Google Helps Manage Home Power Usage

Written by Reuters     11/02/2009 | 22:20 | Category: GENERAL

Google is developing a tool that can track electricity use in your home, allowing homeowners to manage their power use and therefore reduce power consumption.

Google Helps Manage Home Power UsageKnown as PowerMeter, this smart grid tool will show real-time use of power consumption by home users. The company gave examples of studies that show if people are informed regularly about their home energy consumption, power savings of up to 15 percent can be made.

Google has invested in solar, wind and geothermal companies, as well as two smart grid companies. Smart grid describes a more efficient, less costly method of moving electricity along long-distance transmission lines to local power lines and end-users in homes and businesses.

"It may not sound like much, but if half of America's households cut their energy demand by 10 per cent, it would be the equivalent of taking eight million cars off the road," Google said.

Google PowerMeter is currently being tested by employees and is not yet available to the public. The company hopes to develop partnerships with utilities so it can roll PowerMeter out to consumers in the next few months, spokeswoman Niki Fenwick said.