What is Carbon Intensity?

Carbon Intensity is an estimate of the environmental impact of energy at a point in time. It’s the number of pounds of carbon dioxide that it takes to make a unit of electricity (kWh).

This number ranges from close to 0 to ~2 (in lbs/kWh). The higher the number, the higher the impact. It is based on your utility’s ‘fuel mix’ – or how much of each fuel type (e.g., coal, natural gas, wind, etc.) is being used at that time.

carbon intensity
How do I reduce my impact?

Sense pulls in data that forecasts Carbon Intensity for your region. You can use this data to see when carbon is lowest. That’s the best time to do things like run your dishwasher or do a load of laundry, or any other high-energy task that is shiftable.

carbon forecast

In some regions, the Carbon Intensity line will be relatively flat: this indicates that your carbon impact will be mostly consistent throughout the day, so you don’t need to worry as much about when to do high-energy tasks.


Learn more about the different Fuel Types →