Google continues to forge ahead with new innovations and products, and this time it isn’t Google Wave that has hit the headlines. Google Powermeter is an online tool that helps you track power consumption in your household and view graphical statistics that show the usage over time. In many ways, it’s the Google Analytics of household carbon emissions.
The software uses a device that is clipped onto your power meter and also requires access to some kind of broadband hub in order to send the data out. The setup costs are reasonable, with an initial cost for the device and a small monthly subscription cost for the service. It’s certainly an interesting move on Google’s behalf, and there is even further talk of adding more social elements to what is currently a very private piece of software.
Even if the idea of sharing your energy consumption with those you know doesn’t really appeal, it can’t be denied that having the ability to more closely monitor our energy usage is a vital step in creating a society that is environmentally aware and educated. It is one thing to constantly hear about the need to lower our environmental footprint – another thing entirely to be able to actually see our efforts have an effect in near real-time.
With the issue of climate change emerging out of a kind of green-fatigue recently, here’s hoping that programmes such as this are picked up by many people out there. Even more, let’s hope that it reaches those people who may not otherwise take much concern in turning off lights or conserving energy in other small ways.
By showing everybody just how much energy can be saved by small efforts, software such as Google Powermeter could definitely have more of an impact on personal energy usage than a dozen television programmes or billboards.