Using Table F.4 (CO2)

Finally, suppose that manufacturers want to get CO2 credit for the same refrigerator standards, so they use Table F.4 to convert the 12 power plants avoided into 18 million tons of CO2 per year. As before, one can divide 18 million tons of CO2 by the 1 million homes row (11 million tons of CO2) to find about 1.6 million equivalent homes. CO2 savings is often stated in million tons of carbon rather than CO2, so it must be noted that 1 ton of carbon is equivalent to 44/12 = 3.67 tons of CO2.

TABLE F.4 CO2 Released by Cars, Homes, and Power Plants


A Typical Annual Use (rounded)

B Conversion to CO2a

C Annual CO2 Release (metric tons)

D CO2 Release in Units of 1 Million Cars

Passenger cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, light trucks—U.S. stock (private and commercial): 200 millionb





1 typical car

500 galc

1 gal = 8.8 kgd



1 million typical cars

500 million gal


4.4 million


HomesU.S. stock: 200 millione





1 typical home (electricity + gas/oil)

200 million Btu

1 million Btu = 55 kgf



1 million typical homes

200 trillion Btu


11 million


Power plants—U.S. stock: 3,300 TWhg ≡ 1,320 plants (½ GW)





Typical power plant (½ GW × 5,000 hours per year)

2.5 TWh

1 TWh = 0.6 million tonsh

1.5 million


a1 million tons/quadrillion Btu = 1 kg/million Btu; 1 ton of C corresponds to 3.67 tons of CO2.

bData from Tables MV1 and MV9 in Highway Statistics 1998, available at

cData from Table MF21 (for motor fuel use) and Tables MV1 and MV9 (for private and commercial auto stock) in Highway Statistics 1998, available at Table 1.10 for average annual miles in Monthly Energy Review, DOE/EIA-0035(2000-04), April 2000.

dSee Table B1, p. 104, EIA Emissions of Greenhouse Gases in the US, DOE/EIA-0573(98).

eData from Figure 2.1, A Look at Residential Energy Consumption, DOE/EIA-0632(97).

fSee Table A19 for million tons of carbon, p. 133, and Table A2 for primary quads, p. 118, Annual Energy Outlook, DOE/EIA-0383(2000).

gData from Table 7.5, Monthly Energy Review, DOE/EIA-0035(2000-04).

hSee Table A19 for million tons of carbon, p. 133, Annual Energy Outlook, DOE/EIA-0383(2000).

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