Allowing everyone to use electricity at the right time for the climate

July 03, 2020 · 3 min read

At Tomorrow, our goal is to build products that make it easier for everyone to reduce their carbon footprint. Today, we’re releasing a new project that will make it easier for everyone to easily reduce their electricity consumption’s carbon footprint.

Thanks to a grant from Elforsk, we’re giving everyone the tools to use their washing machine, their vehicle charging and other processes requiring electricity at the most climate-friendly time via a service on the IFTTT platform for electricityMap.

Tackling changing carbon intensity in the grid

Some low-carbon electricity sources like solar and wind energy are dependent on the weather. As we add more and more capacity of wind and solar energy, the carbon intensity of our electricity fluctuates more: when it is windy and sunny, the electricity is greener. But the reality is more complex than simply looking at the weather forecast; other low-carbon sources like nuclear power or hydropower are less weather dependent, and most grids are connected to other grids.

To put it simply, for climate-aware citizens, doing the right thing with your electricity consumption is a complicated matter.

electricityMap to the rescue

To solve this problem, we created the electricityMap, an easy way for everyone to see in real-time the carbon intensity of the electricity around the world.

Over time, we also developed an API, where companies like Google use our forecast to reduce their own or others’ carbon footprint.

It is deep in our DNA that climate knowledge should not stay in the hands of the few; we’ve always looked for opportunities to allow as many people as possible to use our data. It was with this spirit that we took on the IFTTT project.

Using IFTTT to build a new tool for lowering our carbon footprint

Last year, we obtained a grant from Elforsk to among other things develop a feature that would leverage the IFTTT (“If This Then That”) platform to increase the accessibility of our data.

By using our new electricityMap service on IFTTT, it is possible for you or your smart devices to automatically get a notification when local electricity has the lowest carbon intensity during a 24 hour period. This notification allows for most flexible processes like washing machines, dishwashers, driers, electric cars, or batteries to use electricity at the best time. From a simple notification on your phone to automatically starting a connected device, IFTTT makes it dead simple for everyone to do the right thing.

How it works

To use the electricityMap IFTTT service, here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Download the IFTTT app from the App Store or Google Play
  2. Sign up for the service
  3. From the home screen, press “create” and then “this”. Now search for “electricityMap”
  4. Select the trigger that you want
  5. Input your location
  6. You are now ready to connect it to any of the IFTTT actions! Make it send a notification to your phone, change the color of your lightbulb, or do something completely different.

New opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint

The electricityMap IFTTT service opens new possibilities that we currently may not even be aware of. Do you have an amazing use case of IFTTT that allowed you to reduce your carbon footprint? Feel free to share it with us on [email protected] or simply by tagging us on social media.


Written by Felix Qvist
Data Engineer @ Tomorrow