the changes in atmospheric concentrations. GWPs are calculated as the ratio of the radiative forcing that would result from the emission of one kilogram of a greenhouse gas to that from the emission of one kilogram of carbon dioxide over a fixed period of time, such as 100 years.

Grade of LPG

Type of LPG, e.g. chemical, commercial, high purity. Proportion of Butane/Propane in LPG
mixture, e.g. Butane rich mixture

Greenhouse Effect

The insulating effect of atmospheric greenhouse gases (e.g., water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) that keeps the Earth’s temperature about 60°F warmer than it would be otherwise.

Greenhouse Gases (GHG)

Those gases, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfur hexafluoride, that are transparent to solar (short-wave) radiation but opaque to long-wave (infrared) radiation, thus preventing long-wave radiant energy from leaving Earth’s atmosphere. The net effect is a trapping of absorbed radiation and a tendency to warm the planet’s surface.

Gross electrical generation efficiency

The overall efficiency of electrical generation. Used in this report to indicate the average efficiency for a geographical region as calculated through consideration of the sum efficiencies of constituent areas.


A threat which could cause an accident. (definition in APELL process)

Heat exchanger

A device that transfers heat from one source to another.

Heat pump

A heating and cooling unit that draws heat from an outdoor source and transports it to an indoor space for heating purposes or, inversely, for cooling purposes.

Heating degree day

A measure of how cold a location was relative to a base temperature of 18° C. The number of heating degree-days is the sum of the daily heating degree-days for one year.

HGWP (High Global Warming Potential)

Some industrially produced gases such as sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) have extremely high GWPs. Emissions of these gases have a much greater effect on global warming than an equal emission (by weight) of the naturally occurring gases. Most of these gases have GWPs of 1,300 – 23,900 times that of CO2. These GWPs can be compared to the GWPs of CO2, CH4, and N2O which are presently estimated to be 1, 23 and 296, respectively.

Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

HFCs are synthetic industrial gases, primarily used in refrigeration and semiconductor manufacturing as commercial substitutes for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). There are no natural sources of HFCs. The atmospheric lifetime of HFCs is decades to centuries, and they have 100-year “global warming potentials” thousands of times that of CO2, depending on the gas. HFCs are among the six greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol.


An electrical phenomenon whereby an electromotive force (EMF) is generated in a closed circuit by a change in the flow of current.

Induction electric stovetop

A stove top which generates heat from the electrical resistance of eddy currents caused by magnetic induction.

Instantaneous (“Tankless” or “demand”) water heater

A water heater which generates heat for a particular task (such as cooking or showering) at the time of the task. Differs from storage tank water heaters, which heat water in advance of a task to be stored until required.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme. The IPCC is responsible for providing the scientific and technical foundation for the United Nations Framwork Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), primarily through the publication of periodic assessment reports (see “Second Assessment.Report” and “Third Assessment Report”).

Joint Implementation (JI)

One of the three market mechanisms established by the Kyoto Protocol. Joint Implementation occurs when an Annex B country invests in an emissions reduction or sink enhancement project in another Annex B country to earn emission reduction units (ERUs).

Kyoto Mechanisms

The Kyoto Protocol creates three market-based mechanisms that have the potential to help countries reduce the cost of meeting their emissions reduction targets. These mechanisms are Joint Implementation (Article 6), the Clean Development Mechanisms (Article 12), and Emissions Trading (Article 17).

Kyoto Protocol

An international agreement adopted in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. The Protocol sets binding emission targets for developed countries that would reduce their emissions on average 5.2 percent below 1990 levels.

Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF)

Land uses and land-use changes can act either as sinks or as emission sources. It is estimated that approximately one-fifth of global emissions result from LULUCF activities. The Kyoto Protocol allows Parties to receive emissions credit for certain LULUCF activities that reduce net emissions.
Lifecycle: The process from raw material acquisition (including exploration and production) through endues by the consumer.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)

It is the term widely used to describe a family of light hydrocarbons called “gas liquids”. The most prominent members of this family are propane (C3H8) and butane (C4H10). The term “liquefied gas” may seem a contradiction in terms since all things in nature are either a liquid, a solid or a gas. Yet, it is the unique character of LPG that makes it such a popular and widely used fuel. LPG at normal temperature and pressure is a gas. It changes to a liquid when subjected to modest pressure or cooling. In liquid form the tank pressure is about twice the pressure in a normal truck tire.


The demand for service or performance made upon a given machine or system.

Log-linear regression

A method of analysis which assumes a linear relationship among logarithmic data. A model is constructed to predict the frequency with which particular equipment is used in a particular region.

Lorena stove

An enclosed stove of rammed earth construction with a chimney built onto it.

