“Over the last year I’ve reduced the energy consumption by about 64%, I’ve done it without making any significant changes in my lifestyle, and I’ve saved about $3,000 so far.” says Russ Mirov, a Google Engineer and one of the U.S. beta version testers of Google PowerMeter.
The straightforward purpose of the PowerMeter is to help people access energy use information, learn about how much electricity we use and use that information to reduce electricity and save money. It seems to work.
Imagine going out for dinner and ordering off a menu with no prices- you wouldn’t know how much things cost until the end of the meal, and you’d probably end up ordering more than you really need- and, you’d never really know how the bill got so high. Well, that’s how most of us pay for our energy use. The Google PowerMeter aims to change that.
The Google Powermeter is a free visualization tool for home electricity usage monitoring. It displays smart meter readings from around the house on a customized iGoogle page. It operates on the premise that if people know how much energy they are using and the specific causes of spikes they will reduce their consumption- a simple idea that can dramatically change how people use electricity the home.
The PowerMeter is from Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Google that, in their own words, “aspires to leverage the power of information and technology to address global challenges.”
Though the U.S. version remains in beta, the service launched this week in the UK. To stay up to date on the Google PowerMeter as it becomes more available you can join their mailing list.