Google has announced a device partner for its PowerMeter tool, which we mentioned in a previous blog. The PowerMeter software shows consumers their home energy information in a form easy to access and understand on their computer. The idea (as with all home smart meters) is that increased awareness of energy use leads to reduced consumption.
But up till now PowerMeter has required a smart meter to be installed by the utility supplier. With this new device the utility’s smart meter is no longer required.
The device, which is only available in the US, is a TED 5000 from Energy Inc. (TED stands for ‘The Energy Detective’). It allows users to view personal home energy data using the free PowerMeter software from anywhere you can access the web. Consumers can get real-time information on energy use and costs, as well as changes in use over time. The company is looking for other device partners.
Meanwhile, Cisco is also continuing its push into the smart grid market. According to smartgridnews.com the company has partnered with German utility Yello Strom in a pilot to allow about 70 homes and businesses to communicate with the electric grid over an IP network. The trial will use Yello Sparzaehler meters, which also happen to integrate with Google’s PowerMeter. The trial is aimed at giving Yello Strom customers the means to manage their energy consumption, hence reducing bills and peak demand.