For the majority of folks, the most interaction they have with their utility company is the bill at the end of the month. An arrangement that works as long as you know who’s in charge. But now, with the impending arrival of smart meters, other companies besides your friendly neighborhood utility will play a role in the lives of eco- and dollar-conscious customers.
Google’s PowerMeter efforts, which aim to put power monitoring and management tools in the hands of consumers, are causing some unease among utilities. So the tech giant is trying to smooth things out. Earth2Tech reports:
Some utilities have indicated to us that they’ve been uncomfortable with the fact that Google is building software and web tools for energy management and smart meters called PowerMeter. In their eyes Google’s strong brand could dominate their relationship with the customer. But that hasn’t stopped ‘Don’t Be Evil’ Google from reaching out to the traditional utility industry and the incumbent meter makers, and some are starting to respond positively. On Tuesday night Google announced on its blog that it has partnered with a list of eight utilities as well as meter maker Itron to provide PowerMeter to their customers.
Nice to see industry players getting along. You can check out the PowerMeter Partner Page for more info.
Google is also getting cozy with equipment makers like GE and the above mentioned Intron to ensure that the project is a success.