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How much CO2 does my home emit?

It is difficult to give a precise answer to this question because it depends on  a great many parameters: the energy performance of your home, the electricity consumption, the type of heating, etc.

The average emission of a Belgian is no fewer than 8,3 tonnes of CO2 per year for housing and transport. According to the 2015 figures,  residential heating alone accounts for 13.8% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Belgium.

On-line calculators allow you to work out the approximate quantity of CO2 emitted by your home, but they rarely take all of the parameters into account.

To accurately calculate the CO2 emission of your home, you need to calculate all of its direct and indirect emissions. There are 3 major factors to consider:

  • operating energy: heating, lighting, operation of electrical appliances...
  • grey energy
  • transport energy

Operating energy

This is the energy that you use every day for heating and lighting, to cook and for your leisure activities, etc.

The amount of CO2 emissions resulting from such uses varies according to the quantity of energy you consume and the type of fuel used:

  • natural gas: 0.198 kg of CO2 per kWh
  • electricity: 0.23 kg of CO2 per kWh (this rate varies between countries and over time because it is calculated on the basis of the composition of the production portfolio)
  • heating oil: 0.264 kg of CO2 per kWh

Your behaviour and your choices also influence the quantity of CO2 emissions you generate. By reducing your energy consumption, for example by insulating your home or changing your behaviour, you can significantly reduce your home’s CO2 emissions.

Grey energy

This is the energy that was used to produce the materials and build your home (e.g. production and transport of bricks, woodwork, etc.). It is particularly complicated to calculate.

Transport energy

According to some experts, the energy you need to travel around by car because of where you live should also be taken into account. For instance, if you have a low-energy home but your work is a long way from where you live, then you use some of the energy you save with your home in your car!

It is also possible to calculate on line how much CO2 is emitted by your car journeys.

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