National Grid launches smart lightbulb that glows green when powered by renewable energy

The Green Light Signal, which costs around £25, emits a green light when the carbon intensity of the UK’s grid is very low, such as on windy or sunny days

National Grid has launched a smart lightbulb that glows green when the electricity grid is being powered by renewable energy, as part of a new campaign to highlight the UK’s transition to low-carbon power.

The Green Light Signal, which costs around £25, emits a green light when the carbon intensity of the UK’s grid is very low, such as on windy or sunny days when high levels of renewable power are generated.

People can use the green light as a “signal” to use power around the home, National Grid’s chief executive John Pettigrew told.

“It’s an opportunity for people to be able to learn to make simple changes in terms of how they behave, and to feel that they are participating in the energy transition,” he said.

“People aren’t going to change when they eat – but they might change when they are going to use the dishwasher, they might change when they use the washing machine or the tumble dryer. So these are small adjustments to the ways that we all behave which can contribute.”

Research by National Grid suggests many people in the UK feel a sense of “hopelessness” about climate change, according to Pettigrew. A poll of just over 2,000 UK adults revealed 42 per cent of people believing that Britain only gets up to 10 per cent of its electricity supplied by zero and low carbon energy sources – the true figure is 55 per cent.

Just over 50 per cent of Brits said they would feel more hopeful about climate change if they understood the steps Britain is taking to cut its emissions.

“What the research shows is that people want to connect with the energy transition, they want to connect with net zero, and they want to be involved,” said Mr Pettigrew. “So what we’re trying to do as an energy company is to give them the opportunity to be involved.”

The bulb will glow green when the carbon intensity of the electricity supplied in the local area is low. It uses a forecasting tool built by National Grid, WWF, University of Oxford, and the European Defence Fund. The bulb is likely to green around 50 per cent of the time based on current levels of renewable power.

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