July 3rd, 2011
Recently Google announced that they are retiring Google PowerMeter. PowerMeter was a service that gave homeowners the ability to see how much electricity they were using. It was hoped that this information would help homeowners save energy by knowing when they were using the most energy. I personally was researching the hardware to build a device to track my energy use and upload that data to Google PowerMeter. Now I and many others will have to find a new way to do this. It seems that there weren’t enough users to justify maintaining the service. It’s my opinion that the utilities killed it. There were very few utilities that actually participated with the service to provide energy usage information to their customers.
Within a week of the Google announcement, Microsoft also announced the end of their competing service, Microsoft Hohm. Hohm intended to provide similar information to that of PowerMeter. Hohm did have a few other features, but they were not that impressive in my opinion. However, the ability to monitor your energy usage is huge regardless of which solutions you went with. Unfortunately, you can’t choose either of the them now.
What are we going to do? How can we get this information? Honestly the utilities that use smart meters should be providing this to their customers automatically. My utility doesn’t. They have installed a smart meter on my house…. then nothing. I’m pretty disappointed in the whole thing. Apparently some utilities do offer this information and I think that is fantastic. They all should.