New tool gives businesses greater insights into electricity emissions

Businesses will soon be able to measure their electricity emissions more accurately using a new tool from Simply Energy.

James Carberry, Head of Sustainable Solutions at Simply Energy, says the tool will help businesses understand the carbon impact of using electricity at different times.

Carberry says using grid-average emissions factors published by the Ministry for the Environment has been the best practice for measuring electricity emissions until now.

“While a good proxy, businesses can only report an aggregated annual view of their emissions. There’s also a lag in factors being available. For example, the latest emissions factor is 2020. 

Carberry says that since emissions from electricity fluctuate in line with changes in the generation mix and demand, using grid-average emissions factors doesn’t provide an accurate view of emissions.

“Our Carbon iQ tool provides a more accurate view by combining a business’s half-hourly consumption data with half-hourly emissions data from Transpower’s Energy Market Services that highlights the carbon intensity of New Zealand’s electricity system.

“All that’s needed to utilise the tool is half-hourly electricity usage data which any business can access from their smart meter.

Carberry says combining these data sets into a single tool significantly benefits businesses.

“Not only can they more accurately measure and report their Scope 2 electricity emissions, but they can also reduce costs and carbon. With the insights this data provides, businesses can lower their emissions and costs by reducing or shifting load out of carbon-intensive periods such as winter evenings.

Carberry says this can be achieved easily using the flexibility services that the company also provides.

“We’ve got several customers using our flexibility services in this way and enjoying the cost and carbon benefits that come from automatically modifying their electricity use in response to the price and carbon intensity of electricity as these change throughout the day.

“Our analysis shows that shifting electricity use can result in significant emissions savings. For example, at 6.30 pm on 6 September last year, our electricity was 81% renewable, increasing to 97% by midnight. Shifting flexible consumption from the evening peak to after midnight on this day would have reduced CO2 emissions by 76%. While an extreme case, we’ve found that flexible energy use can reduce emissions by about 30% on most days.

“Lots of businesses can take advantage of this. For example, cold stores or swimming pools can safely reduce some of their heating or cooling during peak times or shift their usage to lower carbon periods. Likewise, a hotel could reduce its emissions by running its laundry services earlier or later in the day, as could a Council with waste-water pumps if they have storage facilities that can be maintained within safe limits.”

Chantelle Bramley, Transpower’s General Manager Strategy and Customer believes accurate emissions tracking is becoming more important as New Zealand’s economy is increasingly electrified.

“Empowering individuals and businesses to make informed decisions on how they can reduce their carbon footprint is a key part of the electrified future we’re moving toward, and we’re pleased to help by providing quality data and insights.”

Carberry hopes the data will soon be able to be used by businesses to report their emissions more accurately.

“As a Toitū net carbonzero certified business, we’re working with Toitū and other key stakeholders into what’s required to verify the data, so businesses can also use it to report their emissions.”

Carberry hopes that providing more accurate emissions data and services that enable flexible electricity use will encourage businesses to strategically manage their electricity use for better business and environmental outcomes.

Businesses can learn more about the tool here.

Simply Energy

100% owned by Contact, Simply Energy is New Zealand’s only dedicated energy solutions provider to the commercial and industrial sectors. Its focus is accelerating the transition to cleaner energy through advisory services, flexible energy supply arrangements and smart technologies that encourage more sustainable energy use.

Media Enquiries

Please get in touch with Lisa Pauwels, Head of Communications and Marketing, at