What is My ECP Score?

The ECP is your personal Earth Conservation Plan; a numerically scored representation of your unique carbon profile, developed by EarthLab. The ECP is based on six categories: home, energy, work, commute, travel, and lifestyle. Each section is designed to collect member data and compile it into a single number, which generates your ECP. The ECP score is calculated by using the most current scientific data available to create an accurate representation of your current individual carbon footprint (please refer below to our comprehensive list of sources).

EarthLab has constructed the ECP to allow members to track and score their progress, which helps create a greater understanding of how their score and carbon footprint compares with fellow members locally, nationally and internationally. As account holders dynamically interact with the site, EarthLab provides additional tools, tips, and educational forums to assist its users in lowering their ECP score and carbon footprint.

Your initial ECP score is based upon basic categories related to home, energy, work, commute, travel, and lifestyle. Below is a breakdown of the different parts of the ECP:

How your carbon output score is calculated.

The first step in calculating your carbon output score is for the calculator to load variables found within your geographic position. Upon inputting selected variables the scoring will begin to automatically reflect an estimate for a person in your unique geographical area. It is important to note that this score reflects YOUR individual score and not that of your family or household in general. As such, you will be asked to enter in how many people live in your household. As you move on, you will have the ability to enter the information from your energy bills, information about your vehicle, and information about your air travel. In doing so, the earlier estimate will be replaced by a custom score, bases upon your real variables placed within parameters described in the next section. Beginning with an average allows you to input as much information as you have handy and still get a good picture of your actual impact, even if you don't have all of your bills or other information handy. Just enter in what you know, save your profile, and come back later to make your calculation and score more precise.

How the Calculator Works.

Section 1: Assigning the Parameters Gaining Estimates

Home Emissions

To begin to estimate home emissions, the calculator works to assess and calculate the amount of emissions resulting from electricity and natural gas usage, based on the selected state or national average consumption [Energy Information Administration - Natural Gas Annual, Volume "U.S. Average Monthly Bill By Sector", Census Division and State; US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, "Electric Sales, Revenue, and Average Price"] , number of adults in the household, and residence type and size.

How does residence type and number of adults fit into the equation?

Electricity: the calculator multiplies the selected state's average consumption of kilowatt hours (kWh) per household by a percentage, 50%, 75%, or 100% based on the type of residence selected: apartment, townhouse or row house, or single family house, respectively. The product is multiplied by a factor of 0.8, 1.0, or 1.2, based on the size of the residence selected reflected by number of bedrooms. The resulting figure is multiplied by the state average carbon emissions per kWh. This results in an estimate of total amount of pounds of carbon dioxide generated by electric usage, which is then divided by 2,205 to calculate metric tons.

Natural Gas: the calculator multiplies the selected state's average consumption of therms per household by a percentage, 50%, 75%, or 100% based on the type of residence selected: apartment, townhouse or row house, or single family house, respectively. The product is multiplied by a factor of 0.8, 1.0, or 1.2, based on the size of the residence selected. The resulting figure is multiplied by the state average carbon emissions per CCF. This results in an estimate of total amount of pounds of carbon dioxide generated by natural gas usage, which is then divided by 2,205 to calculate metric tons.

Vehicle Emissions

To estimate auto emissions, the calculator divides the average number of miles an American drives in a year (12,000 Miles) [US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Transportation and Air Quality, "Emission Facts: Greenhouse Gas Emissions for Typical Passenger Vehicle," February 2005] by the estimated fuel efficiency (21 mpg) of the average American vehicle. This amount is multiplied by 19.564 [U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy Information Administration, Instructions for Form EIA 1605B, Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions] the amount of pounds of carbon dioxide that is emitted as a result of burning one gallon of gasoline. To calculate metric tons, this number is divided by 2,205.

Section 2: Calculations for Personalizing the Score

Home Emissions

To calculate your personal home emissions, the calculator adds together the amount of emissions resulting from your electricity, natural gas, heating oil and propane usage.

Electricity: the calculator uses the entered dollar amount of the individual's average monthly electric bill. Kilowatt-hours used per month are calculated using average energy cost per kilowatt-hour by state [Energy Information Administration Average Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers by End-Use Sector , by State]. Total Kilowatt hours are multiplied by pounds of CO2 emitted per Kilowatt-hour in your unique state. [Updated State-level Greenhouse Gas Emissions Coefficients for Electricity Generation]. To calculate to metric tons, this number is divided by 2,205.

Natural Gas: The calculator uses the entered dollar amount of the individuals average monthly natural gas bill. Therms used are calculated using average energy cost per CCF in individuals state. [US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Natural Gas Residential Price by State]. The result is then multiplied by 12.0593 [US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Program (Emission Coefficients), "Fuel and Energy Source Codes and Emission Coefficients,"], pounds of carbon dioxide that is emitted as a result of burning one therm of natural gas. To calculate metric tons, this number is divided by 2,205.

Heating oil: the calculator uses the entered amount of the heating oil bill. Gallons used per month is calculated using the national average energy cost per gallon of heating oil [US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Heating Oil Residential Price]. The number of gallons is multiplied by 22.384, pounds of carbon dioxide emitted as the result of burning one gallon of heating oil [US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, Fuel and Energy Source Codes and Emission Coefficients]. To calculate metric tons, this number is divided by 2,205.

Propane: the calculator uses the entered amount of the propane bill. Gallons used per month is calculated using the national average energy cost per gallon of propane [US Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration, U.S. Propane Residential Price]. The number of gallons is multiplied by 12.669, pounds of carbon dioxide emitted as the result of using one gallon of propane[Energy Information Administration ,Fuel and Energy Source Codes and Emission Coefficients]. To calculate metric tons, this number is divided by 2,205.

Vehicle Emissions

To calculate your personal auto emissions, for each car, the calculator divides the average number of miles driven in a year by the estimated fuel efficiency (mpg) of the vehicle type that is selected [Environmental Protection Agency Fuel Economy Guide, 2007] This amount is multiplied by 19.564 the amount of pounds of carbon dioxide that is emitted as a result of burning one gallon of gasoline. To calculate metric tons, this number is divided by 2,205.

Air Travel Emissions

To calculate your personal air travel emissions, the number of round trips of selected duration/distance are entered into an equation as follows. Total Revenue Passenger miles flown per year [U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics; TranStats, Air Carrier Summary: Schedule T-1] divided by total jet fuel consumed per year [U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, "Airline Fuel Cost and Consumption"], resulting in 43.13 Passenger miles flown per gallon of jet fuel. This figure is divided into the 23.88 pounds of carbon dioxide produced per gallon of jet fuel used [U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, "Airline Fuel Cost and Consumption"], yielding 0.484 pounds of carbon dioxide per Passenger mile flown. The number of miles actually flown (inputted) is multiplied by this figure, and to calculate metric tons, the product is divided by 2,205.

Lifestyle Section

To calculate your deduction, if any, related to Pledges and/or Lifestyle questions, a point value has been assigned to each Pledge and/or Lifestyle question based on the projected CO2, to be saved per year. Please note, we can't calculate the carbon savings for all of these actions, however, they can make a difference in the long run.