A little over a year ago, Google released a new tool called Google Power Meter. It’s Google’s initiative to allow homeowners to monitor their power usage, become familiar with when and how they use power and hopefully kerb some of that usage as a result.
At the time of release, as with most Google products that rely on “real” infrastructure (like Google Voice for example) it was a US only thing and I assumed it would stay that way for a while.
Recently I was prompted to see if there had been any further developments on expanding the service outside of the US, and low and behold there had been.
Normally Google Power Meter is something done through the utility company, but it turns out an Australian company is selling a product that can tap into the Google Power Meter software. The companies name is SmartNow and they are selling something known as the “EnviR” which can be retrofitted to an existing premise. It can also be used to monitor solar power generation if required.
The device comes with a small LCD display allowing you to see the data, but this can also be uploaded to Google. The process is made easier with the “Bridge” product which can connect to your router. More details on how it all works can be found here.
It’s cheaper than I expected at a little over $150 for the monitor and the bridge, and after getting a quote from a local electrician of $120 I’ve decided to order one and see how it goes.
I’ll post an update once it’s installed to let you know my experiences with it.