Google’s Power Meter

Undoubtedly, some of you have seen the latest energy metering and monitoring devices aimed at those interested in conserving more power. This is a great idea, but hasn’t quite enjoyed the same popularity as your aunt’s eco-conscious jewelry that she’s so proud of.

This is a shame, because there is a great potential in savings (both energy, AND money) for those who carefully monitor their electricity or other utility usage. I predict that as more and more of these metering devices come to market, there will be a utility bill version of the “hypermilers

Hyper-milers, for those of you who don’t know, are people who are dedicated to squeezing every last drop of mpg out of their vehicles. Typically, hypermilers were Prius fanatics who were so impressed with the miserly qualities of their hybrid engines, that they wanted to see how far they could push it. Many such hypermilers typically boast mile/gallon rates of over 100 mpg.

Competitive saving and conservation is a concept I find very exciting. While sometimes it’s hard for people to quantify the value of the canvas bag they started using in lieu of plastic bags, it’s much easier to judge your impact with spreadsheets and printouts.

Enter the Google Power Meter. It’s quite possible this concept will go in the same “failed” bin as Google Buzz and Google Wave, but it’s also possible that this new power meter will revolutionize the way people track their utilities. Google is still waiting to get other utility providers and meter manufacturers on board, but you can already use the service if you get your juice from: San Diego Gas & Electric or Blue Ridge Electric in the US, Yello Strom in Germany, and first:utility in the UK.

Google's Power Meter energy monitoring service

Engadget posted a review of The Energy Detective and AlertMe, as part of their Google Power Meter analysis. Check it out! In the event your utility does not support this feature (at the time of this post, most do not), you can always purchase one of the Power Meter-ready devices listed here:

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3 Responses to Google’s Power Meter

  1. Great post, I am looking at having some form of smart meter installed at home having just installed a solar PV array on my roof – thanks for the information. Paul from PD Architecture designing Eco Homes and Eco Home Extensions

  2. I’ve got an AlertMe system and I am writing some software to link this into a system that monitors the power grid to switch on and off electric car charging depending on the overall demand for electricity and the carbon footprint of the electricity being produced.

    In the UK, detailed information about how electricity is produced is available as a public record. This data is updated every five minutes throughout the day. By linking this in with smart metering, consumers can be even more smart with working out when to switch on or off their appliances.

    A great example of this is the electric car: if you leave the car plugged in when it is not in use, you can use a smart metering application that is monitoring the power grid to switch on and off charging at the times of the day and night when electricity demand is low and when the carbon footprint for power generation is as low as possible.

    I have a website that shows this information. You can find it here: http://www.owningelectriccar.com/national-grid-electric.html

  3. ted says:

    Hey guys, I am researching on what I should and should not post about on a blog I am creating for my company. We essentially want to focus on comparing and contrasting green products/companies/efforts in our industry. Will some of you friendly bloggers out there kindly be my friend, and maybe let me pick your brain for what you like to read and how you usually go about finding it??

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