Environment Watch

CO2 Calculator for Fosil Fuels

To use the CO2 and financial calculator:

  1. Enter the amount of energy you use in a year.
    • According to EDF Energy, a typical UK household uses 3,300 kWh of electricity and 20,500 kWh of gas each year, so a typical UK household should enter 23,800 as the total energy used.
    • According to the US government the average US household uses 10,656 kWh of electicity each year. In addition the avarage US household will use either 70,000 cubic feet of natural gas, 708 US gallons of heating oil or 440 US gallons of LPG. We expect to be able to convert these US units to kWh in a few days time. Until then, assume that:
      • 70,000 cubic feet of natural gas is 21,804 kWH (1 cubic metre of natural gas gives 11.0kWh of energy - 1 cubic metre is 35.3146667 cubic feet)
      • 708 US gallons of heating oil is 31,893 kWh (1 litre of heating oil gives 11.9kWh of energy - 1 US gallon is 3.7854118 litres)
      • 440 US gallons of LPG is is 12,325 kWh (1 litre of LPG gives 7.4 kWh of energy - 1 US gallon is 3.7854118 litres)
  2. For each fuel you wish to compare:
    • Check the line against the fuel you wish to compare
    • Enter the price of the fuel in either the pence/kWh, pence/litre or the £s/tonne field. US users can enter the price as either the cents/kWh, cents/litre or the $/ton
  3. Click the "calculate" button to perform the calculation
kWh (kiloWatt hours)
  Fuel Type Price (pence) per KWh Price (pence) per Litre Price (Pounds) per Tonne
Electricity - NZ    
Electricity - UK    
Electricity - USA    
Heating Oil  
Natural Gas    

From the calculations using the figures above, it will be easy to compare the cost of energy used by different fuels. For some fuels, it makes both financial and environmental sense to switch to the cheaper and more environmentally friendly fuel. If you select Electricity from multiple countries, the results will show different levels of CO2 emissions. This is not an error. Different countries have a different mix of coal, gas, nuclear and renewable fuels for electricity generation. Those countries with a higher dependance on coal for electricity generation will emit more CO2 per kWh (kilowatt-hour) than countires that depend more on nuclear or renewable energy.

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