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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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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
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.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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