It’s complicated - calculating C02

12 May 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist
Stronghouse has set a goal to reduce C02 emissions by 25 kiloton during the course of the project. Homeowners and neighbourhoods will use instruments shared, developed and disseminated through the consortium to achieve this. On April 23rd the partners met again, online, to tackle some essential discussion points in this regard. The main question: how do we calculate CO2 emissions and Stronghouse-related reductions?

Calculating CO2 emissions and reductions is complicated. The energy consumption of houses or apartments, even similar types, can differ significantly. Many variables influence the outcome; the effects of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy  sources are not always easy to distinguish but both are relevant  to the calculation. Some measures and forms of energy renovation will affect the energy consumption of all sources, whereas others will influence just one.


To monitor results, an overall baseline is needed. The Stronghouse baseline isn’t used to calculate the CO2 reduction but it puts the impact of the project into perspective so we can relate our efforts and results to the current level of emissions. National differences will also become visible.



Differing data & details

The available data is related to various energy sources, such as electricity (both fossil and green), natural gas and oil. This differs from region to region. While  detailed data provides the best basis for calculation, measuring exact emission reductions will not always be possible. In that case the Stronghouse partners will use a more general model, the same guidelines per region, and yearly averages. By comparing the outcomes of the agreed model for different regions, we can relate and compare data and results. 

Data collection and the associated privacy issues must be respected. It will be interesting to learn from the University of Gothenburg and Spring how block-chain and similar digital technologies can be used for this.

All regions contribute

With a set target of 25 kiloton CO2 reduction, the Stronghouse partners will all contribute by calculating a feasible reduction in each region. This reduction can be the direct or indirect effect of a Stronghouse measure or instrument, whereby the link to Stronghouse efforts is clearly described in the case of indirect results. By comparing the figures during biannual meetings the project’s impact can be monitored.

It might be complicated but by the end of this energetic and interactive working session, this consortium has cracked it and is ready to do some figures.


Example of an energy reduction calculation from the Province of Drenthe

Owner Occupied Home (2018)Average Floor Size 100 m2








Natural Gas


Other sources








Current energy consumption (kWh)






Renewable energy consumption (kWh)






Current annual CO2 emission (kg)






Calculated result






CO2 reduction through energy efficiency and renewable sources






Number of houses






Total CO2 reduction (kg)(estimate)