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New Carbon Tracer app reveals real-time electricity generation mix and carbon emissions at a local level for the first time

7 February 2018


Households across the Western Power Distribution (WPD) region can now find out exactly what mixture of energy technologies are supplying electricity from the grid into their homes, thanks to the launch of the new Carbon Tracer app.

Carbon Tracer mobile phone app


Download Carbon Tracer App

The Carbon Tracer is available on Google Play and the App Store, for Android and Apple devices. Try moving your energy usage based on which hours are greenest or reddest to improve your carbon intensity and become more energy smart!

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play


Help us trial Carbon Tracer, the new app that provides real-time information on your local energy supply! We are looking for volunteers to spend 30 minutes talking with us in the period running through to early Spring 2018 and provide feedback on their experience. The sign-up page for interviews can be found here.

 

Developed by WPD in collaboration with the Carbon Trust, working alongside digital agency Enigma Interactive, the app is the first to reveal real time information to consumers on their local energy generation mix and the amount of CO2 produced as a result, also known as its ‘carbon intensity’.

The WPD network, which operates across the East and West Midlands, South Wales and the South West, has seen an increasing amount of low carbon generation being connected to the network over recent years.

By using the new app, electricity customers will now be able to see real time data on how the energy delivered to their local area is being generated, taking into account how much energy is coming from nearby solar panels and wind turbines in current weather conditions. In addition to renewables, the app also reveals what proportion of electricity is being provided through nuclear energy, fossil fuels, or other energy sources such as municipal waste incineration.

Having access to this information will allow individuals to make informed decisions about the best times to schedule their energy-consuming tasks – such as using the washing machine, tumble dryer,  dishwasher or water heater – if they want to help make a difference to climate change.

To support this decision making, the app provides both live information and a seven-day forecast, helpfully colour-coding different times of day as green, amber and red depending on how carbon intensive electricity is expected to be at that time.

 

Carbon Tracer App screenshot

WPD’s Future Networks Manager Roger Hey explained: “The Carbon Tracer app displays information from the bulk supply point – the large distribution level electricity supply substation to which the app user is connected.   

“There are two constantly changing pieces of information: the demand for power, which varies according to the time of day and what households are doing, and the mix of electricity that is being used to meet that demand.

“On a sunny day with a slight breeze, electricity from renewable sources is likely to be at its peak around noon. After 5pm there is a greater demand on the network, which means the National Grid feed will increase.”

Manu Ravishankar, Innovation Manager at the Carbon Trust commented: “The future of energy is built on a foundation of data. As we move towards an energy system that is based on more flexible, low carbon energy it is important to understand how consumers will interact with the rich stream of information that will be available.

“This innovative app is a step towards helping to deepen our understanding of what level of data consumers will be willing to engage with, in particular around more technical information on carbon intensity.”

The Carbon Tracer app can be used anywhere across the WPD network. It is now available for download on Apple devices through the App Store and on Android devices through Google Play.

 

Carbon Tracer mobile phone app


Download Carbon Tracer App

The Carbon Tracer is available on Google Play and the App Store, for Android and Apple devices. Try moving your energy usage based on which hours are greenest or reddest to improve your carbon intensity and become more energy smart!

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play


Find out more about the app on the 
Carbon Tracer website

 

For further information please contact:

Ainslie MacLeod, Senior PR Manager at the Carbon Trust

E: ainslie.macleod@carbontrust.com or T: +44 (0) 20 7170 7000

Or

Louise Birkett, Corporate Communication Office, Western Power Distribution

T: 01332 827172

About Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution is the electricity distribution network operator for the Midlands, South West and Wales. The network delivers electricity to over 7.8 million customers over a 55,500km2 service area. The company operates 220,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables, and 185,000 substations, employing over 6,500 staff.  WPD is not an electricity supply company and does not bill customers in the UK.

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent, expert partner of leading organisations around the world, helping them contribute to and benefit from a more sustainable future through carbon reduction, resource efficiency strategies and commercialising low carbon technologies.

About Enigma Interactive

Based out of offices in Newcastle and London, Enigma Interactive is recognised as one of the top five digital agencies in the UK, helping its customers design and build websites, eCommerce systems, content management platforms, apps and interactive services.

 

Following the launch of Carbon Tracer, the partners behind the app will continue to work on its development, looking for ways to improve the presentation of data and make it more useful to households. To support this, we are looking for volunteers to spend 30 minutes talking with us in the period running through to early Spring 2018 and provide feedback on their experience. This information will be invaluable in helping shape the future of the app. The sign-up page for interviews can be found here.

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