June 11, 2009

New Google gadget shows energy consumption online

Jim Harris
Magazine Article

By: Jordana Levine

Google is creating yet another application personalized to its users.  The Google PowerMeter will soon allow customers to see detailed description of their homes’ energy consumption.

Although many homes have ‘smart meters,’ which allow people to access information about their electricity, they don’t yet have an easy way to look at the details of their energy usage.  The PowerMeter works by sending the information from the smart meter to the internet, where it is read and analyzed.  The PowerMeter will show customers the elements of their energy usage through a Google gadget… for free!

Google found that for every six households that save 10 percent on electricity, it is the equivalent of reducing carbon emissions by one regular car.  Studies show if you get to look at your personal energy information, it is likely that you’ll end up saving 5-15% on monthly power bills – and people who actually take the time to replace old energy-draining appliances can save much more. So using the PowerMeter could help lower emissions immensely.

The product isn’t widely available yet, but it’s being tested on a handful of Google’s employees and utility partners.  Toronto Hydro is participating in the test run, along with eight other partners from the US and India.  The PowerMeter is expected to go public later in 2009.

To find out more, go to the Google PowerMeter website.

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