WattTime answers the question, where does your electricity come from?

When you think about it, it’s pretty strange that you don’t usually know. Normally when you buy something, you get to choose who to buy from. But plug in an air conditioner or electric vehicle, and the power grid operator chooses for you. A lot of people and organizations would like their utilities to make environmentally-conscious smart energy choices. But in fact, your energy use could turn on anything from your local windmill to a coal plant in another state.

Now, that’s changing. In 2014, a research collaboration led by Berkeley PhD student and WattTime co-founder Gavin McCormick developed a novel technique to trace who is selling electricity where and when. A software collaboration led by Berkeley PhD grad and WattTime co-founder Anna Schneider has turned this research into an automatic tool people can use to choose where their power should come from.

Today, any smart device with an internet connection has the potential to turn off dirty power plants and replace them with clean ones, simply by automatically shifting power to carefully selected moments. Since these clean moments are often only five minutes away, most commercial buildings and electric vehicles can begin choosing cleaner power without building occupants or drivers even noticing the difference.

That’s Environmental Demand Response. And WattTime envisions a world where that capability is built into every smart device, so people and organizations worldwide can save carbon and help renewable energy spread… automatically. Now, that vision is becoming a reality, as the first WattTime-enabled products hit the shelves.