Google’s PowerMeter: Energy Speedometer For Your Home

Google Powermeter Screenshot

PowerMeter from Google.orgGoogle is everywhere and now, they want you to be able to track your electricity consumption online using their PowerMeter product. PowerMeter has been available since October 2009 and works in conjunction with a homes’ existing smart electricity meter or with 3rd party energy monitoring devices. Having a smart meter alone is not enough to access your data using PowerMeter; your utility company must partner with Google in order to gain real-time access to your energy usage.

Once your utility partners with Google, as San Diego Gas & Electric and TXU Energy have, your homes’ energy consumption information will be available online and access to the PowerMeter application is provided free of charge.

ENVI Energy Consumption Monitor, Transmitter and CT ClampIf your utility company has not partnered with Google, another way to track your energy consumption online with PowerMeter is by purchasing a product like Current Cost’s ENVI monitor. Connecting the ENVI monitor is relatively simple; connect two CT clamps at the electrical box on your incoming power lines. A transmitter will then send the information to the ENVI monitor which can be up to 100′ away. The ENVI monitor tracks energy usage and when connected to a PC, the ENVI monitor will transmit the data to Google PowerMeter for online monitoring.

The only downside we can think of with Google’s PowerMeter is the phone call from an obsessively Jubbling working spouse monitoring energy usage online and questioning power consumption at home. “How many lights are on?”, “Why do we have two tv’s on?.”

But the benefits of the Google PowerMeter definitely override any downside and that is why we classify it as a speedometer for your home. With access to instant energy consumption information, homeowners will find ways to reduce and see the results real-time as they make changes. The 30 day lag we’re used to will be a thing of the past.

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