I was a little disappointed to see that Google has shut PowerMeter, the tool it developed to monitor our energy usage.
The Official Google Blog reports that they decided to stop developing the tool as they failed to gain the expected interest in it.
Google PowerMeter launched in the UK back in October 2009, but you needed a £69 piece of kit plus a monthly fee of £2.99, or you needed to sign up to a particular energy provider.
GigaOM has suggested a few reasons why PowerMeter failed.
The reason I’m disappointed is that this sort of monitoring will probably be standard in a few years time as the use of smart metering increases. Once we have access to the data, it will be simpler to visualise when and where we’re using up all our energy, but more importantly it will be easier to get suggestions on how to cut down on that energy use; only then will we seriously start to change our energy usage habits, in my opinion. With the recent rises in electricity prices, it’s never been as important to try to keep bills low, that’s before worrying about the environmental benefits.
As I say, this sort of functionality is likely to be pretty standard in a few years, yet it might be the energy companies themselves that have to push the technology.
Users have access to the tool until September 16th 2011, and they can also download their data in a .csv file if they wish.
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