Carbon Savings Calculator

When you save electricity, you help the environment by reducing the levels of gases that contribute to climate change. Use the form below to calculate your carbon savings.

About the Climate Change Gases

Information provided by the Environmental Literacy Council

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere through both natural and human processes. Natural production and absorption of carbon dioxide is primarily through the biosphere and the oceans via the carbon cycle. Human activities such as fuel burning (coal, oil, natural gas, and wood), cement production, and changes in land use have altered the natural carbon cycle by increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


Methane, which comes from both natural and human sources, is an extremely powerful warming agent, even more effective than carbon dioxide. However, its lifetime in the atmosphere is brief, only about 12 years. In nature, methane is released through biological processes in low oxygen environments, such as swamplands. Human activities, including growing rice, raising cattle, using natural gas and coal mining, are increasingly adding to the level of methane in the atmosphere.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, otherwise known as “laughing gas,” is a long-lived warming gas, persisting in the atmosphere for approximately 120 years. It is produced naturally from a wide variety of biological sources in both soil and water, particularly microbial action in wet tropical forests. Human-related sources of nitrous oxide include agricultural soil management, animal manure management, sewage treatment, combustion of fossil fuel, and the production of a variety of acids.

More Information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also offers a Power Profiler which includes other types of energy.