Energy Buzzwords

Nobody likes jargon that they are unfamiliar with, so here are some explanations of terms we use in the Loop app and throughout this site. Saving energy isn't complex or difficult, so take back the power!




Your tariff is the contract between you and your energy supplier. It outlines the amount you will be paying for each unit of energy you use, the length of time your contract is for, and if there are any fees you need to pay to exit your tariff early.  


Exit fees

This term describes the fees that are applied when you choose to switch tariff before the end of your contract. Exit fees can vary with each supplier and tariff. You should be able to find these fees outlined in your contract. Before making a switch it’s worth checking your current exit fees as this might impact the savings you’ll gain by moving.



This is when you decide to change to a new tariff or supplier. Always compare different rates before you make a switch as this is where you can make the biggest savings to your energy costs. Remember, you can switch up to 52 days before the end of your current tariff.




This stands for kilowatt hours, a unit of measurement used to describe electricity. You will have seen this unit written on your energy bills, as it’s used to show how much energy you’ve been using.

The unit equals the amount of energy that would be used if you kept a 1,000 watt appliance on for an hour, not the number of kilowatts you’re using per hour.

Here are some rough examples of how long you would need to use your appliances before they would have equalled 1kWh:

  • Keeping a fridge-freezer (200- 400 watts) on for three hours
  • Using an electric shower (10,000 watts) for six minutes
  • Watching a plasma TV (280- 450 watts) for around three hours
  • Keeping a broadband router (7- 10 watts) on for five days


This stands for kilowatts. Where a kWh is the measure of energy, a kW is the measure of power. Simply, it is 1,000 watts.

Energy Consumption

This phrase describes the amount of energy your household typically uses. On your electricity bill, this is represented in kWh.



When we talk about energy we’re talking about the electricity that powers your home.


Green Energy/ Sustainable Energy/ Renewable Energy

All three of these phrases describe energy that comes from natural resources that are continually being replenished. This includes solar, hydro, wind, geothermal and biomass.

Depending on where you live, which tariff you’re on and the supplier you’re with, can all influence the type of energy your home might be using.


Energy pattern/ Energy Pulse

These phrases describe your fluctuating routine of electricity usage. Depending on how many appliances you have switched on and at what times throughout the day, you’re able to visually see this energy usage in live mode on the app.


Energy efficiency

Energy efficiency applies to how effectively your home retains heat and uses power. The more energy efficient your home is, the greater savings you can make both to your bill and the environment.



This describes the power an appliance uses when it’s not switched off at the plug. Although your device might not be in use, it still draws electricity case you need to use it. You could make significant savings, just by turning your appliances off at the plug!


LED bulbs

LEDs or Light-Emitting Diodes emit light when a voltage is applied to it. They are a more environmentally friendly alternative to incandescent bulbs that can work for over 50000 hours and don’t run outside of a specified temperature range. They also use only around 8-11 watts compared to incandescent bulbs which use around 60 watts. Replacing your current bulbs with LED’s at home can give you savings of £160 a year on your energy bill!





This stands for Carbon Dioxide, a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere. However it’s also a major greenhouse gas emitted by fossil fuel combustion, which is used in the process of generating electricity.


Carbon Footprint

This refers to the amount of carbon each person individually emits. Each action and product produces a carbon footprint depending on how it’s been processed and the journey it’s taken, even before we start to use it.


Carbon emissions

This describes the release of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. This can be caused from sources including vehicles and industrial processes.



Phantom Load

This describes your appliances that are ‘always on’. While there are some items you need to have on, like your fridge or broadband router, there are lots of things you can choose to switch off. This includes standby appliances and your heating. Reducing your Phantom Load is one of the ways you can make significant savings to your energy bill.