Oakland, Calif. — 14 June, 2023 — Environmental tech nonprofit WattTime today announced it is working with Amazon to bring greenhouse gas emissions insights and emission reduction capabilities to the Alexa app and Amazon Smart Thermostat. The Alexa Energy Dashboard now offers emissions insights powered by WattTime. In addition, the Amazon Smart Thermostat can now automatically optimize HVAC energy consumption to align with lower emissions moments on the power grid.
“We are always searching for those partnerships and applications that will drive more impact faster when it comes to reducing emissions and tipping the climate scales in favor of our planet, and this work with Amazon is a prime example,” said Gavin McCormick, founder and executive director of WattTime. “We’re excited to offer simple — and in some cases automatic — tools to help reduce electricity-related emissions impacts. Today’s news is just the beginning when it comes to the difference we can make with collaborations like this.”
The Alexa Energy Dashboard, housed within the Alexa app, helps users understand their device’s energy consumption. It works with a selection of water heaters and thermostats to help track the usage of devices that consume the most energy. Using historical data aggregated by WattTime, Amazon calculates a median value of CO2 emissions in each user’s area. Looking at estimated carbon dioxide emissions over the course of 24 hours, it categorizes values above that median as “Higher” and below that median as “Lower,” which is then displayed in the dashboard. This data can help users choose when to run their dishwasher, dryer, or other inherently flexible electricity-consuming appliances.
With new improvements to the Amazon Smart Thermostat, emissions reduction capabilities go a step further. Customers in the U.S. can now choose to opt-in to a feature to help limit HVAC use during times when electricity may cause more emissions by having Alexa use estimations provided by WattTime and automatically adjust the temperature by one degree. The Amazon Smart Thermostat’s new feature leverages WattTime’s marginal emissions rates, which assess the real-world impacts of consuming power at a specific time and location.
"We're very excited about this energy feature update for Amazon Smart Thermostats that enables Alexa to try to reduce a household’s carbon impact proactively," said Maiken Moeller-Hansen, Director of Energy and Sustainability at Amazon. "Now Alexa can automatically adjust temperature set-points to reduce usage during high emission times, based on real-time emissions data from the user’s local power grid."
For more information on WattTime and its technology, visit www.watttime.org.
WattTime is an environmental tech nonprofit that empowers all people, companies, policymakers, and countries to slash emissions and choose cleaner energy. Founded by UC Berkeley researchers, we develop data-driven tools and policies that increase environmental and social good. During the energy transition from a fossil-fueled past to a zero-carbon future, WattTime ‘bends the curve’ of emissions reductions to realize deeper, faster benefits for people and planet. Learn more at www.WattTime.org.
Nikki Arnone, Inflection Point Agency for WattTime