Web site helps area energy users determine carbon footprint

Friday, November 21, 2008

From a story by Anita Weier in The Capital Times:

Want to know your carbon footprint?

It just got a lot easier for Madison-area residents to calculate exactly how much heat-trapping carbon dioxide they produce.

Madison Gas & Electric partnered with the University of Wisconsin Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) and 1000 Friends of Wisconsin to create www.CO2gether.org, which was to be launched at 4 p.m. Thursday.

The site can be used to find exactly how much of the greenhouse gas has been produced by an individual or a household using electricity, natural gas and motor vehicle fuel. Users can calculate information for a year, and then follow up after making any changes to the way they use energy.

Visitors to the site can enter energy and transportation data, and charts are created to track use over time.

The site is especially easy for MGE customers to use, because they can get consumption history directly from MGE. Customers of the utility can sign in with the same user ID and password as they use on the MGE Web site.

Users of CO2gether.org can also create a personal journal of actions they have taken to reduce energy use and participate in discussion groups.

"The Web site shows how much CO2 you save when you take action, for example -- turn the furnace down, car pool or buy Energy Star applicances," said Steve Hiniker, executive director of 1000 Friends of Wisconsin.