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Measuring Energy - internal

Units of energy Energy is measured in joules or calories. Dieticians and nutritionists use calories. The calorie was originally defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree centigrade. A single beat of the human heart uses 0.5 joules of energy. The amount of energy in one litre of petrol is 35,000,000 joules.
First you need to measure the different types of energy coming into the organisation and used within for processes and services. The amount of energy will be carbon counted in the next step.

Complete a table showing what energy comes in , what it is used for, and wastes out, together with the quantities used.


graphic: electricity cables
What energy comes in? What is it used for? What does it emit? Quantity used / quarter
Electricity Machinery, lighting Heat xxxKwh
Gas Heating Heat, fumes xxxcubic whatevers
Petroleum Transport, process use CO2 SO2 etc xx litres
Diesel Transport xx litres

Measure electricity used and note the source
Get in touch with your electricity supplier and ask what % of their supply is:

  • generated by wind or other renewable source (sold as green energy and part of the Renewable Obligations within the UK)
  • from coal/oil fired power generator
  • nuclear
  • unknown

This takes care of the organisations immediate use of different power supplies.

Next you need to look beyond the gate at what comes in as supplies of raw materials, components, and services; also what wastes and products go out.

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Produced by Environmental Practice at Work Publishing Company Ltd. Copyright 2007