A Self-Scaling Market Mechanism to Reduce Indirect Electricity Pollution

2015 - ???
Team Leader
Gavin McCormick
Project Website

A team led by WattTime will reduce mercury and other air pollutants into the Great Lakes through software-guided reductions in energy use at times when electricity is being generated by high polluting sources. The team has piloted their software in California where they focused on carbon emissions. In this project, the team will build upon their existing software with the Locational Emissions Estimation Methodology (LEEM) developed by a prior Fund-supported team. LEEM signals when cleaner forms of energy are feeding the grid and will enable the team to focus on reductions in mercury emissions.

The team will approach these reductions with both an internet-based software product and a market scaling mechanism. The team believes that adding a mercury reducing feature to smart devices will allow manufacturers to differentiate themselves with virtually no up-front costs. Ultimately, mercury will be reduced (benefitting the Great Lakes ecosystem) and manufacturers who offer the service will stand out from their peers and receive a greater share of the market (benefitting them).

Smart devices, including energy management systems for large buildings, residential thermostats and refrigerators, have significant untapped capacity to reduce mercury emissions. The team estimates that at least 900,000 connected appliances and management systems are currently in use in the Great Lakes basin and they believe that they can reduce mercury pollution by two tons by the end of 2016, with a potential to reduce 41 tons of mercury pollution by the year 2020.

Project Categories

  • Markets

Project Files