What Is AER?

WattTime’s Automated Emissions Reduction (AER) technology enables smart devices—from thermostats to appliances to electric vehicles—to automatically reduce emissions associated with their electricity use. Powered by AER, smart devices can seamlessly optimize their energy use to seize moments of cleaner energy and avoid moments of dirtier energy, all without compromising cost and user experience.

Unprecedented customer choice and emissions reductions

WattTime technology—based on real-time grid data, cutting-edge algorithms, and machine learning—provides first-of-its-kind insight into the electricity grid’s marginal emissions rate. We’re able to “see” when, where, and how the grid is breathing. WattTime’s AER technology uses that insight to make smart devices even smarter. Powered by our software, smart devices that control flexible electricity loads use the cloud-based AER signal to automatically, effortlessly, and seamlessly sync their energy use with moments of cleaner energy while avoiding moments of dirtier energy. Most importantly, this happens without sacrificing cost and user experience. AER optimizes behind the scenes. It’s essentially “free” choice and emissions reductions. We can have our cake, and eat it, too.

A pioneering new capability

Whether as a standalone “plugin” or to complement an existing demand response program, utility bill and rate management program, or other program, AER is a pioneering technology that unlocks new possibilities. AER is...

AER is automatic. Once you set it up, AER takes over quietly in the background (unless you want to update your preferences, of course). Unlike stubborn behavioral programs that rely on sending reminders and other messages to continually modify a user’s actions, AER does the “work” behind the scenes.

Regionally specific

AER localizes data according to grid balancing area. There’s never been a way to so accurately connect the dots between energy consumption, generation, and storage in one place and how marginal grid generators in other places respond.


AER is based on environmental signals, especially real-time marginal emissions data. Compared to demand response programs, energy storage charge / discharge algorithms, and other programs that respond to either grid reliability needs (e.g., reduce peak demand) or economic signals (e.g., reduce cost), AER adds an entirely new set of variables you can use to optimize electricity use. That’s why we sometimes think of it as “emissions response” or “environmental demand flexibility.”


AER focuses on customer empowerment and choice. Unlike utility-centric programs that activate a program based on grid needs, AER first and foremost enables customers to reduce the harmful emissions associated with their energy use according to their preferences.


AER pulls data in near-real-time at 5-minute intervals. This represents a quantum leap in time-based granularity compared to using historical, annual, or average data. It’s likewise a major advancement over even off-peak, on-peak, and critical-peak time-of-use rates that still depend on long spans of hours for their time-differentiated blocks.


AER is “always on.” Unlike—say—traditional demand response programs that only activate a few times each year, AER can run 24/7/365, allowing you to tap into continuous opportunities to reduce marginal emissions.

Explorer: Interactive Emissions Map

This demo showcases how emissions constantly vary by time and location. Check it out to get a better understanding of the kind of information AER feeds into applications.

Go to explorer

Try it Yourself: Smart plugs powered by WattTime

You can set up a smart plug to run AER from WattTime in under 10 minutes. This at-home or at-work demo gives you a taste of what this technology is all about. SMART PLUG SET-UP INSTRUCTIONS
Learn more about AER Solutions