(Carbonfund.org's Carbon Calculator uses information from the US Department of Energy's Energy Information Agency and other sources to develop an accurate assessment of carbon dioxide emissions emitted per energy type or use. (By the way, the EIA maintains an excellent website with easy-to-understand and easy-to-access figures about all things energy related. We recommend you check it out at: Click here.)

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Electricity – From 1998-2000, the average US emission of CO2 from electricity generation was 1.34 lbs per kWh, or .000606 metric tons per kWh. While state figures vary, we have chosen the national average because, with the exception of green power, electrons move so freely between customer bases.

US Avg.: In 2002, US utilities produced 3,858 billion kWh´s. Including its share of losses and unsold inventory, the residential sector was responsible for 37% of this amount, or 1,427 billion kWh´s. There were also about 290 million people living in the US, making the US residential average annual consumption 4,922 kWh´s per person. (Sources: Energy Information Agency, US Census Bureau)

Natural Gas – There are 120.593 pounds CO2 per 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas. We multiply 120.593 by the number of cubic feet consumed annually and divide by 2.205 to get metric tons of CO2.

US avg.: According to the EIA, 66.9 million natural gas households use 4,708 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually, or 70,374 cubic feet per household or 26,456 cubic feet per person, or 26.456 thousand cubic feet each. (Source: Energy Information Agency)

Heating Oil – Oil is converted to carbon dioxide emissions by multiplying the number of gallons * 26.041 to get pounds of CO2 per gallon. This is divided by 2,205 to get metric tons of CO2 per gallon. Or gallons * 0.01181.

US avg.: In 2001, 5,105 million gallons of heating oil were consumed by 8.7 million households, resulting in an average of 586.78 gallons per household or 216.53 gallons per person per household using heating oil. (Source: Energy Information Agency)

Transportation

Vehicles – Unleaded gasoline has 8.87 kg (19.56lbs) of CO2 per gallon. By dividing number of miles driven by miles per gallon, we get the number of gallons of gasoline consumed annually. We multiply this by 8.87 and divide by 1,000 to get metric tons of CO2.

US avg.: Automobiles fuel efficiency (mpg) varies widely so averages are not all that useful. It is important for people to have an idea of their car´s fuel economy. The US avg. is about 25 mpg. (Source: Energy Information Agency) Metric users: To convert liters per 100 km, the metric standard, to CO2, do the following: kilometers per year * 0.6 and enter it in the miles driven per year box. There are 3.79 liters per gallon. Hint: 7.58 l/100km = 30mpg.

British users: Take your mpg and multiply by .83 to get US mpg. (Source: Web converter: Click here)

Air Travel – CO2 emissions in air travel vary but we are using an average figure of .6393 pounds of CO2 per person per mile flown. This equals .29 kg CO2. per person mile traveled. Take the number of miles divided by 1,000 and multiply by .29 to get metric tons of CO2 per year.

US avg: We do not have accurate figures for numbers of miles flown per person. We welcome any information to help us set the averages. (Source: Energy Information Agency)

Key Sources

Households, Energy type and Annual Consumption: EIA, RECS 2001 ftp://ftp.eia.doe.gov/pub/consumption/residential/2001ce_tables/enduse_consump.pdf

Fuel type CO2 conversions: EIA, Fuel and Energy Emissions Coefficients Click here

US CO2eq. Emissions: EIA, Emissions of GHG´s in the US 2002 (pg. 9)
ftp://ftp.eia.doe.gov/pub/oiaf/1605/cdrom/pdf/ggrpt/057302.pdf

End CO2 Load

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