How much electricity, oil or gas is my home using?
If you're going to calculate your Carbon footprint for your home, you need to find out how much electricity, oil or gas you are using.
- Find the following data.
- Your annual home electricity usage.
- Your annual home oil or gas usage (central heating and hot water).
You may need to ask your parents for help! The following instructions may help.
Electricity use is recorded in kWh (Kilowatt Hours). There are a number of ways to find out this figure:
- Get hold of a copy of your home’s electricity bills from which you can find your kWh usage figures. To make this really accurate, find bills from the whole year. Remember that your energy use will depend on the time of year. As you can see from the following example, it will need careful interpretation.
From this example bill:
The readings were between 27th February and the 2nd June which is 95 days and a total use of 2402 units or kWh. Be careful to use actual readings and not estimated readings – see the c and the e next to the figures.
- Find your electricity meter – you can find out how to read your meter here. You could measure this over 24 hours. Again, to be really accurate, you should do this at different times of the year and get an average daily use. The 24 hour measurement is particularly useful if you want to discover if you can reduce your daily electricity usage (see My Actions station). If you are unsure about any safety issues and reading your meter, please seek help.
Oil Tank - Click to enlarge
You can get these figures in a similar way by looking at your bills or a delivery note for your oil.
You can monitor daily use by looking at the gas meter, although oil use will be more difficult and will need a careful study of the oil level at the side of the oil storage tank. Gas can be measured in 100’s cubic metres of gas or kWh (kilowatt hours) or therms. Some homes use bottled propane gas, which is measured in litres of liquid gas used.
- After reading these instructions, record your facts in this table.
|Energy source||kWh per year|
|Oil fired boiler|| |
|Gas fired boiler|
(in kWh, Cubic metres
per year or therms)
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