Canadian Household Emissions

According to Environment Canada

Direct and Indirect Household Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Canadian households produced about 316 megatonnes (Mt) of emissions of the main greenhouse gases in 2005. This was a slight decrease from the 322 Mt emitted in 2004. 

The domestic production of goods and services for Canadian households (e.g. food, electricity) accounted for 65.7% of these emissions. The remaining 34.3% came from in-home and motor fuel use.

Household services, particularly the use of electricity, resulted in the largest increase in household GHG emissions: 23.8% (21 Mt) between 1990 and 2005. Household emissions associated with motor fuel use increased by 27.0% (15 Mt).

Estimated direct and indirect household GHG emissions, Canada, 1990 and 2005 (bar chart) and percent of total household emissions (pie chart), 2005*

Canadians make lifestyle choices every day that result in GHG emissions. Canadians either produce emissions directly or use products that are produced by industries that emit GHGs.

  • Direct household GHG emissions come from fuel use in homes for heating and cooling, or fuel use in motor vehicles.
  • Indirect household GHG emissions come from industry’s production of goods (e.g. food) and services (e.g. electricity) that we consume.


There were 12,437,500 households reported in the 2006 Canadian Census. (The average size of a household was 2.5 people.) This means that each household was responsible for approximately 25.5 tonnes of GHGs in 2005. Of this 12.4 % (3.2 tonnes) represents the portion for in-home heating and cooling.