iOS 16 last year introduced a Clean Energy feature, which lets you set your iPhone to charge during times when your local energy grid is using carbon-neutral electricity. In iOS 17, a new Grid Forecast feature takes a first pass at expanding this capability to any device in your home.
Grid Forecast shows up in the Home app, and shows a prediction of when your energy provider will be generating electricity from carbon-neutral sources like solar and wind …
You can then use this forecast to plan the use of heavy-duty appliances like washing machines and tumble dryers – as well as charging an EV – to take advantage of the clean energy, as The Verge reports.
Grid Forecast is available in the Home app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch devices running this fall’s soon-to-be-released updates, with iOS 17 set for a public launch on September 18th. It is also available as an iOS widget or a watch face complication and will work in the contiguous United States.
As the site’s Jennifer Tuohy notes, this is a purely manual process at present, but seems tailor-made for automation.
While Apple’s first implementation of this feature is entirely manual — you need to look at the Home app to see when the energy is cleaner and then decide if you want to charge your EV — it’s feasible it could be tied into automation if and when Apple supports energy management features natively in its smart home platform.
Apple says Grid Forecast uses data that combines grid, emissions, and weather information to show you in a simple graphic when energy is clean or less clean. It’s a good start for home energy management, but adding the ability to automate how and when your home uses this clean energy is essential to make this more than just another data point.
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