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Calculate Your Carbon Footprint

Carbon Emissions Education

Learn where they come from and what we can do about them.

What are carbon emissions?

'Carbon emissions' are a shorthand way of referring to carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere. CO2 is the primary man-made greenhouse gas; greenhouse gases are associated with climate change. In general, CO2 emissions are released from burning fuels and other processes.

Try out our new tool that calculates your Scope 2 Carbon Score or the amount of CO2 emissions associated with the electricity you purchase from Duke Energy. The tool also displays your Grid Generation Mix based on the fuel sources used to generate the electricity for your home over the last year.

How are emissions categorized?

Greenhouse gas emissions are broken down into three groups, or “scopes,” based on where they originate:
  • Scope 1 Emissions:

    Emissions that are the direct result of owned or controlled sources (i.e., owned vehicle, gas furnace)

  • Scope 2 Emissions:

    Emissions resulting from the generation of electricity you purchase

  • Scope 3 Emissions:

    Emissions resulting from the supply chain and disposal of all goods and services you consume

Understanding Generation Mix

As an electric company, Duke Energy is most able to affect your Scope 2 emissions, or those resulting from the production of electricity. Electricity can be generated in many ways, and our calculator will show you what sources of energy are used to produce the electricity that runs everything in your home, from heat to lights to computers and more.

Renewable and Carbon-Free Sources

Renewable energy is classified as a naturally replenishing resource that produces zero emissions. In contrast, when energy sources are labeled “carbon-free,” the energy is produced by a resource that generates no carbon emissions but is not naturally replenishing, such as nuclear. Learn more about the sources of energy that made up your energy score below.
The primary benefits of using solar energy are the absence of air pollutants and carbon dioxide and the fact that most solar installations have a minimal effect on the environment.

With a combined investment of over $2 billion, by 2024, Duke Energy Florida’s solar generation portfolio will include 25 grid-tied solar power plants, which will benefit all Florida customers and will provide about 1,500 MW of emission-free generation. In the Carolinas, we have more than 4,500 MW of solar capacity connected to its grid – including company-owned and independent projects.

Employee in front of solar panels

Carbon Emissions Sources, aka Fossil Fuels

We call crude oil and petroleum, natural gas and coal “fossil fuels” because they are mixtures of hydrocarbons that formed from the remains of plants and animals. When fossil fuels are combusted (burned), oxygen in the air combines with carbon in the fuel to form CO2. This reaction releases heat, which we use for energy.

Coal is fossil fuel in a solid form and is obtained primarily by mining. Coal plants have helped Duke Energy reliably meet customer needs for more than a century, powering growth and economic development in our local communities. Coal fuel represents about 22% of our generation portfolio.

Duke Energy continues to lead the largest planned coal exit in the country, having retired 7,500 megawatts of coal since 2010. We’re targeting energy from coal to represent less than 5% of our total generation by 2030 and a full exit by 2035, subject to regulatory approvals.

coal yard

What is Duke Energy doing?

We are committed to a future that offers reliable, accessible and affordable clean energy for all customers and areas we serve. Achieving this vision will require us to transition to low and zero emissions energy, to invest in our communities, and to develop and prepare a diverse workforce. We've already made great progress on our carbon reduction journey thanks to the dedicated work of 28,000 employees.
  • We've reduced carbon emissions from electricity generation to 44% below 2005 levels.

  • We have retired 56 coal units in the last decade.

  • We own, operate or contract more than 10,500 MW of renewables.

  • Our near-term goal is to reduce emissions by 50% by 2030.

  • Our ultimate goal is to reach net-zero by 2050.

Energy-saving solutions & rewards

  • EnergyWise® Home

    When you enroll in EnergyWise® Home, you can help reduce electricity demand at peak hours AND you get up to $75 for helping!

  • Smart $aver

    Upgrade to energy-efficient products in your home, reducing the amount of energy used and in turn reducing carbon emissions. Plus get rebates to help offset the cost.

  • Online Savings Store

    Shop the Online Savings Store and save on energy-efficient products for your home delivered right to your door.

  • Retail Instant Savings

    Find instant discounts on a variety of energy-saving and carbon-reducing products at local retailers. Reserve your discount code, redeem your instant savings at checkout and enjoy your savings!

Frequently Asked Questions

For additional details or questions, contact Duke Energy by sending an email to
Sources: Duke Energy proprietary information and