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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Google PowerMeter Will Help You to Analyze Power Consumption at Your Home

The way electricity system works today is utility company sends you a bill at the end of the month with very few details. Most people don't know how much electricity their appliances use, where in the house they are wasting electricity, or how much the bill might go up during different seasons. As people don’t have much details about from where the most of the electricity bill come from, it becomes difficult to manage the usage.

In a world where everyone had a detailed understanding of their home energy use, we could find all sorts of ways to save energy and lower electricity bills. In fact, studies show that access to home energy information results in savings between 5-15% on monthly electricity bills. To provide both consumers and utilities with real-time energy information, homes must be equipped with advanced energy meters called "smart meters." There are currently about 40 million smart meters in use worldwide, with plans to add another 100 million in the next few years.

But deploying smart meters alone isn't enough. This needs to be coupled with a strategy to provide customers with easy access to energy information. Google believes that detailed data on your personal energy use belongs to you, and should be available in an open standard, non-proprietary format. You should control who gets to see your data, and you should be free to choose from a wide range of services to help you understand it and benefit from it.

In order to make this possible, Google developed a software tool called Google PowerMeter, which will show consumers their home energy information almost in real time, right on their computer. Google PowerMeter, currently a prototype product, will allow you to see your own energy usage information and help you improve your efficiency in a variety of ways. Google PowerMeter is not yet available to the public since we're testing it out with Googlers first. The first way you'll see this tool in action is through a secure iGoogle gadget that will let you safely and privately browse your home electricity usage.

Google is building partnerships with utilities and independent device manufacturers to gradually roll this out in pilot programs.

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