Daily Planet

Does Your Phone Charge on Coal or Solar? There’s an App For That!

Photo: panpote / Shutterstock

Knowledge is power, and yet you probably have no idea where exactly the electricity you use to charge your phone, power your fridge and do the dishes (if you’re lucky) comes from.

In some countries, governments and power companies provide access to up to date data on their ‘energy mix’ – ranging from coal and gas to solar and wind and everything in between – but this can be a bit of an information overload.

Depending on where you are in the world, you might also be able to use a simple app that tells you exactly how the electricity you use is being generated at this exact moment – and whether it is clean or not.

We’ve listed a few options below to get you the idea. Do you know of an app that is not listed, want us to add it? Let us know in the comments or drop us a note at dailyplanet@climate-kic.org!

United Kingdom

GridCarbon lets you track the carbon intensity of the UK electricity grid on your iOS or android smartphone or tablet.


My Grid GB also gives real time information about electricity in Great Britain on iOS phones and tablets, it also provides an overview on its website that can be accessed from all devices.

My Grid GB

Ontario, Canada

Gridwatch shows you the technologies used to power Ontario’s electricity grid hour-by-hour and plant-by-plant using the most current data. It also shows you the total carbon emissions and carbon intensity of Ontario’s electricity grid.

The app not only breaks down total generation by fuel type but also by individual power plant. Gridwatch is an app that works on iOS, and has a very slick webapp for all other smartphone brands.


Other Countries And Regions

If your country or region is not listed above, you may be able to find a website that provides similar information. Jasper Vis of Danish energy company Dong Energy has listed some in this excellent blog post.

REneweconomy, meanwhile, is trying to aggregate data from all countries on its website.

Can’t find an app for where you are? Maybe you should build one! Find out how Climate-KIC could help you.