Story image

New app lets Kiwis check their carbon footprint

02 Mar 16

Kiwis can now check the carbon impact of the electricity they use via a new app from Flick Electric.

Choice! provides users with information about the carbon impact of their electricity use in real time, free of charge.

Flick CEO Steve O’Connor says the majority of people are disengaged with their energy purchase.

“When people flick the switch they don’t know where it came from, or how it got there, or what it really costs,” he says. “Choice! gives people the chance to engage and really understand the dynamics of the electricity production and consumption in New Zealand for the first time,” he says.

Through the use of live generation and price data, and alerts, the app encourages people to use electricity when there is less carbon impact, and cut back their use when non-renewables are high.

“Because we have 80% or so renewable generation in New Zealand some people think we can use as much as we like,” O’Connor says.

“But the non-renewables we use have a huge carbon impact, and we need to be really mindful of that. It’s confronting when you get an alert that tells you there are more than 500 tonnes per hour of CO2 equivalent being emitted from our electricity production,” he explains.

O’Connor says the app will also debunk some myths about ‘green’ electrons.

“Many people think that because they are with a power company that invests in renewable generation that they use ‘green electrons’ at home,” he says.

“But we all get our electricity from the same system, so if you want to make a good environmental choice the best thing you can do is switch off when there is heavy demand that is causing fossil fuels to run.”

Flick customers – who pay the half-hour spot price of generation - can see the interplay between the generation mix and their price.

"For example, when there’s plenty of wind running, because it can’t be stored, prices tend to be lower; and when supply is constrained and the generators need to turn on the diesel peakers, prices tend to be higher,” O’Connor says.

“Our model is one of the few examples where customers can make a choice that is better for the environment, and it can cost them less,” explains O’Connor.

“We think this is really disruptive for the conscious consumption movement – to be able to say to people, you can do well financially by doing good for the planet,” he says.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."