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AMEE and AlertMe: Measuring a Home Worker's Carbon Footprint

The United Nations’ historic Climate Change Conference, the COP15, hosted in Copenhagen (read more coverage over on our sister site, Earth2Tech) — has seen the usual political controversies, notably leaked emails from the UK Met Office.

I suspect what the world’s citizens are looking for isn’t righteousness or posturing, but leadership and pragmatism. What can we do as individuals to adjust our lifestyles? Though it’s debatable whether our energy literacy and awareness should be oriented around carbon or power usage, carbon seems to be the current consensus.

As web workers, we perhaps work under the assumption that our commute-free lifestyles are relatively low-carbon. However, it’s  sensible to actually quantify and monitor the impact that home workers really are having on the environment. Fortunately, services are beginning to emerge that help home workers to measure and track their carbon footprints.

Time Magazine recently ranked the personal carbon footprint as one of 2009’s best inventions. AMEE — a leading carbon tracking startup — just last launched a new offering that claims to make measuring and reporting on a home worker’s carbon footprint much more straightforward.

Learn more about home energy management with this report from GigaOM Pro for just $79.

AMEE is currently currently targeted at companies with remote workers, and is only providing its tracking and measurement engine to users of AlertMe‘s smart metering solutions. Here’s how it works:

  • Workers will need to install an AlertMe Energy kit (around $114) into their home that monitors and reports their home’s energy use.
  • The AlertMe kit sends data to AMEE to calculate a carbon footprint.
  • Aggregated data from all remote workers is structured to fit a company’s reporting requirements, with appropriate formats and visualizations. Data can be viewed live, by location, as an aggregate and in compliance with external reporting frameworks.

Though the service is currently designed to help employers track and report their home worker’s usage there seems little reason not to offer the same solutions to independent web workers. More significantly, when smarter appliances can individually report how we use heating, cooling, computing and other equipment, web workers will have a better range of data with which to make lifestyle decisions and to play their part in managing climate change.

Are you employing personal carbon strategy or using tracking/measurement services?

Photo credit: stock.xchng user safegear

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