MOUNTAIN VIEW CA – Could home owners save money, and help create a greener planet, if they knew more about the energy they use? Website search behemoth Google Inc. thinks so, and is partnering with electric utility companies to experiment with new software it calls the Google PowerMeter.

Next At Google: Helping Consumers Read Their Electric MeterPowerMeter works with new smart meter devices the utilities would install in customers’ homes. It would pull information from those devices and feed it to a personalized Google web page that would help home owners interpret and understand how much electricity they’re using, and how it’s being consumed.

Google announced the release of PowerMeter on May 19 (2009; Tuesday). It said it has already struck partnerships with a mix of large and small utilities in California, Texas, Florida, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, Canada and Kentucky. An even broader roll-out is planned later this year.

Other tech companies are working on similar or related ideas. Microsoft recently released its “Environmental Sustainability Dashboard” software, which aims to help businesses monitor and reduce their carbon footprint and energy costs. SAP bought Clear Standards, a company that creates applications to measure greenhouse gas emissions.

Related (to energy use reduction):

This article was originally published on the Polley Associates‘ blog
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