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Google’s PowerMeter to help families reduce electricity use

india Updated: Feb 11, 2009 12:40 IST

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Internet search engine Google seems all set to bring power grids into the digital age, it is to soon launch a PowerMeter to help families “reduce their domestic electricity consumption”.

According to Google, using a special widget embedded on their personalised iGoogle homepage, people will be able to monitor the PowerMeter software through their computers, which will help them see where to cut down on electricity use.

In fact, the PowerMeter will analyse the electricity consumption information captured by “smart meters”, and then translate it into easy-to-understand information, it said.

Ed Lu, a member of Google’s engineering team, wrote on the search engine’s blog: “In a world where everyone had a detailed understanding of their home energy use, we could find all sorts of ways to save energy and lower electricity bills.

“It may not sound like much, but if half of America’s households cut their energy demand by ten per cent, it would be the equivalent of taking eight million cars off the road.”

In fact, the PowerMeter is currently in development, and is being tested among select members of Google’s own staff before eventually being introduced to the wider public, media reports said.

According to Lu, Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible as well as useful to people.

“We believe that detailed data on your personal energy use belongs to you and should be available in an open standard nonproprietary format. You should control who gets to see your data and you should be free to choose from a range of services to help you understand it and benefit from it,” he wrote.