Product Input: The Carbon Calculator

Hi Community,

Last week a new tile appeared in some Bulb accounts. Labelled “Carbon footprint”, it links to information about our carbon calculator, a new product that helps you work out your carbon footprint then offset it.

By asking simple questions about the amount you travel, what you eat and what type of energy you use, we can work out how much of an impact you’re having on the planet and how much it’d cost to offset it.

To give an idea of how much that is, it’d cost £7.58 a month to offset the average annual footprint of 13 tonnes.

We’re really excited to release this to the wider public (you don’t have to be a member to use it). But firstly we want to hear your thoughts - whether you’ve seen the carbon calculator in your Bulb account already or you’ve been looking into carbon offsetting and have some feedback, let us know. This is how we make products better.

We will also be running a Q&A over the course of next week with our carbon calculator product manager - keep your eyes peeled.




Yes, all my electricity is green. No, I don’t use gas. BUT I suspect my results would not look quite so impressive if there was anywhere to tell you about the large tank of heating oil in my back garden.

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This is a very useful bit of feedback, thank you @ccc

I have just done the calculator and it’s good (I signed up to offset!) but the big shock for me was technology/electronics — could the calculator take into account what type of tech/electronic and/or brand. I’m sure buying certain tech items from different companies would have a greatly different carbon footprint.

Hi @dominicsaul,

Thanks for the feedback. I think this is a great idea and something we might see in the future as we continue to fine-tune the calculator. We just need to balance it with keeping the calculator simple.

You might want to ask the carbon calculator product manager Julia in her Q&A. If not I’ll certainly pass it on to her.

Excited that you’ve chosen to offset with us as well!


Hi there!

Love the calculator btw.

I just had a micro-piece of feedback about this screen:

Can Diesel come first? At a glance, it looks like these are in order of CO² footprint, and Diesel is somehow not as bad as petrol? (which is not true). I think that ordering them more clearly by severity has a micro-psychological impact on how you feel about your CO² footprint, which I think is important.

The details are my jam :smiley:


Hi @tomkiss,

I love the attention to detail, so thank you for having those as your jam and for spreading your ideas! (:rotating_light: sound the bad pun siren :rotating_light:)

Even the little details count like this, so we’ve passed this on to the Carbon Calculator team :blush:

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I’ve just been watching a short BBC documentary: ‘Dirty Streaming: The Internet’s Biggest Secret’. It shows just how much energy using the internet and streaming shows uses every day.

I was wondering whether future updates to the Carbon calculator could ask users for how much video they stream each week? I am shocked at how much energy I’ve used streaming video during lockdown, but I don’t know what I can do to help offset it!!

Thanks :slight_smile:

Hey @JoeHudson - welcome back to Community!

What a great idea! :tv:

The use of the internet is actually something we’ve been interested in a lot recently, we recently did a blog post talking about the carbon footprint of our emails if you want to check that out. :smile:

I’m going to send your idea to people in the right places, and hopefully we can get working on implementing more variables into our calculator! If you have any others ideas too, we’d love to hear them.

All the best,

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Quick question about the food calculator. Is the number of meals for a single person/serving, which is then multiplied automatically by the number of people in the household at the end, or should we put in the number of servings per week/month (ie. account for the number of people in the number entered, so one meal per week for five people would be would be entered as 5)?



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Hi. I think you should have a link to update the Carbon Offset payment on the offset dashboard page. I wanted to update mine and and couldn’t change the payment; I had to cancel it but then there wasn’t an option to make a new one. In the end I managed to find the calculator and create a new one but a link would be handy.

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Hi @VeryRandomMan

Welcome to the community :sunny: we hope to see you around :eyes:

This is a great idea :bulb: and something that the team have talked about. Thank you for your feedback I will let them know!


Hi @scott.billings

Welcome to the community :wave: :sunny:

Thank you for your questions. It is calculated for an individual’s carbon footprint, not a households.

This page has lots of information about how we work out the different categories.

I hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions :smiley:


If the smart meters gave consumption in energy unit rather that cost, it would be easier to calculate the carbon footprint

@geffennash do you mean the Smart meter itself or the In Home Display?

I think you could look at the meter itself if you wanted the kWh use :thinking: It’s a good idea though in order to track that use for carbon footprints and energy consumption!