Posts Tagged ‘iGoogle’
About the product
Google PowerMeter™ is a free tool from Google that allows utility customers and private customers with a smart meter installed to access their electricity usage data and other information from their utility company on the Internet. The information is presented on their personal iGoogle homepage but only if they sign up for the Google PowerMeter™ gadget. The gadget uses the information from the smart meter and provides the utility customer with tools to analyse the usage. There will be a tight connection between Google and the utility provider with a logotype and link directly to the utility company website. As a utility provider you can send messages directly to your customers’ iGoogle PowerMeter™ gadget. This could open all kinds of possibilities and strengthen the relationship with your customers.
How to be able to use it?
Well there are actually some things that need to be done before your can start analysing your electricity usage in iGoogle!
First you need to become a partner with Google within the Google PowerMeter™ project. There are just a few companies that are involved in this project at the moment but Google announces that they would like to add more companies. You can inform Google about your interest as a utility company by using the form provided at this link:
When you or your utility company becomes partner with Google PowerMeter™ you need to connect to Google’s PowerMeter™ data repository over the Internet and send electricity usage information from your meter or meter data repository. Google has created a step-by-step guide for the configuration and integration process. The information is stored securely inside Google’s data centers. Google PowerMeter™ doesn’t request information from outside; it just receives data that is sent to it. The format should be in XML based on the open Google Data API.
It must be sent via a secured Hypertext Transfer Protocol. It’s more known as HTTPS.
The customer and user must sign up to participate with the Google PowerMeter™ program to be able to use the gadget that is provided by Google. It’s not possible for a utility provider to upload data if their customer hasn’t signed up yet. The data will be rejected.
What do I gain as a customer?
By accessing the information from my smart meter I will be able to easily understand and reduce my energy bill. The information will make me more aware of the situation and it will also help me to be more interested in how I use energy. By changing small things and become more energy efficient I can save money and also the environment.
There are a number of features developed. For example you can compare your consumption against benchmarks. You can use the Budget Tracker to compare the consumption with historical data from your meter. The Google PowerMeter™ gadget presents your usage in a diagram. The resolution depends on the reading frequency provided by your utility company. There will probably be more functionality developed in the future.
Why should utility companies send information to Google PowerMeter™?
A lot of people have already signed up for an iGoogle account and they login to their account on a daily basis. How often do they login to your utility website?
If there is a possibility to not develop these features on your company website but still provide your customers with the information they wish for it could save you a lot of money.
I hope that we will be able to present more information about the Google PowerMeter™ later.
Here are links to my sources: