Google’s (GOOG) PowerMeter Lets Consumers Monitor Their Energy Usage Without a Smart Meter

Treehugger has an excellent post up that looks at Google’s PowerMeter and whether or not it can replace the efforts of utilities to install meters and connect them to a smart grid. Google’s PowerMeter devices are giving consumers the power to manage their own energy use independent of local utilities, meaning that you don’t have to wait for your local power company to start installing smart meters to get an in-depth view of your energy usage and ways you can conserve.

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However, Treehugger notes that Google’s PowerMeter won’t replace smart meters as a key component of the smart grid, and that’s why PowerMeter is making it a point to partner with local utilities:

“But, this doesn’t replace the need for everyone to eventually have smart meters linked up to a smart grid. PowerMeter can monitor your consumption habits, connect you to a community of other people also watching their energy use, and give you a great feeling for how much you’re spending and where to cut back. But the smart grid as a whole is much, much bigger than just this.