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This is a key question when it comes to CO2 reporting. The method you choose has a significant impact both on how data is collected and processed and on the final product you end up with. 

Actual numbers ensure accuracy 

At Comundo, we always base our carbon accounting on actual consumption and emissions – not estimates. We’ve chosen this method, as it gives you the most accurate picture and ensures that you work with elements such as:

  • Baselines and benchmarks
    Without knowing exactly where you start, it gets very difficult to know if you’re heading in the right direction.
  • Ongoing monitoring and optimization
    Actual data means that you can act on information on an ongoing basis and analyze the outcome.
  • Servicing third parties
    If you use actual data rather than estimates, you don’t have to worry about how your carbon accounting can be used in other contexts or be validated by accountants. Your non-financial KPIs can become just as accurate as your financial ones. At the same time, you avoid supplier dependency, where you’ve based your setup on certain hardware or software.

92% deviation between estimated and actual consumption

At Comundo, we have analyzed the CO2 emissions as estimated in the energy label reports of more than 1,000 buildings across 50 Danish municipalities.

One of those properties is the now former town hall in the municipality of Haderslev. What we saw is that actual CO2 emissions differed by 92% compared to the estimated CO₂ emissions stated in the energy label report. Here’s how the numbers break down: 

Estimated CO₂ emissions
Annual heat consumption according to the energy label report: 790.54 MWh (district heating). Total CO₂ emissions 111.47 tonnes.

Calculated CO₂ emission
CO₂ emission for district heating is calculated as follows:
790.54 * 3.6 * 3.25 * 0.001 = 9.25 tonnes of CO₂. Total CO₂ emissions: 9.25 tonnes of CO₂

CO₂ emissions: 102.22 tons of CO₂ or 92%

Basis of calculation
The building is connected to Haderslev district heating, which reported 3.25 kg of CO₂ per GJ heat to the Danish Energy Agency. The energy label report is from 2017, but there are only district heating measurements for the entire year of 2020, which is why the 2020 figures have been used.

The deviation seen here is one of the reasons we base our carbon accounting on actual consumption rather than estimates. 

If you want to know more about how you can get started with your carbon accounting and Comundos solution then contact us now. We’re here to help.