AC, air conditioner
In general, use “AC.” Also OK to spell out.
Air conditioning unit
Billing vs. bill
Use "bill period" "bill rate" or "rate" by default, but it’s OK to customize based on the utility’s preference.
Counter-clockwise vs. counterclockwise
Hyphenate as “counter-clockwise.”
Energy efficient vs. energy-efficient
Hyphenate when there’s a noun after it.
An energy-efficient furnace
Don’t hyphenate when there’s no following noun.
Make your house more energy efficient
Never hyphenate “energy efficiency”.
Energy use vs. energy usage vs. energy consumption
In general, say “energy use.”
Energy vs. electricity
The preferred term is “energy,” unless there’s a reason to specify that it’s “electricity” or “gas.”
Energy-saving vs. energy saving
Hyphenate this phrase when it’s describing something that concretely saves energy.
Don’t hyphenate this phrase when used as a noun.
Tips for energy savings
Capitalize ENERGY STAR and use the ® symbol (in superscript) the first time it appears on the page. Note that “ENERGY STAR qualified” does not have a hyphen.
Gas vs. natural gas
Use “gas" by default (it’s shorter), but it’s OK to customize based on the utility’s preference.
See how much gas you’ve used
Heat vs. heating
Use “heat” as a verb and “heating” as a noun.
How do you heat your home?
What type of heating do you use?
Log in vs sign in
We use “sign in” by default, but either is fine—customize it based on the utility’s preference.
Note: Use as two words in verb form. If it’s a noun, use "login" (no space). Source: AP Stylebook
Sign in to your account
Log in to your account
In general, write descriptively and try to get the point across without relying on the term “peak day.”
Join your neighbors in reducing energy use on Wednesday August 18 from 2pm-7pm.
If you need a noun to refer to this, use “peak day.”
This is a peak day alert from Utilco.
Smart Energy Day
Summer Savings Day
Per, per year
Save $65 per year
Cost per kWh: $0.24
Pick-up vs. pickup vs. pick up
When used as a noun, it’s one word without hyphens.
Schedule a free pickup
When used as a verb, it’s two words.
UtilityCo will pick up your refrigerator.
Projected bill vs. bill forecast
Use "projected bill" by default, but it’s OK to customize based on the utility’s preference.
Pronouns (you, me)
In general, address the reader as “you.”
In your area
Your energy use
Here’s how you’re using energy
My energy use
Use the first-person voice.
We’re offering a $20 rebate
Rank vs. ranking
In general, use “rank.” Be even more specific when possible.
Now you’re the 4th most efficient home.
Step-by-step vs. step by step
If used as a heading, don’t use hyphens (Step by step). When using the phrase as an adjective, use hypens.
a step-by-step guide to saving energy
A smart meter is a device that monitors energy consumption in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information to a utility at least daily. In industry jargon, this technology is called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). When writing for users, use the simple term “smart meter.”
Tune-up vs. tune up
"Tune-up" is the noun.
You may qualify for a free AC tune-up from UtilityCo.
When used as a verb, use two words. “Tuneup” (one word) is never correct.
A certified contractor will tune up your AC free of charge.
Appliances or other objects that consume energy even when they are turned off or asleep. In general, describe it without the word “vampire.” If you must, be sure the use the word “devices.”
You’re on track, you’re on pace
Avoid idiomatic expressions like these; they’re difficult to translate. For alternatives, check with the content strategy team.