Sign up to equiwatt - a free app - and get paid for smarter EV charging at home
Discover EV has joined forces with equiwatt to give every UK reader that connects a compatible electric car to their app a total of 500 points (equivalent to £5). It’s free to use and in return you get paid for saving energy or utilising it at greener and cheaper times, while reducing your carbon footprint
With inflation rates for electricity at their highest level since early 2009, it’s putting a real squeeze on household budgets but there are ways to reduce bills and your carbon footprint at the same time, by changing the way you use your energy.
One such company who can help you is equiwatt who are using AI to pioneer change. Their free app rewards consumers for turning off high energy usage appliances when energy is at its most expensive and polluting – including home EV chargers. It’s called Demand Side Response (DSR) and it’s all about intelligent energy use while putting money in the pockets of consumers and promoting clean energy consumption. In fact, the business estimates that for every 1000 households using the equiwatt app, 2500 tonnes of carbon dioxide are offset every year.
CEO and Founder of equiwatt, Johnson Fernandes, was inspired to start his clean technology company after living through regular planned power cuts and blackouts in his home country, India – otherwise known as load shedding – a way of managing peak time stress on the grid in developing nations.
When he came to the UK he realised that the problem existed on a different level. In Britain, blackouts are avoided by using fossil fuelled power plants that are carbon intensive to meet peak time energy demands, which is expensive and causes air pollution. A more sustainable solution was required and that meant a behaviour shift in how and when consumers use energy. So with the dream of making clean technology more accessible and affordable to everyone, the equiwatt app was born.
“Through using the equiwatt app, which builds further on the smart devices so many people are now using to be more energy efficient, our users can achieve significant savings through switching off devices collectively at peak times, and secure rewards and incentives for doing so. The key is building a community that can make a huge difference together,” says Johnson.
It’s a very clever idea and brilliant for drivers of EVs who charge at home. You can take part in regular ‘equivents’ where your appliances and devices, like your EV charger, can be automated to be switched off or paused by equiwatt for an hour to reduce the strain on the grid across the UK during the busiest times. You can also manually participate by connecting your smart meter and switching off or avoiding turning appliances on whenever you get an equivent notification. As a reward for doing this, you earn points which can be redeemed as gifts, vouchers or environmental charity project donations. Plus there are chances to enter competitions when you take part!
If you’re passionate about reducing household CO² emissions, developing eco-friendly habits and earning rewards (from the likes of John Lewis, Amazon and Just Eat, to give just a few examples) then get signed up with our unique code, DSEV, whereby you’ll automatically get 500 points for connecting your EV to the equiwatt app (with a UK address) – the equivalent of a £5 voucher!
Guide to using equiwatt
Download the equiwatt app for free on your iOS or Android device and as part of sign-up, there’s an option to include the referral code (DSEV), or simply click here . What’s more every user that signs up to the app with this code will be entered into a prize draw to win an energy saving kit that includes a TP Link energy monitoring Smart Plug and an Amazon Echo Dot. Please note this offer is only open to residents in the UK.
After signing up, verify your email and address and you’re ready to participate in the prize draw [Please note: equiwatt needs to verify your address or unique meter code (MPAN) to validate energy reductions to market standards. You can follow these simple steps to have your MPAN verified].
Make sure you allow notifications, so you know when an equivent starts.
You can connect compatible devices to equiwatt to save energy in the background or connect your smart meter and manually pause your EV charging or switch off appliances yourself. You earn points for all energy saved and have a chance to win prizes in the monthly manual control prize draw. Just tap the community tab (globe icon) and complete your profile.
Connect your EV charger
You can smart charge your EV either by connecting a compatible model or a supported charger, then selecting your smart charging preferences.
Connect your smart meter
Earn points by reducing energy use across your household at the right time.
Connect your home appliances
equiwatt customers have the option to use TP-Link HS110 or KP115 Smart Plugs to connect household appliances to the equiwatt platform. Appliances are then automatically switched off and on during equivents without the need for manual intervention.
During an equivent
You’ll earn points for any energy saved when you take part in hour-long equivents – a notification will pop up on your phone when an equivent starts, reminding you to turn off your appliances at the socket. If you have smart plugs connected, your appliances will switch off and back on again automatically.
You will need to download the Kasa app to connect your TP-Link Smart Plug to your home WiFi. Then add your Kasa account details to your equiwatt settings. Compatible smart plugs are TP-Link Smart Plug HS110 or KP115 – and you can buy the latter directly from equiwatt.
To earn points and save energy effectively, the appliance you connect your smart plug to must be in use when the equivent starts, and should use a lot of energy such as an electric vehicle charger. You can also connect other high energy use appliances such as your fridge, freezer, dishwasher, washing machine or tumble dryer. You can register up to nine household appliances to take part in equivents. Points are allocated on a constantly changing scale dependent on appliance usage and market conditions.
To maximise your energy savings and points, plug two or more devices into a multiway socket, then plug that cable into your smart plug.
The equiwatt app turns off the device automatically for the duration of the equivent (you can change your settings to only switch off for 30 minutes if preferred). Using information from the smart plug, equiwatt measures the drop in energy from just before the equivent, to just after it’s started – and rewards points accordingly.
How to win prizes with equiwatt
You can earn entries to monthly prize draws by participating in equivents where you can win bonus reward points (redeemable in the app’s gift store via the gift icon.) Take part in the monthly Leaderboard to earn prizes and bonus points.
equiwatt also run occasional competitions to give away spot prizes to reward particular actions – such as sharing a screenshot of smart control points earned on social media. Prizes might be points, or gadgets (like an Amazon Echo Dot). equiwatt send a notification and email to their users when a special spot prize promotion is coming up!