Google PowerMeter Finds a Gadget Partner
Before now, the Google PowerMeter software could only estimate your energy use, unless you happened to be a customer of the handful of utilities it was working with. That has changed. The company announced yesterday that they have partnered with The Energy Detective (TED), allowing you to bypass your utility and get regularly-updated energy use information.
The TED 5000 device costs about $200 and you’ll need an electrician to install it, but once that’s done, it wil connect to the internet and feed all your electricity use to the PowerMeter program online at home or via iGoogle on your mobile phone. The TED device sends updates to PowerMeter every 10 minutes compared to regular smart meters which often only dispaly processed energy data only once a day.
People who already own a TED device can download an upgrade to start using the PowerMeter software.
This partnership is meeting a great need because it lets consumers review their electricity use in real-time, over their own broadband connection, allowing them to make changes to their current energy consumtption instead of making changes in hindsight. But the companies aren’t looking to exclude power companies. TED and Google are both still working with utilities to build smart meter networks.