Google your home electricity usage


The Great Google has announced another utility that just might be the worst thing to impact family harmony since the thermostat, but is nonetheless an intriguing idea. The Google PowerMeter, currently in Beta testing, would provide you real-time information about the electricity use in your household so that, if you have the nerve, you can put the smackdown on family members squandering the joy juice.

With the meter, you could identify when the dryer is running, the TV, or perhaps even the xBox. Google cites studies showing that with access to home energy consumption consumers realize a 5-15% savings in electric costs.

Google is promoting the idea of a smart electric grid (Skynet?), with meters at house level that can interface with the internet. Such integration would be a major step forward in enabling a peak/offpeak price scheme for use of our electron lifeblood. I see a timer-switch on my dryer in the near future.

Earlier this month Google unveiled its Latitude service, offering to keep track of your location 24/7. It knows when you've been sleeping, it knows when you're awake, it knows if you've been bad or good..... There is no truth to the rumor that Google has made Father Christmas an offer for his business. Yet.