Carbonfund.org's Carbon Calculators use information from the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other leading sources to develop an accurate assessment of carbon dioxide emissions emitted per energy type or use. After you learn how we calculate, please calculate your own carbon footprint here.
US avg.: In 2014, 67.2 million households used natural gas. Collectively, they used 5.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually, or 730.84 CCF (approximately 748.38 therms) per household or 283.27 CCF (approximately 290.07 therms) per person per household using natural gas. (Source: Energy Information Agency, US Census Bureau.)
US average: In 2014, 3.8 billion gallons of heating oil were consumed by 7.7 million households resulting in an average of 493.9 gallons per household or 197.56 gallons per person per household using heating oil. (Source: DOE EIA Fuel Oil and Kerosene Sales 2014)
CO2 emissions in air travel vary by length of flight, ranging from 0.254 kg CO2e per passenger mile to 0.144 kg CO2e per passenger mile, depending on the flight distance. Our calculator allows the user to take the issue of radiative forcing into account. (Sources: EPA Climate Leaders, table 8, page 4; For more information on air travel-related radiative forcing, please see this document.)*Assumes Coach Class, please contact us directly for business and first class emissions.
The CO2 emissions for rail travel vary by distance of the trip. On average, commuter rail emits 0.17 kgs CO2e per passenger mile and subway trains emit 0.121 kgs CO2e per passenger mile, and long distance trains (i.e., intercity rail) emit 0.137 kgs CO2e per passenger mile (Source: EPA Climate Leaders, table 8, page 4). To ensure that our rail calculator fully covers your trip, we add 10% to the total mileage of your trip to account for potential detours, stop-overs, and other issues that may arise on your trip.
On average, bus trips emit 0.055kgs CO2e per passenger mile (Source: EPA Climate Leaders table 8, page 4). Road and transportation conditions vary in real life beyond what can be estimated. To ensure that our bus calculator fully covers your trip, we add 10% to the total mileage of your trip to account for potential traffic jams, detours, and pit-stops that may arise on your trip.
In 2014, US energy-related emissions of 5.4 billion metric tons CO2-equivalent, the figure is divided by the US population to yield CO2-equivalent per person. (Source: Energy Information Agency /US CensusBureau)
The average person's diet contributes 2,545 kilograms CO2e to the atmosphere each year. By dividing by 365, it is deduced that the average person's diet contributes, on average, 7 kg CO2e a day from their meals. This calculation is based on an average US, non-vegetarian diet. The emissions for food preparation are not included in this calculation. (Source: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Average of Table 3).Hotel Rooms
Emissions associated with a one night stay in a hotel room are calculated at 16.8 kg CO2 per room day for an average hotel (budget through mid-scale). For upscale hotels, that include restaurants, meal service and meeting space, emissions are calculated at 33.38 kg CO2 per room day. (Source: Environmental Protection Agency, CHP Potential in the Hotel and Casino Market Sectors, prepared by Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc. for EPA.)
There are 0.005 metric tonnes of CO2 per 1 therm of natural gas. (Source: Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator)
Emissions factors for electricity by your monthly bill are based on state based figures from the EPA eGRID to get the state-by-state prices for energy, and the emissions factors are generated from the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration. On average, electricity sources emit 1.222 lbs CO2 per kWh. State CO2 emissions per kWh may vary greatly in accordance with the amount of clean energy in the energy supply (Vermont: 0.0055 lbs/kWh; North Dakota: 2.0685 lbs/kWh). (Source: (Source: EPA eGRID Summary Tables and Data Files)
There are 10.15 kg of CO2 per gallon of home heating oil (diesel fuel). (Source: US DOE 1605(b) Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program.)
We calculate the emissions of propane to be 5.74 kg CO2 per gallon (source DOE EIA).
Emissions factors by building type are calculated using assumptions from the DOE EIA. The figures provide the kWh used per sq foot of building type, then we multiply the energy needed for a particular space by state based emissions factors.
Number of Employees
Emissions factors calculated by number of employees is calculated with the average sqft needed per employees, 225 sqft (based on industry assumptions that a typical office will require between 175 – 250 sq ft per employee). We then calculate the total sqft by average emissions for office buildings by sqft (Source: Energy Star). Then we multiply the energy needed for the total space by state based emissions factors.
Fleet emission calculations assume the national average of 25.2 mpg and the emissions factor of 19.4 lbs CO2 per gallon of gasoline consumed. Fleet emissions for delivery vans and trucks assume an average of 18.8 mpg. and the emissions factor of 22.2 lbs CO2 per gallon of diesel consumed. Fleet emissions big rigs assume an average of 5.4 mpg and the emissions factor of 22.2 lbs CO2 per gallon of diesel consumed. (Source: Transportation Data Energy Book 2015 - Quick Facts)
Carbonfund.org’s shipping calculator utilizes three user generated inputs to determine a unit called a ‘ton-mile’ (e.g. a ton of freight traveling 1 mile, or a half ton of freight traveling two miles, or 1/1000th of a ton traveling 1,000 miles… you get the point):
- Total number of shipments
- Avg Weight of Shipment (lbs)
- Avg Shipping Distance (mi)
Shipping Emissions Factors:
- Air cargo – 1.319 kg CO2e per Ton-Mile
- Truck - 0.14645 kg CO2e per Ton-Mile
- Train - 0.0242 kg CO2e per Ton-Mile
- Sea freight - 0.0602 kg CO2e per Ton-Mile
(Source: EPA Climate Leaders)
- 1 Renewable Energy Certificate = 1 Megawatt Hour (MWh) = 1,000 Kilowatt Hours (KWh)
- 1 Kilowatt Hour = 3,413 British Thermal Units (BTUs)
- 1 Metric Tonne = 2,204.6 Pounds
- 1 Pound = 0.00045 Metric Tons
- 1 Short Ton = 2,000 Pounds
- 1 Short Ton = 0.90719 Metric Tons
- 1 Therm = 100 Cubic Feet
- 1 CCF = Abbreviation for 100 Cubic Feet
- 1 CCF = 1.024 Therms
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