The difference in consumption before and after implementation of
Subsidy or Add-on Subsidy: A HUD incentive for resource-efficiency
improvements in housing authorities. The housing authority obtains
non-HUD financing to pay for the retrofit work and HUD provides
an additional operating subsidy in an amount sufficient to amortize
payments for the loan. The term of the loan is limited to 12 years.
Utility Consumption Level (AUCL): The level of consumption of
fuel, water and sewer usage to be used when budgeting for authority-provided
utilities (using HUD Form 52722A). The AUCL is computed using the
Utilities Expense Level (AUEL): The estimated level of cost
for utilities, computed using the HUD Form 52722A, for the upcoming
year's budget. The AUEL is computed by multiplying the rolling base
by the rates in effect at the time of the budgeting process.
Utilities: Utilities that are paid for by the housing authority
rather than the resident. Authority-provided utilities may be either
master-metered, master-metered with checkmeters or individual meters.
Rate: Refers to a block or stepped rate structure in utility
Thermal Unit (Btu): The amount of energy required to heat a
pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit. The Btu is the unit commonly
used in calculating energy requirements. (It can apply to any energy
use, not just heating water; for example, air conditioners are often
rated by their Btu capacity.)
A customer's representative. In this context, one who represents
a utility customer's best interest with respect to finding the optimum
energy and services package.
The final point of delivery of fuel in gas-fired furnaces, boilers
and other equipment where the gas mixes with oxygen and the flame
One hundred cubic feet of natural gas or water. For natural
gas, a CCF is approximately equivalent to one therm of energy.
The process of checking or adjusting a measuring instrument,
such as a checkmeter. Checkmeters need to be calibrated periodically
to ensure accurate measurement.
Tendency: A measure of the "typical" value in a collection
of numbers or a data set. The mean (average) and the median are
two different measures of central tendency.
Checkmeters: Submetering installed to record the energy use of individual
apartments where master meters (or one meter per building) record
the energy use of the entire building or series of buildings.
Audits: Energy or water use audits required by HUD to be performed
on housing authority buildings every 5 years. These audits are regulated
by 24 CFR 965.304.
Methodology: One of two suggested methods that can be used to
establish utility allowances. (See also engineering-based methodology.)
This method is based on actual consumption data from utility bills
or checkmeter readings. These data are used to estimate the amount
of energy or water a household should reasonably require.
Data: Records obtained from the utility company or from checkmeter
readings that show how much energy or water was consumed within
a given period of time.
Degree Days: A measure of the severity of the summer in a given
locality: the more cooling degree days, the hotter the summers.
Cooling degree days are the difference between 65 degrees F and
the daily mean (average) temperature when the latter is more than
65 degrees F.
A notice issued by a utility to a customer with interruptible
service to stop or reduce the use of its product (gas or electricity)
during peak system usage periods.
Charge: See meter charge.
Set: A set of consumption records for individual dwelling units
used to establish an allowance for a given allowance category.
Management (DSM): Utility programs developed to reduce demands
on the utilities' generation, transportation, and distribution systems
by improving the efficiency with which their customers use energy
or shifting the time of energy use.
Temperature Differential: The design temperature differential,
or design range, is the difference between the indoor temperature
in winter and the outdoor design temperature in winter. The design
temperature differential is used in calculating the space heating
requirements of a dwelling unit under the engineering-based methodology.
The functional application or use of a utility, such as space heating,
water heating, cooking, lighting, operating appliances, or air conditioning.
Performance Contracting: See Performance Contracting.
Methodology: One of two suggested methods that can be used to
establish utility allowances. (See also consumption-based methodology.)
This method is based on engineering calculations and other technical
information that is used to estimate the amount of energy or water
a household should reasonably require.
Payments Plan: A payment plan offered by the local utility company
to the resident whereby the seasonal variation in monthly bills
is eliminated. A resident on an "equal payments plan"
pays 12 equal monthly bills every year, even though utility use
may go up or down with the seasons.
Savings Guarantee: See Savings Guarantee.
Services Agreement: A written agreement, between a housing authority
and an energy services company outlining the work to be done under
a performance contract. For housing authorities, it must contain
the following elements: savings guarantee, scope of work, savings
calculation methodology and financing terms. It must be approved
by the local HUD office and should incorporate the HUD regulations
for performance contracting.
