I've done some amount of upgrades to my house to reduce my overall carbon emissions, and reading online there are all kinds of suggestions for doing even more:
- Replace my natural gas water heater with electric
- Put solar panels on the roof
- Buy wind energy credits
- Other kinds of carbon offsets
- Don't replace my electric oven with gas (which I had been thinking about, since I hear how great they are for cooking)
And of course I only have a limited amount of money to spend on this, so I'm trying to determine which action gives me the best bang (most carbon reduced) for my buck.
But I almost immediately run into a problem. Even just looking at that first one - "Replace my natural gas water heater with electric" - I can easily determine what the cost would be, but figuring out the carbon impact of that is tricky. I live in Colorado which is moving towards wind power, but still has some coal plants. How much carbon is my natural gas water heater emitting now? How much carbon would an electric water heater emit (when you take into account the carbon emitted to generate the electricity)?
Another example - my house was built in the 1970s so it doesn't have a lot of the energy-saving features built in to more recent houses, and I had an energy audit done that identified a lot of small items (nothing big). For example, where the tops of my walls meet the ceiling joists there are lots of tiny air gaps. Sealing those would be quite expensive, but might be worth it depending on how much energy I would save.
Is there a resource (or resources) that would help me figure out how much carbon would be reduced by each possible action? Please note that I'm not looking for common knowledge or general lists, I'm really trying to drill down and determine for my specific house, what are the exact (or approximate) impacts of each possible action? I realize that answering that question for each action will require specific information about my house and situation, I'm hoping that somewhere online there are calculators that would help me understand the impact of each action.