The new service from Google is called PowerMeter and it’s free to both home and commercial users. While this sounds great, there’s one significant catch — PowerMeter relies on others to provide the information it needs. Google is hoping that makers of home electronics and appliances will add hardware which will feed the service information wirelessly. It also needs utilities to provide it with grid metrics.
Kirsten Olsen Cahill, a program manager at Google.org, the company’s corporate philanthropy arm which developed the service, states, "We can’t build this product all by ourselves. We depend on a whole ecosystem of utilities, device makers and policies that would allow consumers to have detailed access to their home energy use and make smarter energy decisions."
The new service, if it gains a hardware foothold, will offer homeowners their first chance to participate in a smarter grid. Google is among the firms leading such efforts which seek to use existing resources more efficiently.
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