Talking Google PowerMeter on AM 950 and The Uptake

I had a little chat about my latest obsession, the Google PowerMeter service, on Quick On The UpTake with Mike McIntee this afternoon. Good times were had. The theme of the hour was energy conservation starting with my segment at 15 minutes into the segment embedded above (that a live studio shot of Mike doing the show. I called in.)

If you’re into the local healthcare scene, you may find the entire video valuable.

I warmed things up for Molly Priesmeyer from LiveGreenTwinCities who shares her home energy audit experiences after my segment while Mike drops knowledge based on his own energy audit experience. That is some great information, especially for us inner city folks who’s homes may have developed a few leads over the years. Or, as Reuben recently discovered, are being insulated by squirrel carcasses.

Privacy Concerns

One thing that came out during this segment that’s worth explaining: The powermeter I installed from The Energy Detective can be used without sharing data with Google. In fact, the service’s primary value, today, has nothing to do with Google. T.E.D.’s basic energy monitoring software shows you your energy consumption from your circuit breaker box to your web browser directly and shares that data with no one. It’s up to you to decide whether you’d also like to share you home’s energy data with Google. The data provided on T.E.D.’s interface is more valuable than Google’s representation of the same data since it’s real-time, so you can immediately see the impact of turning a light or appliance on/off. Over time, Google may be able to provide equally interesting data in the form of local benchmarks, but they’re no there today.

If you have any hesitation about using this service based on privacy concerns, don’t opt-in to the Google PowerMeter service after installing the software. You’ll get all the benefits with none of the privacy concerns related to pushing your home’s energy consumption stats to Google.

As of now, they’re still back-ordered (the model I have is the TED 5000), but it looks like Amazon may carry it once they’ve caught up with demand.

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