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Google Bypasses the Smart Meter
M2M Magazine October 09, 2009 - Google,
www.google.com, Mountain View, Calif., continues to make strides in the
smart-energy market. In February 2009, the company announced its PowerMeter
energy management system, and since that time Google has not been sitting idly
by. This week on its blog, Google announced the first device for consumers that
will allow them to use PowerMeter without having a smart meter.
Google has partnered with Energy Inc., www.theenergydetective.com, Charleston, S.C., maker of TED (The Energy Detective). The device works by connecting to a home’s circuit-breaker panel, eliminating the need for a smart meter. TED also includes an in-home display to present information to the homeowner. Data on energy consumption is displayed in realtime, both in kilowatts and in dollars and cents per hour. In addition, users can program the device with alarms that will trigger if consumption passes preset thresholds.
The device will provide information on the home’s energy consumption to PowerMeter, which analyzes it to present a graphical representation of energy use in near realtime. By having access to this information, consumers should be able to indentify energy drains and make changes to save money and power.
In its blog post, Google indicated the TED 5000 model is the one that will work with PowerMeter. Consumers can purchase this model for under $200, and the PowerMeter software is available for free from Google. Users can access PowerMeter from anywhere they can access the Web, including mobile phones.
Google hopes TED is the first of multiple smart-energy devices that will work with PowerMeter, and the company is soliciting recommendations from other developers whose products might perform a similar function.
Even as interest in smart meters grows, Google is bypassing the need for an advanced meter and opening up energy consumption data to the masses. Currently, most U.S. consumers do not have smart meters installed, though the number of those who do is growing all the time.
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