Google PowerMeter measuring electricity consumption in your home

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energychartWe all know it saves money and reduces our carbon footprint to turn our TV off standby, turn our heating down by 1 degree and switch to energy efficient light bulbs.

However, it’s even more rewarding to know exactly how much electricity you are using and saving. Studies show that simply knowing your household’s personal energy information could save you 5–15% on your monthly bill because you are empowered to make the right changes.

Knowledge really is power!

Carbon emissions

If just six households saved 10% on their electricity, that would reduce carbon emission as much as taking one car off the roads!

Google’s intention is to create a future where access to personal electricity information helps everyone reduce their household energy usage with the development of their Google PowerMeter.

Google PowerMeter

Google are currently working with utility partners in the US, India and Canada with plans to expand the scheme later this year.

They are developing a software tool that will enable householders to monitor their electricity usage in real time on their Google homepage. In addition, their vision includes the ability to utilise energy in your home in most efficient way possible by the press of a button.

Watch this space for developments!

What about you? Have you used a power meter such as the OWL or Wattson to check your household electricity consumption – did you find it useful?

10 Comments

  1. yournontoxiclife on June 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I haven’t tried any of the current power meters, but I do keep track month to month as I replaced my bulbs with CFL bulbs. I definitely noticed a difference! And you are right, if I could see my consumption in real time, the little numbers geek inside me (OK BIG numbers geek) would for sure try to use less.



  2. Graham on June 24, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I think this is a great idea! Google could make it a little more detailed, but definitely a nice project. In the future maybe these charts would be hooked up to the items in your home for a totally accurate result.

    It’s surprising that just a little change can reduce your electricity bill and help conserve the environment.



  3. Wilson Pon on June 29, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Mrs. Green, I heard about the Google PowerMeter before, but haven’t really use it yet! Maybe, I should apply it to measure my household electricity consumption.



  4. Mrs Green on June 30, 2009 at 7:23 am

    @yournontoxiclife: Hi yournontoxic life! How much reduction do you think you are getting just from replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFLs?
    I have a plug in meter and it’s very interesting and has certainly made me more aware of our usage.

    @Graham: I agree Graham. I guess at this point it’s only an ideas / prototype. It could be expanded to be a very useful tool.
    Which changes do you think make he most difference to your electricity consumption in your household?

    @Wilson Pon: Hi Wilson; I’m not sure it is available yet, and when it does come out, it will only be in the US to begin with. I guess popularity will determine whether it goes worldwide.
    Do you take regular meter readings at the moment?



  5. yournontoxiclife on August 28, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I think we are saving up to $20/month. I have now replaced 37 bulbs in the house and outside. I plan to replace about 10 more. I also love the fact that these bulbs last so much longer than standard bulbs. With close to 50 bulbs in my life, this makes things easier 🙂



  6. Mrs Green on September 2, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    @yournontoxiclife: Hi again, good to see you. It sounds like you are doing really well with cutting your expenses and emissions. That’s what I love about these green issues; so many of them save you money as well as helping the planet – you can’t beat a win-win situation!



  7. jon on November 10, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    The only people that can currently use this google power deal are the ones with a T.E.D. power monitor that runs for $199 USD. There is a product available that does the same thing with many powerful features for only $119. It is also easier to install as which you do not need an electrician or similar expertise. -Energy Owl Electricity Monitoring Systems – http://www.TheEnergyOwl.com



  8. Mrs Green on November 11, 2009 at 7:34 am

    @jon: Hi Jon, thank you for sharing this information. We have an OWL monitor and I find it slightly lacking in features. You can’t for instance isolate one appliance and find out how much it is costing you to run in a 24 hour period, which I would find very useful.
    Does your Energy Owl have this feature?



  9. jon on November 11, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Hi, Mrs. Green. By utilizing the Chart Feature of the Energy Owl application you can figure out the energy used by systematically turning any appliance on and off and watching the chart display update. You can view the data in different time frames (by the minute, hour, day, month) and use that (difference) info to determine individual appliance power draw (with some additional simple arithmetic). For example, the chart says something is using .1 cents a minute , multiply that times 60 minutes = 6 cents an hour, multiplied by 24 = $1.44 a day. Hope this answers your question!



  10. Mrs Green on November 13, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Thanks Jon; that’s great. It’s good information as all these gadgets differ slightly 🙂



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