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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

LFG Energy Benefits Calculator

The LFG Energy Benefits Calculator can be used to estimate direct, avoided and total greenhouse gas reductions, as well as environmental and energy benefits, for the current year of your landfill gas energy project. For both electricity generation and direct–use projects, reductions of greenhouse gas emissions are derived from capturing and destroying landfill methane. Greenhouse gases are also reduced by the offset of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Electricity generation projects displace CO2 that would have otherwise been generated from fossil fuels burned at conventional power plants. For direct-use projects, the methane in LFG displaces fossil fuels and avoids CO2 that would have otherwise been released.

The LFG Energy Benefits Calculator expresses reductions of methane and CO2 in equivalent environmental and energy benefits. For example, the total 2014 benefits for a typical 3–megawatt electricity generation project are approximately equal to any one of the following environmental benefits:

  • Carbon sequestered by nearly 121,000 acres of U.S. forests in one year
  • CO2 emissions from about 800 railcars' worth of coal burned
  • CO2 emissions from about 16.6 million gallons of gasoline consumed

and are approximately equal to the following energy benefit:

  • Powering about 1,800 homes

The total 2014 benefits for a typical direct–use project using 1,000 standard cubic feet per minute of LFG are approximately equal to any one of the following environmental benefits:

  • Carbon sequestered by more than 113,000 acres of U.S. forests in one year
  • CO2 emissions from more than 322,000 barrels of oil consumed
  • CO2 emissions from nearly 15.6 million gallons of gasoline consumed

and are approximately equal to the following energy benefit:

  • Heating more than 3,400 homes

Download the 2014 LFG Energy Benefits Calculator (XLS) (244 K, About MS Excel Exiting EPA)

The environmental equivalencies in LMOP’s calculator reflect those in the Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator on the EPA Clean Energy website.

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