Low-carbon energy solution

An process or material which generates lower carbon emissions than alternative methods or materials.

Mechanical energy

The inherent energy of motion.

Methane (CH4)

CH4 is among the six greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol. Atmospheric CH4 is produced by natural processes, but there are also substantial emissions from human
activities such as landfills, livestock and livestock wastes, natural gas and petroleum systems, coalmines, rice fields, and wastewater treatment. CH4 has a relatively short atmospheric lifetime of approximately 10 years, but its 100-year GWP is currently estimated to be approximately 23 times that of CO2. Nitrous Oxide (N2O): N2O is among the six greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol. N2O is produced by natural processes, but there are also substantial emissions from human activities such as agriculture and fossil fuel combustion. The atmospheric lifetime of N2O is approximately 100 years, and its 100-year GWP is currently estimated to be 296 times that of CO2.

Minimum energy performance standard (MEPS)

A specification containing a number of performance requirements for an energy-using device, and that effectively limits the maximum amount of energy that may be consumed by a product in performing a specified task. A MEPS is usually made mandatory by a government energy efficiency body and generally requires use of a particular test procedure that specifies how performance is measured.

Nameplate load

The maximum rated output of a generator under specific conditions designated by the manufacturer.


A statistical method allowing convenient comparison of data by choosing a specific parameter to be equal to unity (in this report, one) and adjusting all other data points to values which preserve their multiplicative relation to the original.

Passive Safety

Safety not dependent on active safety systems

Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

PFCs are among the six types of greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol. PFCs are synthetic industrial gases generated as a co-product of aluminum smelting and uranium enrichment. They also are used as substitutes for CFCs in the manufacture of semiconductors.
There are no natural sources of PFCs. PFCs have atmospheric lifetimes of thousands to tens of thousands of years and 100-year GWPs thousands of times that of CO2, depending on the gas.
ppm or ppb: Abbreviations for “parts per million” and “parts per billion,” respectively – the units in which concentrations of greenhouse gases are commonly presented. For example, since the pre-industrial era, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased from 270 ppm to 370 ppm.

Pilot light

A small, continuous flame (in a hot water heater, boiler, or furnace) that ignites gas or oil burners when needed.

Point of use residential water heating system

A compact system that heats water for a dedicated, independent use, such as dishwashing, hand washing, and showering.

Primary energy consumption

The amount of energy consumed as calculated without consideration of secondary sources of consumption (typically upstream considerations for the procurement and distribution of fuel).

Primary energy efficiency

The energy efficiency as calculated without consideration of secondary sources of inefficiency (typically upstream considerations for the procurement and distribution of fuels).

Prime generator

A generator which is used as the primary source of electricity.

Pump-type stove

A self-contained stove, typically fuelled by kerosene, which is pumped by hand to create and maintain combustion.

Radiative Forcing

The term radiative forcing refers to changes in the energy balance of the earthatmosphere system in response to a change in factors such as greenhouse gases, land-use change, or solar radiation. The climate system inherently attempts to balance incoming (e.g., light) and outgoing (e.g. heat) radiation. Positive radiative forcings increase the temperature of the lower atmosphere, which in turn increases temperatures at the Earth’s surface. Negative radiative forcings cool the lower atmosphere. Radiative forcing is most commonly measured in units of watts per square meter (W/m2).

Reciprocating internal combustion engine

An engine which operates through the entirely internal combustion of fuel and the oscillatory motion of pistons.


Replanting of forests on lands that have recently been harvested. Renewable Energy: Energy obtained from sources such as geothermal, wind, photovoltaic, solar, and biomass.

Renewable energy

Energy obtained from sources such as biomass, geothermal, photovoltaic, solar, and wind


Periodic inspection/testing to ensure that LPG cylinders and tanks remain fit for service.


Probability of an accident occurring within a certain time, together with consequences for people, property and the environment. (definition in APELL process).

Sealed burner

A type of burner which does not introduce outside air into the fuel (petroleum or natural gas) until the point of the flame. Increases the efficiency and temperature of combustion by minimizing excess air.

Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The United Nations staff assigned the responsibility of conducting the affairs of the UNFCCC. In 1996 the Secretariat moved from Geneva, Switzerland, to Bonn, Germany.
Sequestration: Opportunities to remove atmospheric CO2, either through biological processes (e.g. plants and trees), or geological processes through storage of CO2 in underground reservoirs.


Any process, activity or mechanism that results in the net removal of greenhouse gases, aerosols, or precursors of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Smooth heating element

Smooth heating element: An electric cook top which functions similarly to a coil electric stove but in which the electric current passes through the surface of the stove, rather than a visible coil, to generate heat.


