Google PowerMeter Gains New Hardware

Google has another partner for its free energy monitoring tool, adding the PowerCost Monitor by Blue Line Innovations. This gives Google PowerMeter users access to real-time home-electricity use data on their computer or on a smart device via a wi-fi connection.

Google PowerMeter is free application, one of a host of Google.org projects “created for the purpose of addressing a social challenge.” Google opened up PowerMeter to partnerships with the makers of monitoring devices back in May, and now has more than a dozen such companies onboard.

Home energy monitor, PowerCoast, Google PowerMeter

image via Blue Line Innovations

Blue Line was in the news at the beginning of 2010 when the big retailer Fry’s Electronics began selling the device for $99.99. Since then, the company introduced “WiFi Gateway,” a $159 accessory that allows users to view their data in real-time online or through a mobile device. Previously, this was only possible using the Google PowerMeter competitor Microsoft Hohm. But now, Blue Line said, it is “the only electricity monitoring product in full device partnership” with both tech behemoths.

PowerCost works by gathering information through a sensor unit that is attached to the outside of a home electric meter. The sensor sends data reads home electricity use in real-time and transmits the information wirelessly to a power usage monitor located inside your home.

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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