Google Cloud enables smarter and greener energy use

 

Energy bills are a rising expense and consumers are currently facing difficult times. The climate crisis isn’t over. But, sustainability is still a top priority for consumers and businesses. 40% of UK’s emissions are from homes, which include electricity, heating, transport, and other energy-related activities. People often don’t have the time or resources necessary to research and test many ways to save energy while simultaneously trying to meet multiple demands. Kaluza has made it our mission, to help people save money while reducing their household emissions.

Born out of OVO Energy back in 2019, Kaluza is a software-as-a-service company that helps to accelerate the shift to a zero carbon world. Our Kaluza Energy Retail product allows energy companies to put their customers in the center of this transformation by giving them real-time insight that can help lower their bills. Kaluza Flex’s advanced algorithms allow you to charge millions of smart devices at the most affordable and sustainable price. Kaluza partners with some of the largest energy and OEM companies in the world, including AGL in Australia, Fiat, Nissan and Chubu in Japan.

Use Google Cloud data to help 2030 carbon negative goal

We want to stop the production of 10,000,000 tons of CO2 by 2030. This will be achieved by reaching 100,000,000 energy users and reducing 50% of our energy retail clients’ costs to serve. That’s just half. We want to dramatically reduce our emissions as we accelerate the energy transition for customers. We are committed to being carbon neutral by 2030, even as the world rushes towards net zero.

However, we cannot reduce what we don’t measure. To track the effect of cloud usage, we have created an internal carbon footprint tool. The technology stack of our company spans multiple cloud estates, making it easy to obtain emissions data from Google Cloud apps – thanks to the carbon footprint solution.

We get half-hourly information about our electricity usage for every process that we run on Google Cloud. This allows us to pinpoint the carbon emissions of each process we run on Google Cloud. These insights helped us create Kaluza’s carbon footprint tool. We use this information to combine data from all our cloud providers and create more effective dashboards which have been invaluable for our data team.

Green Development: Reduce emissions by 97%

Our carbon emissions tool allows us to get down to the details of data. This allows them to identify what is driving their carbon footprint and how they can address it. This is where the fun begins, as better data can translate into real sustainability projects. We have launched two large-scale initiatives so far.

Green Software Development is the first. A Green Development Handbook has been created. It contains best practices and guides that software engineers and developers can use to make their software more sustainable. We were able to combine a number large BigQuery questions into one query at a more convenient time and place, which resulted in a 97% decrease in emissions. This means that we have reduced the amount CO2 by 6kg every time we run this query. This is just one of the many ways we are making a difference.

Cloud infrastructure efficiency can be improved

Our second major initiative is about our cloud infrastructure. One of the most efficient and effective ways to reduce carbon emissions is to choose a cleaner cloud or a cleaner region in which to run workloads. Google Cloud provides carbon data for all regions. This data includes the hourly average carbon-free energy consumption in the location and the grid carbon intensity for the local electricity grid.

We can find cloud waste by digging into data and take corrective action. While many of our workloads must run continuously throughout the day, they don’t all have to run at specific times. This opens up the possibility of optimization. To understand the state and performance of our workloads, we are using data from Google Cloud. Combining this information with the grid’s carbon intensity data, we can identify and reschedule workloads at lower intensity times and have a positive effect on Kaluza’s emissions.

Data to empower people to make an impact

One thing unites many of our sustainability projects: They are bottom-up initiatives that were developed with and by our team. We have emissions data at our disposal so we organize hackathons and Green Development days to encourage action and test new ideas.

Our core mission is to make sustainability accessible and actionable for everyone. We’re now bringing the same idea to our teams. It has been encouraging to hear the feedback. One of our employees stated that he now understands the impact his role has on Kaluza’s sustainability and the future of the planet. Our company is putting sustainability at its core by giving our employees the ability to take climate action. We can also encourage our employees to create stronger solutions for carbon savings by showing them the direct effects of their work.

Making electric cars more sustainable by becoming green power stations

Kaluza offers many opportunities to make a positive impact. One of our sustainability pillars is our internal pledge to reduce carbon emissions and pass these savings onto our energy retail clients. Google Cloud solutions are also being used for other exciting projects such as the first and largest domestic vehicle to grid (V2G), technology deployment that OVO Energy and Nissan is leading.

With V2G, drivers are able to charge their electric cars when there is plenty of renewable energy and then sell it back the grid when there’s not enough. We’re turning millions of cars into batteries by analyzing the grid and vehicle data with Google Cloud. This will help drivers make hundreds of pounds per year, while also making the system more sustainable. This could help reduce peak grid stress by up to 40% in a market like California.

Together, we can power the future of energy

Kaluza uses technology to simplify the energy transition for clients and customers, from homes to cars and everywhere in between. We are excited to continue working with Google Cloud to grow our business and provide new energy solutions. We are determined to be a leader in sustainability and have found a cloud vendor that shares our sustainability goals. We are building a world where net Zero is within everyone’s reach.

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