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Energy and Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator for Commercial Refrigeration – Calculations and references

Introduction

This page describes the metrics used by the ‘Energy and Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator for Commercial Refrigeration’ tool found on the True Refrigeration websites to convert kWh numbers into different types of greenhouse gas emission equivalents.

Different instances of the Calculator appear on regional websites, for example truerefrigeration.eu .de and .fr uses EU sources and report in Euros, whereas truerefrigeration.co.uk uses UK sources and reports in GBP. We have made every attempt to use the most current data sources published and will endeavour to keep the numbers updated going forward to provide accurate estimates for users.

The ‘Energy and Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator for Commercial Refrigeration’ converts kWh energy savings/difference between the True products selected and data from other products input by the user, multiplied by a kWh unit cost and number of sites, providing an estimated operating cost and (where numbers are significant) relatable equivalence examples (around cars and households) based on reduced emissions.

It is our hope that the results assist operators in making a more informed purchase decision, highlighting potential cost differences between operating products. Where equivalence examples are displayed, this may be useful in communicating your greenhouse gas reduction strategy or other sustainability initiatives.

Cost per kWh

Due to the ongoing energy crisis, prices paid by businesses per kilowatt-hour are currently experiencing high volatility which is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

As such, the Calculator defaults to an average figure to enable progression through to the outcome stage, however we strongly suggest that operators use their actual current ‘Unit Cost’ paid per kWh of energy used to receive a more accurate estimation.

It should also be noted that that the non-household price paid per kWh varies greatly between EU countries, with Greece paying €0.22 per kWh and Finland paying €0.08 per kWh in the second half of 2021 [1].

Region Cost per kWh used
Europe €0.14
UK £0.28

According to the latest UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy data, starting in April 2022, default energy tariffs for those paying by direct debit will cost £0.28 per kWh [2].

The EU average price for non-household consumers in the second semester of 2021 was €0.1445 per kWh [1].

[1] https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Electricity_price_statistics
[2] https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-cost-electricity-kwh-uk

CO2 Context

A greenhouse gas (GHG) is defined as any gas in the Earth’s atmosphere which absorbs and re‐emits heat, and as a result makes the planet’s atmosphere warmer than it would be otherwise.

GHGs occur naturally in the atmosphere, but human activities such as generating electricity, fuelling transportation and industrial processes (which are still heavily reliant on burning fossil fuels) are increasing levels, leading to global warming and climate change

The Kyoto Protocol (the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) was established to set out measures for the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions.

Since there are a number of GHGs, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and ozone, each with a different Global Warming Potential (GWP) i.e. impact on the environment, a numbering system was developed to provide a common unit of measure across the different gases.

As the most common GHG emitted, Carbon dioxide (CO2) was selected as the base for the system, with a GWP of 1. Gasses with more of a warming impact will therefore have a larger GWP number relative to CO2.

Carbon reduction is a process where an organisation directly reduces greenhouse gas emissions through efficiencies, for example switching to more sustainable/energy saving products and solutions, in turn reducing their carbon footprint.

CO2e per kWh

The amount of carbon dioxide released by the production of one unit of power depends on the type of fuel that is burned. Coal, for example has a higher carbon content than gas. For all sources of electricity (including fossil, nuclear and renewables), the average amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the UK in 2020 amounted to 180 tonnes per GWh of electricity supplied (equivalent to 180,000 kg per 1,000,000 kWh) [3].

The Calculator uses an average CO2 output rate to convert kilowatt-hours of energy use into units of carbon dioxide emissions.

Region CO2e/kWh used
EU Average 0.231
UK Average 0.233

A UK government report in 2020 estimated a figure of 0.233 kg of CO2e per kWh of electricity [4].

The ‘Greenhouse gas emission intensity of electricity generation in Europe’ 18 Nov 2021 updated put the GHG intensity of electricity generation for the EU-27 at 230.7g CO2e/kWh for 2020 [5].

