what is this site all about?

A good place to start is to describe why this site was created.  It all comes down to wanting to know how green I am compared with others.

A few months ago an energy bill landed on the mat. It included a helpful comparison of my daily usage versus the same quarter last year.  The previous bills had all shown a decrease per quarter but unfortunately this time it was showing a small increase. This was no surprise as I was working a lot more from home this year. But this sparked a thought. I know how I am performing against myself year on year, but how am I performing against other people?

The first port of call was the internet and a famous search engine. A search for average energy consumption in the UK returned all kinds of results from government departments to personal blogs. However an interesting document from Ofgem (Typical domestic energy consumption figures - factsheet 96, 2011) stood out. The factsheet gave the average annual household consumption of gas at 20,500 kWh (56.1 kWh/day) and electricity at 3,300 kWh (9.04 kWh/day). Finally there were some numbers to start the comparision.

Although it was missing the number of people in an average household in the UK. Further searches returned a report by the Office of National Statistics (Families and households, 2012). They reported that in the UK in 2012 29% of households consisted of one person, 35% of two people, 16.5% of three people and 19.6% housed four or more. It appeared there was not one single "average" household.

David MacKay, in his book Sustainable Energy - without the hot air, breaks down energy use into kWh per person per day. So all that was needed was a way to find the number of people in a household and an accurate measurement of their energy use.

So here we are ... the reason HowGreenAmI.co.uk was built.

Well I hope you like the site and keep feeding in your data. Hopefully we will collate some useful data and we can finally answer the question "how green am i?"