[arin-ppml] More smartgrid applications

Paul Wilson pwilson at apnic.net
Sun Nov 1 19:16:59 EST 2009

Dear all,

A development here which is related to the previous discussion of IPv6 on 
Smartgrids.  Nice application.



Powermeter: Google's household energy monitor arrives in UK

Online tool allows householders to monitor energy use and greenhouse gas 
emissions, thereby reducing consumption and saving money

Adam Vaughan

Wednesday 28 October 2009 05.00 GMT

 [Image: "Google powermeter"]
A sample page showing the energy-tracking Powermeter gadget on iGoogle. 
Photograph: Google

Google may be best known for helping you find things on the web, but the 
online search company's latest move is a bid to make futuristic low-energy 
eco-homes a reality.

Launching for the first time in the UK today, Google Powermeter is an 
online tool that allows householders to monitor their home's energy use and 
greenhouse gas emissions via the web, and so reduce their consumption and 
save money.

Already being trialled in the US, the free energy-monitoring service uses 
new smart meters, or an add-on clip for conventional meters, to send 
electricity consumption to a personalised iGoogle web page. Users will be 
able to check their energy use anywhere in the world via a computer or 
mobile phone.

The idea is that householders will be persuaded to stop overfilling 
kettles, switch appliances off standby and turn off unused lights after 
being confronted with their daily energy use. Studies by organisations 
including the government's Energy Saving Trust have suggested such energy 
monitoring leads people to cut their bills by 3-15%, potentially saving the 
average UK household £75 a year.

Google Powermeter is itself free, but will initially be available to 
British homeowners either by buying a gadget called AlertMe Energy or 
switching to first:utility, a small energy supplier. AlertMe's device works 
using a broadband hub and a clip for your electricity meter. It can be 
bought from today for £69 with a £3 monthly subscription fee. 
First:utility customers will have to wait until next month to try the 

Powermeter works by showing graphs of a user's energy consumption over time 
– by day, week or month – and comparing it to their previous usage and 
regional averages. Ben Coppin, an employee at AlertMe who has trialled it 
for the last six months, said using the software had led him to switch off 
an unnecessary immersion heater that was costing £300-400 annually, and to 
halve his tumble dryer's energy use by switching from its highest setting 
to its lowest.

Jens Redmer, director for business development at Google, said Powermeter's 
value came from "immediate feedback". He told of testers in California 
discovering pool pumps they hadn't used for years but that were draining 
energy, and one woman who saved her apartment from burning down by 
detecting a burning toaster while at work and alerting a neighbour.

Redmer added that a social element could be a next step for the service, 
which keeps users' energy usage private. "In the future, one new feature 
could be friendly competition – why can't I challenge my friends to say 
I'll save 10% over a year, and then trigger alerts when they're falling 
behind, so I could ping them to encourage them?"

Pilgrim Beart, the founder and CEO of AlertMe, said: "Many consumers feel 
they can't protect themselves from rising energy costs or do anything to 
stop climate change. However, more than a quarter of all energy use happens 
in our homes and this gives consumers the power to monitor, control, and 
reduce the energy they use." Heating and power for UK homes account for 27% 
of the UK's carbon footprint.

Powermeter's move into the UK puts it a step ahead of Microsoft's rival 
project, Hohm, which is in a US-only beta trial and works by creating an 
online dashboard of energy data from partnered utility companies. Unlike 
Google's software, it covers both electricity and gas use, and you can 
enter your usage manually.

Enthusiasts have previously developed kits using open-source code that 
allow homes to post their energy usage to Twitter, and several companies 
sell energy monitors – such as the OWL and Wattson – which show 
real-time electricity consumption on wireless handheld displays. One such 
gadget available in the US, the TED 5000, already works with Powermeter.

The UK government is consulting on the specification for smart meters – 
whether they should feature wireless displays, for example – which will 
be fitted in every home by 2020.

Paul Wilson, Director-General, APNIC                      <dg at apnic.net>
http://www.apnic.net                            ph/fx +61 7 3858 3100/99

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