Any process or activity that results in the net release of greenhouse gases, aerosols, or precursors of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Spark-ignition engine

A defining feature of a petrol engine, an engine which, after mixing fuel and air, introduces a spark to cause ignition.

Standby generator

A generator used for backup power, generally for critical functions such as data centers or hospitals.

Steady state

Refers to a generator which has been running continuously, as opposed to cycling.

Storage tank water heater

A type of water heater which heats and stores water in anticipation of use.

Stratosphere The region of the Earth's atmosphere 10-50 km above the surface of the planet.

The region of the Earth’s atmosphere 10-50 km above the surface of the planet.


The economic process of trading off inputs and consumption due to changes in prices arising from a constraint on greenhouse gas emissions. How the extremely flexible U.S. economy adapts to available substitutes and/or finds new methods of production under a greenhouse gas constraint will be critical in minimizing overall costs of reducing emissions.
Sulfate Aerosols: Sulfur-based particles derived from emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the burning offossil fuels (particularly coal). Sulfate aerosols reflect incoming light from the sun, shading and coolingthe Earth’s surface (see “radiative forcing”) and thus offset some of the warming historically caused bygreenhouse gases.

Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6)

SF6 is among the six types of greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol. SF6 is a synthetic industrial gas largely used in heavy industry to insulate high-voltage equipment and to assist in the manufacturing of cable-cooling systems. There are no natural sources of SF6. SF6 has an atmospheric lifetime of 3,200 years. Its 100-year GWP is currently estimated to be 22,200
times that of CO2.

System efficiency

The overall efficiency of a system.


LPG container for bulk supply and transportation

Targets and Timetables

Targets refer to the emission levels or emission rates set as goals for countries, sectors, companies, or facilities. When these goals are to be reached by specified years, the years at which goals are to be met are referred to as the timetables. In the Kyoto Protocol, a target is the percent reduction from the 1990 emissions baseline that the country has agreed to. On average, developed countries agreed to reduce emissions by 5.2% below 1990 emissions during the period 2008-2012, the first commitment period.

Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI)

A non-profit, scientific and policy research organization, working in India and globally in the fields of energy, environment and a whole range of sustainable development issues.

Technological Change

How much technological change will be additionally induced by climate policies is a crucial, but not well quantified, factor in assessing the costs of long-term mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Thermal conversion efficiency

The efficiency with which electrical or mechanical energy is converted into heat, or vice versa.

Thermal energy

The inherent energy of heat.

Thermal expansion

Expansion of a substance as a result of the addition of heat. In the context of climate change, thermal expansion of the world’s oceans in response to global warming is considered the predominant driver of current and future sea-level rise.

Thermostatic control

A simple mechanical system which turns a heating system on once the temperature becomes lower than a set point and will turn the system off once another, higher point has been exceeded.

Top Runner program

A Japanese government program that searches for the most efficient model on the market and then stipulates that the efficiency of this “top runner” model should become the standard within a certain number of years.

Total energy consumption

The total amount of energy consumed. Useful in distinction from primary energy consumption, the amount of energy consumed as calculated without consideration of secondary sources of consumption.

Total energy use

The total amount of energy used. Includes both point-of-use and upstream energies.

Trace Gas

A term used to refer to gases found in the Earth’s atmosphere other than nitrogen, oxygen, argon and water vapor. When this terminology is used, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide are classified as trace gases. Although trace gases taken together make up less than one percent of the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are important in the climate system.

Transmission loss

The decrease or loss in power during the transmission of energy from one point to another across a power line or other medium.


The region of the Earth’s atmosphere 0-10 km above the planet’s surface.

United Nations Economic and Social Council

United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation on standards-making and problem-solving in economic and social issues.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

A treaty signed at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro that calls for the “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” The treaty includes a non-binding call for developed countries to return their emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. The treaty took effect in March 1994 upon ratification by more than 50 countries. The United States was the first industrialized nation to ratify the Convention.


Pertaining to any process, or the sum total of processes, used to produce or deliver energy up to the point of consumption by the end-user. Concerns all processes used in the transformation of raw feedstock into fuel, including raw material extraction, processing, transportation, distribution, and storage.

The part of a process including all activities prior to point-of-use. Typically includes procurement, processing, refinement, transportation, and distribution.

Useful heat

Heat which is put to use, as opposed to that which is lost in the creation, transportation, and distribution of heat.


In this report, refers to the generation of electricity through the extraction of energy from solid and liquid waste.

Water Vapor (H2O)

Water vapor is the primary gas responsible for the greenhouse effect. It is believed that increases in temperature caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, resulting in additional


Describes the short-term (i.e., hourly and daily) state of the atmosphere. Weather is not the same as climate.