# Fact sheet. Conversion factors. Energy and carbon conversions 2011 update

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1 Fact sheet Conversion factors Energy and carbon conversions 2011 update

2 1 Introduction This leaflet provides a number of useful conversion factors to help you calculate energy consumption in common units and to work out the greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy use. Calculating your energy use and carbon emissions can be useful for monitoring energy use internally within a business, and also for public reporting of energy consumption and carbon emissions. This updated version is based on data published by Defra/DECC in 2011.

3 2 Conversion factors for energy units From to kwh therms Btu 2.931x10-4 Greenhouse gas conversions The energy conversion factors given in this leaflet are quoted as kilograms carbon dioxide equivalent (kgco 2 e) per unit of fuel. MJ toe 1.163x10 4 kcal 1.163x10-3 Btu = British thermal unit; MJ = Megajoule; toe = tonnes of equivalent oil; Kcal = kilo calorie Example Conversion of 100,000 Btu to kwh: The use of fuels leads to emissions of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) and small quantities of other greenhouse gases including methane (CH 4 ) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O). For a given quantity of a gas, the equivalent quantity of CO 2 that would be needed to give the same greenhouse effect can be calculated using its global warming potential. This quantity is quoted in units of kilograms carbon dioxide equivalent (kgco 2 e). The greenhouse gas conversion factor comprises the effect of the CO 2, CH 4 and N 2 O combined this is quoted as kgco 2 e per unit of fuel consumed. The factors in this guide do not (with the exception of Biomass) account for indirect emissions, for example emissions associated with the extraction of natural gas, refining of oil etc. For conversion factors that include indirect emissions see the Defra/ DECC 2011 greenhouse gas conversion factors. Note that biomass fuels are quoted as total direct and indirect kgco 2 per unit of fuel (as the direct emissions are negligible). 100,000 Btu = 100,000 x X 10-4 kwh = 29.31kWh Common prefixes The energy conversion factors given in this leaflet are quoted as total direct kgco 2 e per unit of fuel. Direct emissions are those emitted at the point of use of a fuel or at the point of generation for electricity. The following prefixes are used for multiples of joules, watts and watt-hours: Kilo (k) = 10 3 ; mega (M) = 10 6 ; giga (G) = 10 9 ; tera (T) = ; peta (P) = 10 15

4 3 Energy conversion factors The factors given below are taken from Defra/DECC s GHG conversion factors for company reporting, published in August Table 1 Energy conversion factors Fuel Units kgco 2 e per unit Grid electricity 1 kwh Renewable electricity 2 See footnote 2 See footnote 2 Natural gas kwh therms LPG kwh therms litres Gas oil tonnes 3528 kwh litres Fuel oil tonnes 3228 kwh Fuel Units kgco 2 e per unit Burning oil tonnes 3165 kwh Diesel tonnes 3188 kwh litres Petrol tonnes 3149 kwh litres Industrial coal tonnes 2383 kwh Wood pellets tonnes kwh This figure represents electricity consumed, i.e. electricity used at the point of final consumption. Because the fuel mix consumed in UK power stations changes from year to year, the figure is presented as a five year rolling average. 2 For electricity purchased on a green tariff the grid electricity factor above should generally be used. This factor incorporates UK renewable generation within it. For electricity generated on-site using renewable energy, a factor of zero may be used, as long as the energy source is backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin (REGO) certificates.

5 4 Passenger transport conversion factors Table 2 Petrol and diesel cars Car size Units kgco 2 e per unit Small up to 1.4 litre petrol km miles Medium litre petrol km miles Large, over 2.0 litre petrol km miles Average petrol car km miles Car size Units kgco 2 e per unit Small, up to 1.7 litre diesel km miles Medium, litre diesel km miles Large, over 2.0 litre diesel km miles Average diesel car km miles

6 5 Table 3 Bus, rail and air 3 travel Mode of transport Units 4 kgco 2 e per unit Regular taxi vkm The conversion factors presented here are just a sample of those published by Defra. For a more comprehensive set of factors, and full guidance notes for their use, visit Defra s website. Average local bus pkm Coach pkm International rail (Eurostar) pkm National rail pkm Light rail and tram pkm Underground pkm Long haul international flight pkm Short haul international flight pkm Domestic flight pkm The air travel emission factors do not include non-co 2 climate change impacts such as Radiative Forcing. However, a 109% uplift factor has been built into the emission factors to take into account non-direct routes and delays/circling. 4 vkm stands for vehicle kilometres. The associated kgco 2 e figure is based on the vehicle emissions per kilometre. pkm stands for passenger kilometres. The associated kgco 2 e figures are calculated by taking the total emissions figure for the vehicle, plane or train and dividing it by the number of passengers travelling.

7 6 Heat content of fuels The default gross calorific values given below can be used when fuel-specific values are not available from your energy supplier. Gross values include the energy needed to evaporate the water in the fuel, and that formed during the combustion process. In the tables below we provide the gross values, in line with those usually provided by the energy suppliers in the UK. Net values exclude this energy. 5 Table 4 Gross calorific values for solid fuels Table 5 Gross calorific values for liquid fuels Liquid fuels kwh/tonne litres/tonne kwh/litre Fuel oil 12,029 1, LPG 13,668 1,968 7 Gas/diesel oil 12,584 1, Burning oil 12,834 1, Solid fuels kwh/tonne Petrol 12,807 1,362 9 Coal (weighted average) 7,500 Industrial wood 3,806 Short rotation coppice 3,084 Straw 4,389 Table 6 Gross calorific values for gaseous fuels Gaseous fuels kwh/tonne litres/tonne kwh/m 3 Natural gas Net calorific values can be found in Annex 11: Fuel Properties 2011 Guidelines to Defra / DECC s GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting

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