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Google: Leading the Way To Smarter Home Energy Use?

| Wednesday February 18th, 2009 | 3 Comments

Google%20PowerMeter.jpg It’s been said that Google, with it’s deep interest in energy technology across many sectors, will benefit greatly from the recently passed Stimulus Bill, with $11 Billion to be invested in smart grid technology.
But it may be the public and the environment that will benefit the most. Google has recently begun testing PowerMeter, a service that they say “…will show consumers their electricity consumption in near real-time in a secure iGoogle Gadget.” Translation: You’ll be able to know what is using how much in your house, via an online tool that keeps your data private.
What difference can this make?

Google says that for every 6 households shaving 10% off their energy use, that’s the same as taking one car off the road. Stats here. If you added this with just the first stage home energy efficiency efforts of a company like Sustainable Spaces, there stands to be a substantial reduction in energy consumption, without requiring radical lifestyle changes.
In their PowerMeter introductory video, Google engineer Russ Mirov was able to achieve an approximately 64% reduction in his energy use in the past year, saving $3000 so far.
And Google’s service will be free.
This I imagine will stimulate paid consumer side energy monitoring services such as Green Box to further refine and improve their offering, benefiting all.
Readers: What innovative, practical, effective ways have you seen to use energy more smartly have you seen? Comment below please.
Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media. Who he has and wants to work with includes consumer, media, clean tech, NGOs, social ventures, and museums.


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  • http://www.thegreeniest.com daveconrey

    I dig this. The easier it is for people to manage their energy consumption, the quicker the green mentality will take root.

  • http://www.GreenSmithConsulting.com Paul Smith

    Agreed. GreenBiz wrote an article today about the recent “Plug In to the Smart Grid” event that Google and GE cohosted. Things are looking promising. http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2009/02/18/gunther-smart-grid

  • Sarah Lozanova

    That’s great. I conducted a home energy audit with a gadget called a kill-o-watt. It made me so much more aware of which appliances use the most energy and which ones to unplug when they are not in use.
    Information is power!