Google Powermeter: now Google wants to know how much electricity you use

Duncan Riley

Google everywhere? why not in your power meter? As bizarre as that may sound, Google has announced Google Powermeter, a platform that allows consumers to track their power use.

It sounds evil, but it comes with a strong tinge of green:

Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” and we believe consumers have a right to detailed information about their home electricity use…

Specifically, to provide both consumers and utilities with real-time energy information, homes must be equipped with advanced energy meters called “smart meters.” There are currently about 40 million smart meters in use worldwide, with plans to add another 100 million in the next few years….

In addition to policy advocacy, we’re building consumer tools, too. Over the last several months, our engineers have developed a software tool called Google PowerMeter, which will show consumers their home energy information almost in real time, right on their computer. Google PowerMeter is not yet available to the public since we’re testing it out with Googlers first. But we’re building partnerships with utilities and independent device manufacturers to gradually roll this out in pilot programs. Once we’ve had a chance to kick the tires, we’ll make the tool more widely available.

Funnily perhaps, the typical home power chat provided by Google not only shows general house hold items, but a web server as well. Coincidentally Google was criticized recently for power consumption of its web servers.

Still, the idea is solid environmentally, even if the Orwellian consequences continue to worsen.