Google forms PowerMeter partnership

October 7, 2009 by Lin Edwards weblog
Google PowerMeter

( -- Google has announced it has secured its first official device partner for Google PowerMeter, which means you can now use the software without having a smart meter installed by your utility company.

Google PowerMeter was launched earlier this year, and is a free software package for monitoring usage. Until now it has only worked for homes with smart meters installed, which is only 6% of the market in North America. Smart meters are installed by utilities and provide information about electricity use more regularly than the more usual monthly. They are designed mainly to help the utilities cope with peaks and troughs in the demand for electricity.

Knowing first-hand how much energy your home is using is a powerful way to adjust your energy use. So Google decided to make electricity use data accessible to everyone, with Google PowerMeter.

After a year of talks, Google has now finalized a device partnership with Energy Inc. and its product The Energy Detective (TED). This means that anyone in North America who purchases and installs a TED 5000 will be able to use Google PowerMeter via the web or via with if they wish to monitor their energy use. If you already have a TED 5000 a free upgrade is available for download.

One advantage of the partnership is that the software can become available for more people more quickly. Another advantage is that the TED 5000 provides more data than the smart meters, and the information is available online from Google PowerMeter at 10-minute intervals. This is significantly better than data, and the device is geared more to the consumer than to the electricity provider.

Near-immediate access to energy use information is important because the energy user is likely to be more engaged with the data, and that engagement tends to lead to changes in behavior that result in reducing the electricity use. The PowerMeter and TED 5000 combination will allow users to view almost instant data, as well as weekly trends and comparisons with other PowerMeter users.

TED 5000
TED 5000

Energy Inc.'s President and CEO, Dolph Rodenberg said he expects the partnership with Google to raise public awareness of energy use. An association with Google might also help with Energy Inc.'s efforts to raise funds.

The standard TED 5000 retails for about $200, and can be installed by anyone familiar enough with electrical components and the circuit breaker panel to be confident working with the electric panel removed. Installation is a breeze for an electrician.

Energy Inc. is the first company to become a device partner with Google PowerMeter, and is actively seeking more energy monitor manufacturers for possible future partnerships.

More information:

Google PowerMeter software
Google blog post
TED 5000

© 2009

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3.5 / 5 (2) Oct 07, 2009
Sounds awesome, and cheap. I will probably install one for myself.. and to see if my energy company is really screwing me over or not. (Unfortunately, probably not..)
4 / 5 (1) Oct 08, 2009
Who else can then see/monitor your electricity use? Where the Internet has revolutionised information access, it also eliminates any privacy we thought we had.

While the web based energy monitor works very well for those whom present consciouness of the problems we can all help to reduce, it will backfire if others access private information and oblidge people to meet usage targets.
not rated yet Oct 13, 2009
Government in the Netherlands is planning to enforce installation of a smart power meter in every home, only to be read and recorded by the power company you get your bills from. I hope they change that to local recording and access for the customer only, because never ever i will allow such detailed monitoring about my real life.
not rated yet Oct 13, 2009
Sounds awesome, and cheap. I will probably install one for myself.. and to see if my energy company is really screwing me over or not. (Unfortunately, probably not..)

You work for a energy company i guess?

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