Services Company (ESCo): A company that specializes in managing
energy and water conservation retrofit projects. The ESCo may perform
any or all of the following services: auditing, developing packages
of recommended measures, arranging financing, installing or overseeing
installation of measures, resident and staff education, equipment
commissioning, maintenance, measuring, verifying, and guaranteeing
Rate: The rate of change over time of a value such as energy
costs. In many performance contracts, it is a stipulated rate of
increase in utility rates used in energy savings calculations and
See Energy Services Company.
Savings: The difference between the amount needed to cover the
debt in a performance contract and the actual savings.
Service: Utility service that is provided to the customer at
all times, even during peak usage periods such as very hot or cold
weather. The utility is required to have enough capacity and product
to serve the customer during these peak periods. The non-interruptible
nature of this type of service results in a much higher rate for
firm service than for interruptible service.
Charge: A fuel charge is an adjustment to the cost of fuel based
on the utility's actual cost for fuel. The utility is not allowed
to make a profit on this portion of the bill and simply passes these
costs through to the consumer.
Purpose Bonds: Bonds that are financially certified by the entity
issuing the bond. Bonds are seldom used for conservation projects
because the high fixed costs of issuing this type of financing make
it an expensive option for funding the relatively small dollar amounts
needed for these projects.
Loss: The rate of heat transfer, in Btus per hour, from occupied
space to the outdoors. Losses occur through walls, ceilings and
floors of a structure, and through cracks around windows, doors,
etc. The heat loss depends on the dwelling unit size, construction
and design of the housing development, the physical condition of
the development, amount of insulation in the walls and ceilings,
the assumed indoor temperature, and various other factors.
Degree Days: A measure of the severity of the winter in a given
locality: the more heating degree days, the colder the winters.
Heating degree days are the difference between 65 degrees F and
the daily mean (average) temperature when the latter is less than
65 degrees F.
and Community Development Act of 1987: Key legislation that
establishes the regulatory framework for improving the energy efficiency
in public housing by providing financial incentives for HAs to use
non-federal funds for conservation retrofits and by allowing housing
authorities to retain a portion of the savings they negotiate for
Form 52722-A: Used by the PHA to estimate utility costs for
the upcoming year's budget.
Form 52722-B: Used by the PHA to reconcile actual utility costs
with the estimated costs.
USER: An information source, established in 1978 by HUD's Office
of Policy Development & Research (PD&R), for Federal Government
reports and information on housing-related issues.
Cubic Feet (ccf): A common unit of measurement for natural gas
and water. One ccf of natural gas is approximately equal to one
therm of natural gas. One ccf of water is equal to 748 gallons of
Meters: One utility meter per apartment. Can be contrasted with
a master meter where a single meter serves an entire building or
Service: Utility service that is available at a reduced rate
because the utility has an agreement with the customer that it can
interrupt delivery of service during peak system demand periods.
(kWh): The common unit of measurement for electricity. One kWh
is 1,000 watt-hours, or the amount of electricity consumed by a
100-watt lamp in ten hours. One kWh is equal to 3,413 Btus.
Distribution Company (LDC): The local utility company that provides
energy distribution services (i.e., wires and pipes).
Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP): A federally-funded
program that provides conservation services and weatherization assistance
to households with incomes of below 150 percent of federal poverty
A power marketer is an agent for power generation projects that
sells wholesale power or fuel. Marketers also may arrange for transmission
and distribution of the energy provided.
Metering: One meter that serves an entire building or a campus
A unit of measurement for natural gas or water that is equal to
1,000 cubic feet. At sea level, one MCF of gas is equal to 1,000,000
A measure of the central tendency of a data set, the mean is the
average value in a data set. It is determined by adding all the
values and dividing the sum by the number of values in the data
A measure of the central tendency of a data set, the median
is the middle value in a data set, when the values are ranked from
lowest to highest.
Charge: A flat rate assigned to each utility meter to cover
the local distribution companies fixed costs in servicing the account,
such as meter reading and billing.
End-Use: An end-use whose consumption is excluded from the utility
allowance because this use is considered to be a luxury rather than
a necessity. It is left to the discretion of individual PHA to distinguish
between luxuries and necessities based on local custom and usage
patterns. For example, in some regions ceiling fans are seen as
an allowable use because of the local climate, whereas in other
regions such fans are viewed as luxuries.
A mathematical process that adjusts for differences among data
from varying sources in order to create a common basis for comparison.
In the context of utility allowances, under the consumption based
methodology, a PHA may use a fixed set of data on consumption for
one or more years, with this data normalized (adjusted) using 30-year
weather averages. The normalization corrects for the fluctuations
in weather from year to year so that the allowances are calculated
on more typical weather patterns.
