Green Power Calculator: Assess our community-wide environmental impact

By City Landscape Staff03 Green Power Calc

Over the past few months, the Sustainability Program has been working hard to create Beaverton’s first community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory comparison for years 2008 and 2013. A GHG is an emission inventory that looks at the amount of pollutants we discharge into the atmosphere – both natural and human-caused. The key emission this inventory looks at is carbon dioxide – the primary GHG released into the atmosphere mainly from the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are burned through human activities such as driving your car and heating your home.

By tracking the community’s emissions, we can pinpoint what sectors account for the highest emissions – whether it be transportation, industrial energy use, or another area. Through collecting this data on specific sectors, we can identify our priority areas of focus and create goals and actions that are founded on concrete GHG emissions data.

So what can you do to help? There are a variety of ways you can make a difference as an individual. One way of reducing your own GHG emissions at home is by switching to renewable energy. The city has already switched to renewable energy for all of its governmental operations. Will you take the leap to clean energy too?

Below is Portland General Electric’s (PGE) green power calculator. This tool allows you to calculate what it would cost your household to switch to renewable energy. The example below shows that for a household that pays $77.32 per month for its energy bill can switch to renewable energy for only an additional $5.61 per month!

Small actions make a big difference. What will you do to reduce your impact?