Google developing a tool called PowerMeter to provide consumers with smart usage details

Google has announced plans to work on a tool called Google PowerMeter.  This tool would provide consumers a much detailed picture of their utilities (electricity) bill right on their computer or Ipod. Currently, consumers recieve a flat bill which does not provide any break downs on how much energy is each appliance consuming in the household, or for example, how much energy would they save if they lowered the Air Conditioning or Heating Thermostat by two degrees.

According to Google, "The tool (Google PowerMeter) which will show consumers their electricity consumption in near real-time in a secure iGoogle Gadget. We think PowerMeter will offer more useful and actionable feedback than complicated monthly paper bills that provide little detail on consumption or how to save energy."

Studies show that consumers who are aware of how energy is being consumed are likely to save 5 - 15% on their power consumtion and Hydro bills. To do this consumers and provide consumers with real time energy information, homes must be equipped with advanced energy meters called "smart meters." According to Google, there are currently about 40 million smart meters in use worldwide, with plans to add another 100 million in the next few years.

With this Google plans to accumulate data figures from consumers and provide them for a greater study to help save energy and emissions. The Google PowerMeter project is still under testing and more details (including a working demo) on how this technology works is available at http://www.google.org/powermeter/howitworks.html