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Google's PowerMeter helps homeowners track and cut their power use, saving money and the environment. The site recently announced a number of utility partners, and has started deploying to customers.  (Source: Google)
Going green and saving green is finally becoming hassle-free thanks to Google

Google talks a lot about alternative energy and promoting the adoption of a green lifestyle as part of the company's "do no evil" policy.  Google has been working hard both on the power front, investing in promising alternative energy startups, and on the consumer front, releasing Google PowerMeter, a unique Google Gadget that lets users track their home power consumption.

However, many dismissed the new widget as useless as it relied on "smart meters", special power meters which could communicate it.  After all, there were no such meters at the time.

Undeterred, Google went out and solved this problem and has now announced a number of initial smart meter partners, including San Diego Gas & Electric (California), TXU Energy (Texas), JEA (Florida), Reliance Energy (India), Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (Wisconsin), White River Valley Electric Cooperative (Missouri), Toronto Hydro–Electric System Limited (Canada), Glasgow EPB (Kentucky).

The utility partners are a picture of diversity, covering three different countries.  Google engineer Ed Lu describes, "Our initial partners include utilities with millions of customers as well as smaller ones. They are rural and urban, privately held and municipally run... They all have one thing in common — a desire to serve their customers by providing access to detailed information that helps save energy and money."

The only bad news is that for now, the deployment will be limited to a small group of customers with each utility.  Google and its partners plan to ramp up their efforts, though, after testing.

Google has also partnered with hardware manufacturer Itron, a leading make of power meter that serves over 8,000 utilities, also providing data management services.  The company will begin putting Google's technology in some of its new power meters.

At a trivial cost, communications with appliances -- washers, driers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and microwaves -- could be relayed to the meter.  As more data sources pour in and more partners jump aboard, this could become another big project at Google.  After all, most would be happy to save the environment if they could save money while doing it and avoid major hassles -- and that's exactly what Google's PowerMeter helps customers achieve.

To check out the program yourself go here.



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Saving the environment...
By MozeeToby on 5/20/2009 12:11:26 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
After all, most would be happy to save the environment if they could save money while doing it
I think what you mean here is that most people will be happy saving money, regardless of the environment. Even if it pumped out twice as much soot and CO2 but saved 10% on heating, there would still be lots of people interested.




RE: Saving the environment...
By stirfry213 on 5/20/2009 12:40:51 PM , Rating: 4
*sigh*

I hate to agree with you, but I do. I fear humans will never make the jump from "me and mine" to "us and ours."


RE: Saving the environment...
By ksherman on 5/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Saving the environment...
By FITCamaro on 5/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Saving the environment...
By Methusela on 5/20/2009 2:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
I fail to see where he said Europe, or even implied it, GENIUS.


RE: Saving the environment...
By FITCamaro on 5/20/2009 2:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
You're correct. I thought it said Europe.


RE: Saving the environment...
By DigitalFreak on 5/20/2009 6:39:09 PM , Rating: 1
You've been sucking on too many tailpipes again.


RE: Saving the environment...
By Ammohunt on 5/20/2009 2:41:44 PM , Rating: 3
Uh thats becasue they are Socialists/Communists. Americans tend to want to be free thanks.


RE: Saving the environment...
By foolsgambit11 on 5/20/2009 6:59:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I think it's more that they are socialsts/communists (well, some of them) because their culture has a strong 'us and ours' dynamic.

Your logic is really pretty circular. Americans want to be free, so they don't have a strong communal feeling. Or wait, is it vice-versa? Either way, if they had a strong communal feeling, they (meaning you, I assume, as well) wouldn't be so stuck on personal freedom over public welbeing.


RE: Saving the environment...
By Spuke on 5/20/2009 7:08:03 PM , Rating: 3
We have a very strong belief in personal freedom in the US. Yet we're communal in most areas in the US (not in the cities though, IMO).


RE: Saving the environment...
By Spuke on 5/20/2009 7:15:22 PM , Rating: 3
Another thing, Americans are very giving and we share quite a bit of our wealth already (more than anyone else in the world). So we're not selfish people. What we don't like to do is give money to people that have the same opportunities that we have. We work hard and reap the benefits of the hard work and don't like to just give our money away to people that are MORE than able to work hard themselves. And we sure as hell don't like ANYONE forcing things down our throats. That is a VERY strong core belief among most Americans. We have no problems giving to people that can't get for themselves, people that lost things because of a disaster, people with incurable diseases, or etc.


