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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Google tool helps consumers reduce energy usage

Google said it would use its software skills to help consumers track their home energy usage and thereby lower demand and the global warming emissions that come from producing electricity. The move is part of Google's effort to pump hundreds of millions of dollars into renewable energy, electricity-grid upgrades and other measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The company has already invested in several fledgling solar, wind and geothermal companies, as well as two "smart grid" companies. Smart grid describes a more efficient, less costly method of moving electricity along long-distance transmission lines to local power lines and end-users in homes and businesses. On its official company blog, Google said it is developing a smart grid tool called Google PowerMeter that will show home energy consumption almost in real time on a user's computer.

Google PowerMeter is currently being tested by employees and is not yet available to the public.

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