[3] https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/uk-territorial-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics “2020 UK greenhouse gas emissions, provisional figures 25 March 2021”
[4] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversion-factors-2020
[5] https://www.eea.europa.eu/ims/greenhouse-gas-emission-intensity-of-1

CO2e Car Travel

Emissions from transport account for one quarter of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the biggest sources of pollution, contributing to poor air quality, noise disturbance, congestion and climate change.

The European Green Deal calls for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from transport (compared with 1990 levels) if the EU is going to achieve it climate-neutral by 2050 target.

Despite reduction targets, average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars registered were on the increase pre-pandemic, due to growth in the sport utility vehicle segment. In 2019, average CO2 emissions from all new cars reached 122.3 g CO2/km [6].

Less than 1% of cars in operation today are electric, with petrol and diesel still dominating new registrations and cars on the road.

For our CO2e Car Travel equivalence metric, we present the savings/difference between the True products selected and data from other products input by the user, in terms of the number of additional vehicles on the road, unnecessary environmental impact which can be avoided by operating more energy efficient refrigeration equipment.

Region CO2e/car travel Average travel per annum
EU Average 0.11 kg per km 11,300 km
UK Average 0.22 kg per mile 7,000 miles

In 2020, average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars registered in the European Union were 108.2 grammes of CO2 per kilometre [7].

In the UK, average CO2 emissions per car are 138.4 grams per km (or 221.4 grams per mile), according to latest 2020 data from the Department for Transport [8].

[6] https://www.eea.europa.eu/ims/co2-performance-of-new-passenger
[7] https://www.acea.auto/figure/interactive-map-co2-emissions-from-new-passenger-cars-in-the-eu-by-country/
[8] https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/average-co2-emissions-car-uk

CO2e Home Energy

40% of UK GHG emissions come from households (second only to the transport sector), and while no two houses are the same, with number of residents and property type greatly varying.

“Wet appliances” such as washing machines and dishwashers typically account for the majority of a households electricity use, with heating being the main use of gas. And while gas is typically 3-4 times cheaper than electricity per kWh, the average home also consumes a lot more of it, central and water heating being comparatively energy intensive.

For our CO2e Home Energy equivalence metric, we present the savings/difference between the True products selected and data from other products input by the user, in terms of the number of additional homes powered/heated, unnecessary environmental impact which can be avoided by operating more energy efficient refrigeration equipment.

Region Average kWh/annum consumption per dwelling9
EU Average 17,793
UK Average 20,721

[9] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/65964/1524-eu-energy-efficiency-household-trends-art.pdf

CO2e Forestry

Trees and forests have a role to play in helping to mitigate climate change, naturally sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. The more trees we have, the more carbon can be captured.

UK forests and woodlands remove around 10 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere per year, however the total carbon dioxide emissions produced in the UK exceed 530 million tonnes over the same period.

Forests and agricultural lands cover more than three-quarters of the EU’s territory, absorbing the equivalent of 10% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions each year.

At the same time deforestation and forest degradation account for 11% of EU GHG emissions, and if just 0.1% of the carbon currently stored in European soils was released, it would equal the annual emissions from as much as 100 million cars.

It is estimated that 0.546 kg of carbon per year can be sequested by a tree, – equivalent to 2 kg of carbon dioxide (One tonne of carbon being equivalent to 3.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide.).

For our CO2e Forestry equivalence metric, we present the savings/difference between the True products selected and data from other products input by the user, in terms of the number of trees that would be required to sequester additional carbon, as unnecessary environmental impact which can be avoided by operating more energy efficient refrigeration equipment.

[10] https://assets.ctfassets.net/veghhywsw6ys/54krbctEDeX9vsp34BP5rt/84ccdd120d5fe35ce33badf14fc7f93e/Forestry-Commission-report-into-impact-of-planting-trees-on-carbon-emissions.pdf

[11] https://ec.europa.eu/clima/eu-action/forests-and-agriculture_en