Design Temperature: The lowest outdoor winter temperature that
could occur in a given location, based on a 99 percent confidence
level. This temperature is used to determine the design temperature
differential, which is used in calculating the space heating requirements
of a dwelling unit using the engineering-based methodology.
Demand: The greatest electric demand reading during a specified
period. Typically, an electric utility charges for the greatest
monthly demand measured in 15-minute intervals. The unit of demand
is the kilowatt (kW).
Contracting: A mechanism to implement resource efficiency improvements
with minimal up-front costs. It uses savings resulting from the
efficiency project to pay for the work over time.
of Savings: Energy or water savings that persist beyond an initial
post-retrofit period. Lack of persistence may jeopardize the ability
to re-pay loans in performance contracting, unless the ESCo provides
a guarantee of savings.
Unit Monthly (PUM): Authority-provided utility costs computed
per apartment unit per month.
Scorekeeping Method (PRISM): A utility billing analysis in which
at least 12 months of energy consumption is adjusted for variations
Utilities: See authority-provided utilities.
Utility Commission: A commission at the state level that is
comprised of either state-elected or appointed officials who regulate
utilities such as electric and telephone utilities. The name for
this regulatory may differ slightly between states. Public Service
Commission is another common name.
Budget Year: The period of time following the current fiscal
year for which the housing authority is developing a budget.
Base: The rolling base period is the three-year period used
to calculate baseline utility use when computing the Allowable Utility
Consumption Level (AUCL) for a PHA facility. It is an average of
the three years actual consumption prior to the current fiscal year.
Guarantee: In a performance contract, an ESCo guarantee that
the average energy and/or water savings resulting from the conservation
retrofit will be equal to that needed to cover the debt service
and other fees associated with the project. An ESCo and a housing
authority may chose to guarantee an amount higher than that needed
to cover project costs.
8: The Section 8 program is designed to increase the housing
choices available to very low-income households by making privately-owned
rental housing affordable to them. It provides rent subsidies, either
rental certificates or vouchers, on behalf of eligible tenants.
These subsidies usually equal the difference between 30 percent
of the household's adjusted income and the HUD-approved fair market
rent (for certificates) or the PHA-approved payment standard (for
A negative difference between the amount needed to cover the debt
service and other fees involved in a project (usually the amount
of the guaranteed savings) and the actual savings. The ESCos savings
guarantee should cover this shortfall.
Rate: See block rate.
Heating: The warming of a dwelling unit to a reasonabe temperature
in the wintertime. Space heating can be provided by any type of
heating system; it is not limited to heating provided by portable
Valid Sample: A data set that contains enough data to obtain
a reasonable representation of the typical consumption for a given
allowance category. The number of records (or sample size) required
to make a sample statistically valid depends on how widely the consumption
data vary among dwelling units within an allowance category.
The amount a PHA charges a household, in addition to Resident Rent,
for consumption of checkmetered utilities in excess of the utility
allowance, or for non-allowable end-uses.
Rent: The amount paid monthly by the household as rent
to the PHA. Where all utilities are supplied by the PHA, Resident
Rent equals Total Resident Payment. Where some or all of the utilities
are paid directly by the resident to the utility company, then Resident
Rent equals Total Resident Payment minus the allowance for resident-purchased
The allowed rate to be charged a utility customer. A published,
regulated rate schedule.
Revenue Bonds: Traditional sources of low-interest financing
for municipal agencies. Bonds issued by a tax-exempt entity.
Utilities: Where utilities are billed through individual meters
and the project's residents are responsible for paying the bills.
A common unit of measurement of natural gas is equal to 100,000
Btus of energy. Depending on its quality, natural gas typically
contains approximately 1,000 Btu per cubic foot. Therefore, a therm
of natural gas usually is equal to about 100 cubic feet.
Resident Payment: Generally 30 percent of a resident's adjusted
Company: A company that moves and delivers gas or electricity
from a generation or production facility to a local utility company.
A term used to describe how consumers will be charged for electricity
in a restructured utility environment. It is breaking up the current
energy service package into separate components such as supply,
transmission, and distribution.
Electricity, gas, propane, oil, water and sewer service, and garbage
collection. Telephone service is not considered a utility for the
purposes of this Website.
Allowance: Per-apartment-unit allowance for resident-paid or
check-metered utility expenses that are set annually by the housing
authority using a variety of means. The utility should be set to
cover the utility costs of a reasonably conserving resident.
See Low-Income Weatherization Assistance Program
A measure of the electric power required by a device such as
a light bulb or appliance.
Improving the thermal integrity of buildings by the installation
of energy saving measures or equipment.