rate of energy transfer and heating and insulating
This depends on the surface area and volume, material or nature of the object.
Example- A desert fox has bigger ears than a artic fox to allow a more efficient way of getting rid of unwanted energy.
You can calculate the amount of energy lost from buildings from their U-values
the lower the U-value the better the material is as an insulator
Solar panels may contain water heated by the sun, this can be used to heat buildings or provide hot water.