|Funding mechanism||Network Innovation Allowance (NIA)|
|Duration||August 2016 - March 2018|
The Carbon Tracer project successfully delivered an App and shadow website which enables customers (or other interested parties) to choose any location in the WPD remit area and find out the instantaneous energy mix, and therefore the carbon intensity for their selected location. This is provided as a 7 day History or Forecast, and in a Now and more detailed Today mode.
The main challenges for the project were the sourcing of the data required to “power” the app and the creation of a design for the deployment of the app functionality which was simple yet engaging. We worked with internal projects which had prepared data under the umbrella of the strategic studies programme to address the former, and for the latter we used consultancy from Carbon Trust to investigate ergonomics for the app and to prepare a view of the sort of GUI that was required. Enigma Interactive have experience in app production and as well as app implementation, test and rollout, and were also able to add to the planned design at an early stage.
Take up of the app was very encouraging from the start, assisted by planned marketing activities by both WPD and Carbon Trust using social media, press releases, internal publications, standard search engine and app store “tags”. The usage analytics are being studied on an ongoing basis to obtain information on how customers interact with such apps and the extent to which they are prepared to modify their behaviour as a result, including their willingness to shift energy usage on the basis of carbon intensity projections (effectively DSR under NIA rules).
At the time of preparation of the closedown report, over 2200 distinct downloads/users had been seen and customer feedback showed that it has been well received. The project found that up to 15% of users of the app can be expected to consult the application and are prepared take deferment action for discretionary energy use. In terms of the educational value of the app, we also found that in all of the main categories that were put to the users, the proportion of responses indicating awareness of the attendant issues was raised by between 10 to 20 points. Given these positive outcomes and the likelihood that automation will result in even better take-up for Demand Side Response (DSR) actions, this clearly points to there being sufficient potential to deliver further value through the Carbon Portal follow-on project.
More information about this project can be found in the Carbon Tracing closedown report.
Take a look at our Carbon Tracer website at https://carbontracer.westernpower.co.uk
The Carbon Tracer app is now available for download on Apple devices through the App Store and on Android devices through Google Play.