RE: Saving the environment...
By yxalitis on 5/20/09, Rating: 0
RE: Saving the environment...
By Spuke on 5/21/2009 12:38:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Free to be shot/mugged? Free to be lied to by your own government?
Free means taking the good WITH the bad. Not just all of the good.


RE: Saving the environment...
By fic2 on 5/20/2009 1:12:30 PM , Rating: 4
Unfortunately, it seems like "us and ours" turns more towards the "you have stuff so you should share with people who don't". Especially as enforced by the gov't.

I am all for doing good things for the environment - I am the one going around after work taking aluminum cans out of the trash cans of people too lazy to put them in the recycle bin - but I am not for a forced "sharing" of the fruits of my labor and education.


RE: Saving the environment...
By 440sixpack on 5/20/2009 3:00:35 PM , Rating: 2
Well said.


RE: Saving the environment...
By FITCamaro on 5/20/2009 1:49:36 PM , Rating: 4
Because "us and ours" turns into "we'll take yours" in the hands of government.


RE: Saving the environment...
By Mitch101 on 5/20/2009 12:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
True. I would like to see devices ship with stickers like refrigerators that show you how much a year the device will use in energy for the year on average. Of course it will probably end up being a BS number like 90% fat free when the item is over 50% fat.


RE: Saving the environment...
By fic2 on 5/20/2009 1:08:31 PM , Rating: 2
Don't know if you are trying out sarcasm or not, but have you never seen the Energy Rating sticker on every appliance sold in the U.S.?


RE: Saving the environment...
By FITCamaro on 5/20/2009 1:53:56 PM , Rating: 2
An energy star rating doesn't mean anything to people.

He's talking about a sticker that shows the actual cost of using that product for a year. This would be applicable for refrigerators and other always on appliances. For ovens, washing machines, etc that can vary, it'd be nice to see a standardized "with average use" measurement of power usage. That way you can directly compare two appliances and make a decision.


RE: Saving the environment...
By geddarkstorm on 5/20/2009 2:25:21 PM , Rating: 2
Erm, the energy star tag/sticker has that information on it. At least the fridge, washer (yes, even it had it), and dryer I bought a few years ago all had that information, telling not only the estimated yearly cost in energy of the unit, but where it ranks in the general field (that is, the range of energy costs other fridges in its class has, and where it ranks in that range, for my kenmore fridge).


RE: Saving the environment...
By FITCamaro on 5/20/2009 3:01:41 PM , Rating: 2
If it does then great. I just know most products I look at just have a little Energy Star logo on it. I'll be the first to admit I don't go appliance shopping all that often.


RE: Saving the environment...
By fic2 on 5/20/2009 2:38:33 PM , Rating: 2
I swear - the dumbassness of people shouldn't surprise me, but it still does. These stickers have been put on appliances for at least the last 10 years.

Here is a link that gives and example and even tells morons how to read it:
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/energygu...


RE: Saving the environment...
By Mitch101 on 5/20/2009 2:59:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but its not on every item that plugs into the wall as you would imply. Most only have the Energy Star symbol/logo not the considered average cost of the unit based upon some X amount of usage.

Vacuum Cleaners Granted this is not an Item left plugged in.
HDTV's
DVD/BLU-RAY Players
Receivers
Smaller Plug in items like Switches, Cameras, Game Consoles, Chargers, etc.

For example here is an HDTV
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...

Regulatory Approvals Energy Star

Thats all nothing about if you used it 2 hours a day what it would cost you over the cost of a year.


RE: Saving the environment...
By fic2 on 5/20/2009 3:30:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This would be applicable for refrigerators and other always on appliances. For ovens, washing machines, etc that can vary, it'd be nice to see a standardized "with average use" measurement of power usage. That way you can directly compare two appliances and make a decision.


These stickers are on the appliances that were originally mentioned - major appliances. If you want to go throwing any other stuff then, yeah, they aren't on electric toothbrushes, shavers, hair dryers, etc.


