— V —

Value Added Partner Network (VAPN)
Also known as the VPN program. The VPN, or Value Added partner Network, is an Ameren program that provides qualified contractors who can meet energy needs for services that Ameren does not provide. This group of contractors is Ameren approved and carry insurance to provide quality services to customers. (more)

Vampire power
Also known as phantom power, many electronic devices use electricity whenever they are plugged into the outlet, even when they are off!  Most devices use very little energy at one time, but when you add up 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unplugging the devices when not in use can equal energy savings. (more)
Variable frequency drive (VFD)
A variable-frequency drive (VFD) controls the rotational speed of an alternating current (AC) electric motor by controlling the frequency of the electrical power supplied to the motor. (more)

Vehicle charging station
A device or station that provides power to charge the batteries of an electric vehicle. These chargers are classified according to output voltage and the rate at which they can charge a battery. (more)

Ventilation, attic
Ventilate comes from the Latin word for "to fan." Simply put, it's the action of moving air. Out with the hot. In with the cool. And that's exactly how ventilation works. It provides conditions that allow air to flow. Every time stale, overheated air in your home or attic is vented out and fresh air is pulled in to replace it, you have what is known as an "air exchange." It's a process that provides a steady, high volume of air movement. Think about it as a system of components, all sized and positioned to provide constant intake and exhaust of air.

Vermiculite Insulation
Vermiculite is a naturally-occurring mineral composed of shiny flakes, resembling the mineral mica. When heated to a high temperature, flakes of vermiculite expand and is a lightweight, fire-resistant and odorless material. Vermiculite has been used in numerous products, including insulation for attics and walls. Sizes of vermiculite products range from very fine particles to large (coarse) pieces nearly an inch long. (more)

Vertical vegetation
Living walls (also called green walls, green facades, bio walls or vertical vegetation walls) have vegetation growing directly onto a building or home, or on a separate structure that can be freestanding or attached to a wall. Today living walls are re-entering the spotlight as an environmentally friendly way to reduce energy costs. (more)

Video game console
A video game console is an interactive entertainment system, that when connected to a television or monitor, displays a video game. When left on, video game consoles can cost over $150 a year in energy costs. (more)

The VPN, or Value Added partner Network, is an Ameren program that provides certified contractors who can meet energy needs for services that Ameren does not provide. This group of contractors is Ameren approved and carry insurance to provide quality services to customers. (more)

— W —

Walk-in cooler
If you own or operate a business that uses a walk-in cooler, be aware that even when it’s cold outside, coolers can be running many hours a day costing you money by wasting energy. Learn more on what to look for to save energy. (more)

Walk-in freezer - smart defroster
Smart defroster kits can be added to walk-in refrigeration systems to help save energy and money. These defrosters decrease the amount of defrost cycles by 35-45% by defrosting the system only when necessary. (more)

Wall insulation
Wall insulation is used to reduce heat loss through the air space by filling the space with a porous material. This immobilizes the air within the space preventing convection, and can substantially reduce space heating costs. (more)

Wall plate insulation
Pre-formed insulation that matches your wall plate covers which includes switch and outlet covers to stop drafts. (more)

Traditional warmer/steamer designs incorporate a separate boiler or steam generator to produce steam for the cooking compartment. A typical 6-pan “connectionless” steamer consumes only 1 to 2 gallons of water per hour while operating at peak capacity. (more)

Water cooler
A water cooler is a device that cools and dispenses water. They are generally broken up in two categories: bottle-less and bottled water coolers. Bottle-less water coolers are hooked up to a water supply. (more)

Water heater
An appliance for supplying hot water for purposes other than space heating or pool heating. (See residential water heaters or demand or tankless water heaters.)

Water heater blanket
A wrap of some type of insulation used to increase the energy efficiency of a tank type water heater. The blanket or insulation wraps around the tank like a coat. (more)

Water heater, heat pump
A heat pump water heater pulls heat from the surrounding air and empties it into a tank to heat the water. When located in the right location, they can be very efficient. (more)

Water heater piping
The inlet and outlet piping that connects directly to the water heater. The inlet allows new cold water in to fill the tank and the out piping allows the hot water to flow to faucets and different locations. (more)

Water heater reader
Thermostat dials on water heaters don’t typically have temperature markings on the dial and are often inaccurate. This means that your hot water temperature may be set too high. Not only does this waste energy but it can also be a scalding safety hazard. A water heater reader or thermometer may help. (more)

Water heating
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the average residential water heating cost could be as much as 18% of your energy bill. Faucet aerators, water heaters, shower heads, older hot water appliances may play a role in wasting energy and costing you money. For ways to save, see our residential savings tips. (more)

Watt meter
Watt meters can help determine the amount of energy electronics and small appliances use. Many watt or usage meters can be found in your local home improvement store. (more)

Weatherization is the process of protecting the interior of a home or building from the outside elements.  Sealing the structure from the outside  elements of heat, cold, and wind, will reduce heating and cooling costs for a more comfortable indoor space. (more)

A type of material and process used to seal the area around doors and windows to stop drafts to the outside. (more)

White roof
A cool or white roof is a roofing system that can reflect the sun's rays, reducing the heat transfer to a building. Cool roofs offer both immediate and long-term savings in building energy costs. (more)

Whole house surge protection
A surge protector, also called a surge suppressor or lightning arrestor, is a device designed to protect electrical equipment from voltage transients (power surges). (more)

Wind energy
A renewable energy source that uses the force of the wind to spin turbines and generate electricity. (more)

Wind map
A map of the United States by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showing wind resource assessments providing an estimate of annual average wind in the United States. (more)

Wind mill generator
A machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational motion turning a generator to produce electricity. (more)

Window air conditioner
Window or room air conditioners cool rooms rather than the entire home or business. (more)

Window awnings
Window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in your home. You can use an awning to shade west- or south-facing windows, doors and even have them custom-made for larger areas shading your entire house. (more)

Window film
Window film is a thin layer or coating applied on the inside of any window or glass door to reflect the sun’s heat, keeping the room cooler and saving energy. (more)

Window insulator/inflector
Window insulators, also called inflectors, are a type of panel window shade designed to reflect or absorb  solar heat from the sun shining through a window. The shades are coated with a solar reflective material on one side and a solar absorbent material on the other which can help save energy. (more)

ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors, and skylights can reduce your energy bills up to 15%. Put an end to cold drafts and overheated spaces and keep your home’s temperature consistently comfortable - even your loveseat right by the window can be cozy. Many ENERGY STAR certified windows, doors, and skylights have a special coating on the glass that acts like a sunscreen for your house. (more)

Window shutters
A window shutter is a solid window covering used to control the amount of sun that enters a room, provide privacy, protect against weather and improve the looks of a building. Using shutters properly can also save you energy. (more)

— X —

— Y —

Yard lighting, solar
Solar landscape lighting is virtually maintenance free, easy to install, and uses the power of the sun to light your garden or walkway. (more)

— Z —

Zero energy home
A net zero home is a term describing a home with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. (more)
Learning Center - Terms V, W, X, Y, Z
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