Google PowerMeter is a software application being developed by Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org to help consumers track their home electricity usage. The development of the software is part of an effort by Google to invest in renewable energy, electricity grid upgrades and other measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The software is able to record the user’s electricity usage in near real-time. According to the company, if half of America’s homes’ energy use was cut by ten percent, it would equal taking eight million cars off the road.
It is hoped that this tool will raise the home-owner’s awareness of how much energy they use and make users more energy efficient. PowerMeter is intended for use with a smart meter which is able to track electricity usage much more frequently than standard electric meters. According to Google, there are approximately 40 million smart meters in use worldwide. By early 2009, approximately 7% of US homes had a smart meter installed. – Some other types of electricity meters and in-home energy use displays may also be used with PowerMeter.