Google has partnered with Energy Inc. – the makers of the TED 5000 energy monitor for homes, to link consumer energy consumption data to its online PowerMeter software.
According to the official Google blog, anyone in North America can now purchase and install the TED (for The Energy Detective) 5000 and see personal home energy data using its free software, Google PowerMeter over the Internet and even from their mobile phones. Those who are already have a TED 5000 device installed can simply upgrade the firmware of their device and start using the service.
Google says that Energy Inc is its first device partner, but that it is looking for more partners in this area. You can fill out this form if you are working for a company that makes such devices and want to link it up to the PowerMeter platform.
This is a pretty interesting development as Google had previously partnered with utilities to aid in their smart grid roll outs. This new strategy will completely bypass the power utility as well as the telecommunications operator, and enables anyone to get smart on their energy consumption.
On the one hand, empowering the consumer to adopt smart energy solution on their own will likely result in faster adoption since they won’t have to wait for their utility to led the initiative. On the other hand, while the solution allows end-consumers to better manage their energy consumption, the information generated by the TED and PowerMeter needs to be linked back to the power and grid management systems of power utilities in order to maximise its potential to reduce energy consumption, not just at the household level, but at the generation level.