The world’s favourite search engine and green energy proponent has just launched the Google PowerMeter, a Google gadget that can show consumers their personal electricity consumption right on a home or work computer. Relying on installed “smart meters” as a data source, customers will soon be able to simply log-in from home, work or wherever and check out their home’s electricity use. It will also be possible to link through iGoogle, if you are so inclined.
To date, only 8 utilities have signed up with Google to participate in the PowerMeter program, with many more expected. In Canada, only Toronto Hydro has partnered with Google on this initiative, where 600,000 residential smart meters have already been installed. Here is the Toronto Star’s story on the subject. Initially, only 1,000 Torontonians will have access, but nevertheless, it appears to be a great energy management device which will most certainly gain more users.
It is the little things like this (and macro-measures like peak time electricity pricing) where people will learn to appreciate their daily electricity footprint and the costs associated with that usage. And once people understand and see that, only then will conservation reach the tipping point and lead to measurable changes in our overall electricity use. So well done Google – this is very cool. I knew we could count on you for something innovative like this.