power lines and wind turbines over a solar field at sunset

Partnership will allow customers to choose when and how they consume energy in real time, for the first time

Today, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) announced its incorporation of WattTime as a subsidiary organization, supporting its growth to empower more customers to choose clean energy and reduce their carbon footprint cost-effectively with automated emissions reduction (AER) technology at an unprecedented scale.

Our electricity system is the largest source of U.S. carbon emissions, yet today we measure emissions from our power use incorrectly. WattTime is a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit that produces software that can automatically detect the actual emissions impacts when people and companies use energy—both in real time and ahead of time—so any device connected to the internet can use power at times when our electricity is the cleanest.

WattTime fills an important industry gap to make the smart grid do what it was designed to do, harnessing the flexibility of connected end-use devices to let customers choose the cleanest sources of energy, automatically and invisibly. Devices running WattTime’s AER technology run—on average—15 percent cleaner than a “dumb” device, and if deployed at the same scale as “smart” devices today, could save the carbon equivalent of taking 8–9 million cars off the road.

“RMI has a strong history of scaling disruptive, market-based solutions that can help us win the battle against climate change, and WattTime absolutely fits these criteria,” said Jules Kortenhorst, RMI chief executive officer. “Together, WattTime and RMI can pioneer a new way to measure carbon and empower customers to reduce emissions cost-effectively, realizing long-term benefits for the grid, customers, manufacturers, and utilities while immediately offering economic and environmental benefits to corporations and people.”

How it Works

WattTime software can be installed in any Internet-connected device to harness the power of electric grid data and predictive analytics to automatically pull power from the grid at times when the energy sources are the cleanest, with no effect on the device or end-user.

“We created WattTime to give people a new sort of freedom: to choose the power they consume,” said Gavin McCormick, WattTime cofounder and executive director. “To do this, our organization does two things. We provide the most accurate and actionable information possible so any person, or company, can see their own impact; and we write software that makes it automatic and utterly effortless to implement their choice at the push of a button. Today, our partnership with RMI allows us to maintain this ambitious pursuit and amplify our impact even further.”

WattTime’s cutting-edge technology is proven and validated thanks to early adopters and a partnership with RMI’s Business Renewables Center. A few days ago, WattTime and Microsoft also announced an ongoing effort to create an open-sourced platform for automated emissions reductions—now accepting pilot projects from U.S. colleges and universities. More broadly, RMI and WattTime expect this technology to be more broadly used to accelerate corporate sustainability efforts, improve the profitability of distributed energy resource companies and retail energy providers by lowering customer acquisition costs, and improve the way that carbon emissions are measured worldwide.

Nick Steel
Rocky Mountain Institute

Matt Evans

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About Rocky Mountain Institute

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)—an independent nonprofit founded in 1982—transforms global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. It engages businesses, communities, institutions, and entrepreneurs to accelerate the adoption of market-based solutions that cost-effectively shift from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

About WattTime

WattTime is an environmental nonprofit founded in 2014 built on cutting-edge research by University of California, Berkeley PhDs. It formally joined Rocky Mountain Institute as a subsidiary organization in 2017. The WattTime Automated Emissions Reduction platform makes it possible to actually choose which power plants your devices rely on. With a simple software update, smart-device owners can instantly and permanently reduce their carbon footprint and other pollution, and help clean and renewable power plants compete on the grid. Forward-looking companies partner with WattTime to empower their users to make a real difference for the environment that is as easy as pushing a button. For more information, visit http://www.WattTime.org.

Media Team

Mark Grundy
Managing Director of Global Marketing & Communications

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Nick Steel