Today, Google announced that they have secured their first official device partner. (That means having a smart meter installed by your utility is no longer a prerequisite for using Google PowerMeter!) For the last several months, a few hundred Google employees have been testing a number of in-home electricity monitoring devices. Those of them lucky enough to have one of these devices installed in their homes experienced first-hand how access to high-resolution energy use information drives meaningful behavior change (PDF). So Google set out to make that data easier for everyone to access and understand by sending the collected data to Google PowerMeter software.
The TED 5000 from Energy Inc. is an energy monitor that measures electricity usage in real-time (TED stands for "The Energy Detective"). As of today, Google announced that anyone in North America can purchase and install the TED 5000 and see personal home energy data using their free software tool, Google PowerMeter, from anywhere you can access the web including through iGoogle for mobile phones. (If you already have a TED 5000, you can download a free firmware upgrade to enable this functionality.)
Combined with Google PowerMeter, the TED 5000 device can help you understand your electricity usage to save energy and money. Energy Inc. is just their first device partner and if you are working for a company that manufactures energy monitors, we'd like to hear from you. Stay tuned for more!