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Use the glossary to access terms and definitions related to residential energy efficiency programs. Click the letters below to find your terms. Letters that do not appear currently do not have glossary terms related to them.

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Better Buildings Neighborhood Program (BBNP)

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program is part of the Better Buildings Initiative—a program within the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy that is lowering barriers to energy efficiency in buildings. BBNP is helping to catalyze a building upgrade industry that can eventually be sustained in the private sector. Using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) and annual appropriations, the Better Buildings Neighborhood Program provided $508 million in one-time grants to states and localities. The program's forty-one partners share a common vision of creating a self-sustaining market for energy efficiency improvements in buildings that results in economic, environmental, and energy benefits across the United States.

Better Buildings Neighborhood Program Partner

The Better Buildings Neighborhood Program's forty-one partners consist of state and local governments, nonprofits and utilities.  They received seed funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop and incubate community-based programs and incentives to spur demand for building energy upgrades.  These partners worked with contractors, financial institutions, utilities, nonprofits, and other organizations implement their programs and work towards a self-sustaining market for energy efficiency improvements in buildings.

Billing Analysis

A statistical analysis that provides estimates of savings based on large datasets of participant and control groups. Typically a year or more of program participation data are needed before such analyses can be done. Results from billing analyses are often used to correct prior savings estimates derived from one of the two approaches above and/or to inform prospective deemed savings estimates.

Blower Door Test

A blower door test is used to measure a home's airtightness and locate air leakage paths. A blower door is a powerful fan that mounts into the frame of an exterior door. The fan moves air in or out of the house, changing the air pressure inside to exaggerate air leaks through unsealed cracks and openings. Technicians use these tests to determine the air infiltration rate of a building, identify locations to be sealed, and measure results of air sealing work.

Brand Platform

A program’s full brand package, including logo, colors, fonts, taglines, and other brand materials.


British thermal unit. A unit of energy needed to change the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1° Fahrenheit.  Used as a common metric to measure the energy content of fuels.

Building Envelope

The assembly of elements comprising the exterior enclosure of a building, including walls, roof, foundation, windows, and doors.

Business Model

A business model describes the value that an organization provides to the market and how it is compensated for its work.  A model describes an organization's financial and governance structure, the services provided, target customers, and the organization's assets and infrastructure.

Business Plan

A business plan describes how an organization implements its business model in order to achieve its mission, vision, and goals. It details the organizational structures, processes, steps, and others that need to be in place to be able to operate in the capacity desired.