Grid electricity, household price vs carbon content, per kilowatt-hour

About the data

About the data

Sources of data are as follows.

  1. Prices. Prices for the United Kingdom and Germany from OECD Electricity Information 2015, p. III.58 (p. 114 of the PDF). Ontario prices based on private electricity bills for a Hydro Ottawa customer (thus do not reflect rural prices, which are significantly greater). All prices are household, all-in, and US dollars.
  2. CIPK. United Kingdom and Germany based on OECD Electricity Information 2015, United Kingdom p. IV.702 (p.824 of the PDF); Germany p. IV.324 (p.446 of the PDF). Ontario based on Independent Electriciy System Operator historical data and EmissionTrak™ carbon factors.

The importance of CIPK

The importance of CIPK

When we know the CIPK of electricity or other energy, then we can compare electricity from different grids, and we can compare electricity with the other energy we use.

Similarly, if we are able to compare prices of electricity or other energy, we can add a further valuable dimension to our comparison.

Knowing how the CIPK of our electricity compares with that of other grids, and how it compares with price of the electricity from other grids, can help us evaluate the relative success of policies aimed at reducing the carbon related to electricity generation.

The chart above allows us to instantly compare the effectiveness of carbon reduction during a period when policies were introduced in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Ontario to do just that.

CIPK stands for Carbon Intensity per Kilowatt-hour. It is a measure of the carbon dioxide emission content, in grams, of a kilowatt-hour (3.6 million joules) of energy. It is a function of the carbon content of the fuel being used to produce the energy. If the fuel contains no carbon, or if carbon does not participate in the process that produces the energy, then the CIPK is zero.