This calculator provides an estimate of the money that can be saved and the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that can be prevented through some simple energy-saving activities. It relies on national average energy costs as the default. Users who prefer to replace these figures with their actual household energy data will get a more accurate picture of the savings that can be achieved.
In either case, please keep in mind that savings figures are quite approximate. Actual savings will vary widely with household energy habits.
If your children/students would like to enter actual energy data, help them gather their household’s electric and natural gas bills to find these three inputs:
- Money Spent on Energy per Year. Estimate the household’s total annual cost for natural gas (if used) and electricity combined. If 12 months of bills are not available, a reasonable estimate will suffice. (Although transportation accounts for a major part of most households’ energy expenditures, it is not addressed in the calculator.)
- Cost per kWh of Electricity. If the electric bill shows multiple electricity charges or if the cost per kWh varies, divide the total charges for electricity by the number of kWhs used in the billing period.
- Cost per Therm of Natural Gas. If the cost per therm does not appear directly on the bill, look for cost per CCF, which is 100 cubic feet and roughly equivalent to a therm. If the cost per therm or CCF does not appear as a single number, divide the total cost for natural gas by the number of therms or CCFs used in the billing period.
CO2 emissions are included in this calculator because CO2 is a main contributor to global warming. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an average household of two people in the U.S. is responsible for about 41,500 pounds of CO2 emissions per year, and about 27,000 pounds of this is due to natural gas and electricity use. Using energy more efficiently can go a long way toward helping to reduce CO2 emissions and slow the rate of global warming.