I’m talking about my carbon footprint, of course, which I just had calculated for me by British Gas, and I thought I’d share it with you. It is actually the carbon footprint for my household, which I found out is a bit above the British household average (5.1 tonnes per year). I also found out I could save around £74 and 374.5 kg of CO2 per year by turning my heating down by 1degree C.  If you want to learn more about the contents of my report and how to get your own, please read on. 

The rating for my property (like the rating you get displayed on household appliances) was ‘D’, which translates into an annual expenditure of £1390 per year and ideally it should be ‘C’. I could improve it and help to save the environment and some money too (£381 per year) if I changed my combination boiler for a newer more efficient one and all my light bulbs to energy efficient ones (expensive when you have 36 spot lights). However, considering the ordinary spot light bulbs I usually buy don’t last more than a couple of months and cost around £1-68 for a packet of 3, and the cheapest energy-efficient bulb I found in a well-known supermarket is supposed to last me 6 years and cost around £1-69 each, I could indeed be saving quite a large amount of money, as well as the environment.

To obtain the report I had to answer a questionnaire online, which took less than 10 minutes. Once this was done, a report was produced, which gave my overall energy rating, an estimate of how much I spend on energy for my house in a year, and how much I could be saving by incorporating their suggestions. My house energy running costs was broken down into space heating, cooking, water heating, lights and appliances and presented in a pie chart. My carbon footprint was calculated and compared to the nation’s average. A list of energy saving ideas (e.g. loft insulation, turning the heating down by 1 degree C, switching to energy efficient light bulbs) was also included and specifies how much money and CO2 I could save each year if I took them on board. Having thought about my report and the two things it suggests I could do to reduce my carbon footprint and save money, I decided I will reduce my house heating by 1 degree C and change all my light bulbs to energy efficient ones, probably not all at once owing to the cost, but I can afford to include a couple in my weekly shopping and hence replace them gradually.

When you complete an Energy Savers Report and build your Energy Plan, you can earn ‘leaves’ by making green pledges which can then be donated to a school of your choice. If you want to calculate the figure for your house, and maybe even start saving money and CO2 emission, all you need to do is go the British Gas web page:

If you would like to find out more about man’s impact on the environment, please browse through our brand new ‘Environmental Impact’ product being launched on 1st October 2008.

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