RE: Saving the environment...
By Mitch101 on 5/20/2009 3:54:00 PM , Rating: 2
Thats where I am hoping to see them. I read an article not long ago that I cannot find. Apparently all the small items being plugged in are what is causing the majority of the issues with power companies not being able to keep up with demands and most have no specifications on power draw. Some draw just as much power when off. Its these phantom devices that are costing a lot to consumers.

Im not for more regulation but the power draw should be listed on all devices if not an average use figure.


RE: Saving the environment...
By fic2 on 5/20/2009 6:40:50 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, I went back and reread your original posting. I misunderstood it the initial time I read it. I thought you said you hoped devices like refrigerators would have a sticker on them, not what you actually said which was you wish ALL devices had stickers on them like the stickers on refrigerators. I give myself a D for reading comprehension.

I agree with what you said - that all devices should have power draw listed.

I think CA was talking about passing that at one point last year. Like you said the phantom draw (power draw when the device is "off") can be just as much as when it is on.

Things are getting better, though. LCD tvs have an "off" draw of around 5W or less now. But games boxes are pretty much 100% power draw all the time as are most chargers (phone, etc).


RE: Saving the environment...
By Mitch101 on 5/20/2009 8:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
No prob and my apologies also it sounds like I was getting testy also.

Guess were all tired of getting dollared (cant say its nickled and dimed) to death with my electric bill was what?


I just have to say
By arazok on 5/20/2009 12:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
Google kicks ass. It’s like a factory that spits just out one cool toy after another.




RE: I just have to say
By Mitch101 on 5/20/2009 12:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
While this seems commendable on Google's part I dont believe for a second that google wont one day know how much toast, how toasted, what kid of bread used, and what kind of toaster I can afford to add to their database on me. There is probably an algorithm that tells them how many people in my home eat toast too.


RE: I just have to say
By xti on 5/20/2009 1:08:02 PM , Rating: 2
bread has a lot of calories.


RE: I just have to say
By kattanna on 5/20/2009 3:36:40 PM , Rating: 2
and then when you hop online to surf some porn you will get targeted bread ads


RE: I just have to say
By ssjwes1980 on 5/20/2009 6:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
win


RE: I just have to say
By Ammohunt on 5/20/2009 2:44:47 PM , Rating: 3
There is such a thing as too much information being too freely available. What ever happened to privacy?


Google gets it done
By Shig on 5/20/2009 1:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Say what you want about google, but so far this has been one of the largest smart meter pushes in the US.




RE: Google gets it done
By unableton on 5/20/2009 2:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, certainly an admirable effort on their part, and on the part of the energy companies.


Huh?
By Spivonious on 5/20/2009 12:46:12 PM , Rating: 2
My power company (PP&L) has been doing this for years now on their own website. I can go down to the hour.




RE: Huh?
By FITCamaro on 5/20/2009 1:55:37 PM , Rating: 1
I'm fine with me knowing this kind of information on my energy usage. But I never want the government knowing it and/or having control over it.


u know googles reach...
By SiN on 5/20/2009 12:48:40 PM , Rating: 1
is a bit like a dark shadow, it makes me weary.

And to think it was just some guys in a garage tinkering with a search engine. And a cross breed with the cheerios logo.




RE: u know googles reach...
By ClownPuncher on 5/20/2009 2:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
Weary = tired, wary = on guard, watchful.

You sure it makes you tired? It may, never know.


Smart meters
By Rustyturtle on 5/20/2009 4:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Don't be fooled by the concept of energy savings. Sure you can control your usage but the smart meter is for all the large Utilities to charge higher usage prices in their built-out maturing markets at peak demand points for natural gas and electric consumption.




"Do no evil"
By pequin06 on 5/20/2009 12:57:25 PM , Rating: 1
It because of their motto I don't trust Google.

Wait and see, people complain about "Big Oil", Goolge will be no different, just wait and see.
It's all about information and Google wants it all...so they run better targeted ads. :P




Surely this is a bad thing
By randomposter on 5/20/09, Rating: -1
RE: Surely this is a bad thing
By pequin06 on 5/20/2009 12:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, because leftist care more about the drinking water and clean air.
It's more about micromanaging than saving resources and the ones that are on top telling others how to live tend to abuse the system the most.


RE: Surely this is a bad thing
By FITCamaro on 5/20/2009 1:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
I think he was making a joke.


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