Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge (ABBC): The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge was launched in June 2011 at the Clinton Global Initiative as one of the inaugural projects of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge program. The goal of the ABBC is to reduce energy and water consumption by at least 20 percent in participating buildings across Atlanta by 2020. The ABBC utilizes substantive energy and water efficiency upgrades of municipal, university, hospital, and commercial buildings as a means of freeing up business capital for more productive uses, stimulating growth for communities, fostering new business opportunities, and creating more sustainable footprints. Atlanta currently leads the nation in the amount of square footage committed to the program, at just over 114 million square feet, representing over 600 participating buildings.
Atlanta Clean Energy Scenario Tool (ACES): A modeling tool developed for the City of Atlanta by The Greenlink Group to quickly assess the impacts of different approaches to achieving the 100 percent clean energy goal. It takes the existing state and federal policy and programmatic framework as a given, allowing the user to select a clean energy resource mix for Atlanta. The user is presented with a number of model outputs that describe the cost-effectiveness, the economic development potential, the public health and emissions implications, and the bill impacts of the user-defined scenario.
Barriers to Clean Energy: Challenges that inhibit the greater deployment of clean energy technologies. British Thermal Unit (BTU): a customary unit of energy in the United States. It is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In 2016 U.S. energy consumption was 97.4 quadrillion BTUs.
Clean Energy: Energy demand met through energy efficiency, wind, solar, existing and low-impact hydroelectric, geothermal, biogas, and wave technology sources. Energy efficiency includes traditional technology and behavioral measures, and also includes cogeneration and district heat and cooling.
Cogeneration: The simultaneous generation of electricity and useful heat.
Commercial Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency Ordinance: An ordinance passed unanimously by Atlanta City Council in 2015 that requires commercial and multifamily buildings in Atlanta over 25,000 square feet to benchmark energy and water consumption and report it. The ordinance also calls for periodic energy audits, and requires the City of Atlanta to undertake retrocommissioning efforts in its larger facilities.
Cost-Effective: An investment where the benefits outweigh the costs that may be, but is not necessarily, driven by policy or programmatic offerings.
District energy: Distribution system for energy, generally used for heating and cooling, that is generated in a central location.
Economic Development: The process by which a community improves the economic, political, and social wellbeing of its people.
Electricity: An energy resource resulting from the conversion of other primary energy resources, such as sunlight, wind, natural gas, and other sources, used for many applications in modern life.
Energy: The physical property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object.
Energy Burden: A key energy equity concept; the percent of household income used to pay energy bills.
Energy Efficiency: Reducing the amount of energy required to provide the same service.
Energy Equity: Fair and just access to energy services, including an equitable distribution of the costs and benefits of energy services.
Energy Savings Performance Contract: Financing building improvements through a budget-neutral partnership between a partner and owner in which upgrades are financed over a pre-determined period of time through the energy and/or operational cost savings that are realized.
Equity: Respectful treatment and fair involvement of all people in a society. It is the state in which everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Additionally, the National Academy of Public Administration, which has been studying the use of equity as a means of evaluating public policy describes equity as the “fair, just, and equitable management of all institutions serving the public directly or by contract; the fair, just, and equitable distribution of public services and implementation of public policy; and the commitment to promote fairness, justice, and equity in the formation of public policy.” This definition lays the groundwork for measuring equity in Resilient Atlanta’s initiatives, including Clean Energy Atlanta: A Vision for a 100% Clean Energy Future.
Georgia Power Integrated Resource Plan (IRP): A plan filed by the Georgia Power Company with the Georgia Public Service Commission every three years, as required by Georgia law. The integrated resource plan contains the utility’s electric demand and energy forecast for at least a 20 year period, the utility’s plan for meeting the requirements shown in its forecast in an economical and reliable manner, the utility’s analysis of all capacity resource options — including both demand-side and supply-side options, and sets forth the utility’s assumptions and conclusions with respect to the effect of each capacity resource option on the future cost and reliability of electric service.
Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC): Statewide-elected officials charged with ensuring that electricity service is safe, reliable, and cost-effective while protecting the public interest through the oversight of electricity rates and approval of utility capital plans.
Job Creation: A full-time equivalent position created or sustained for one year.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): A rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building and encourage market transformation towards sustainable design.
Megawatts (MW) / Megawatt-hours (MWh): A megawatt is 1 million watts. Watts are the standard unit for power, defined as 1 joule (an energy unit) per second. Most utility-scale power generators are rated in megawatts. A megawatt-hour is an energy unit, equal to a MW of power provided for an hour. 1 MW of power demand held constant for an hour would use 1 MWh of energy. Recent electricity demand in Atlanta has ranged from 8 to 9 million MWh per year.
Multifamily Housing: Residential dwellings with multiple, separate units within the same building. Common examples include apartments, condominiums, and townhomes.
Municipal Facility: Facilities owned and/or operated by City government. Some examples include:
• Government office buildings
• Recreation centers
• Fire stations
• Detention centers
• Water treatment plants
• Police precincts
• Parking garages
Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU): The City of Atlanta is divided into 25 NPUs, which are citizen advisory councils that make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on zoning, land use, and other planning issues.
Participant: Electricity customers who take advantage of programs in energy efficiency and local renewables that ACES anticipates being potentially developed under the scenarios.
Potential (maximum): The maximum amount of a resource that can be cost-effectively developed, given current best estimates of resource availability and future cost trends.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing: A means of financing energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations for residential, commercial, and industrial property owners. PACE differs from standard loans in that financing is repaid through property taxes, resulting in the debt obligation remaining with the property, not the owner.
Public Health Benefits: Public health benefits in Clean Energy Atlanta: A Vision for a 100% Clean Energy Future are the result of reducing population exposure to air pollution. Benefits are therefore avoided instances of expected bad health outcomes, such as asthma attacks, heart attacks, missed work days, and others. These results can be quantified as distinct outcomes or monetized to provide useful information about community benefits from different clean energy choices.
Renewable Energy Credit (REC): A tradable, non-tangible energy commodity that represents proof that 1 MWh of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource and was fed into the U.S. electric power grid.
Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): A regulation that requires the production of a certain amount of renewable energy in a jurisdiction. In the United States there is no federally-imposed RPS, but some states such as California, North Carolina, and Ohio have established their own RPS for electricity supply within their jurisdictions.
Resilient Atlanta Strategy: A roadmap to better prevent and adapt Atlanta to the challenges of the 21st century, which include extreme climate events such as major floods or heat waves, terrorist threats, and long-term chronic stresses such as income inequality, lack of affordable housing, or the effects of climate crisis.
Solar Energy Procurement Agreement : An energy contract where a solar project developer installs solar panels on-site and customers buy the energy produced from the panels at an agreed-upon rate.
Solarize: A community-based solar photovoltaic bulk-purchasing campaign that makes solar more affordable and accessible.
Water Consumption: Water taken from Georgia’s rivers and streams that is not returned.
Water Withdrawals: Water taken from Georgia’s rivers and streams for electricity generation, regardless of whether it is ultimately returned or not.