More than a third of carbon emissions of a typical European household are related to home energy consumption (e.g. 36% for Germany). Approximately a quarter of this energy consumption is electricity for lighting, appliances, etc. The share of electricity in the total household energy consumption will further increase, as space and hot water heating are electrified through the use of heat pumps instead of fossil fuels.
And with the ongoing energy crisis, tracking and understanding electricity consumption at home becomes even more relevant. Measuring consumption is essential for saving energy, which impacts both cost and carbon emissions positively.
With that in mind, we are announcing two new features to track your electricity consumption and related carbon emissions in the Zerofy app.
The simple way: manual logging of meter values
Every house and apartment is equipped with an electricity meter. The utility uses this meter to send you your electricity bill for a certain period. But in many countries, this billing cycle is still monthly, quarterly, or even less frequent! This means users get an “update” on their consumption only every few months.
While there is an ongoing transition to smart meters, even the simplest meters allow for checking the current meter value manually at any time, by just going to the meter and writing down the current meter reading.
The Zerofy app now provides a feature to keep a simple log of meter values at any intervals you like. All you need to do is to enter the current day and time and the meter value in kWh. We also support entering different values for different tariffs (e.g. day and night) as provided by many meters.
Zerofy then splits the consumption evenly in hourly values for the periods between the meter values you entered, and estimates related carbon emissions for each hour using carbon intensity.
The smart way: automated meter readings from (smart-me) smart meters
Much better than manual tracking is of course getting data automated and in real-time. This is possible with cloud-connected smart meters.
Today we’re excited to announce our first smart meter integration with smart-me: the Swiss company smart-me provides probably some of the most innovative smart meters.. They are connected to the cloud by default and allow reading your consumption in real-time via their mobile app and web interface.
And now you can connect your smart-me account in the Zerofy app, to automatically import your electricity consumption in real-time. We then calculate the real-time carbon emissions using your actual hourly consumption and carbon intensity for that hour from Electricity Maps.
You may now wonder how you can get a smart-me meter. You can purchase a meter and have it installed (they are available in the products section of our mobile app!). Or, even easier, maybe your utility already uses smart-me meters as some Swiss and Northern European utilities do. Please note that smart-me also provides a simple extension module for the widely used Kamstrup meters, which connects them to the smart-me cloud (and with that to Zerofy).
This is our first smart meter integration with Zerofy, and we are looking to add more in the coming months. (Please do reach out to us if you have any meters, utilities, or data hubs we should prioritize. And we are also looking for test users in various countries.)
We hope these new features help you understand your household energy use and carbon emissions - and eventually reduce them.