Google to Tackle Energy Cost Scare, Other Terrifying Things
Article by George Norman
On 12 Feb 2009
For people on a tight budget, cutting costs is essential, not to mention that exceeding said budget is reason enough to get scared about not being able to get through the month with your limited means. One of the greatest mysteries in life is electricity consumption (or power usage if you prefer). Each and every month you get a bill from your provider asking you to pay for the power you used up all month long. You know how much you have to pay and probably how much electricity you made use of, but you will be hard pressed to identify which appliance or piece of technology in your home used the most.

According to Google, you might end up saving between 5% and 15% on your monthly energy bill, assuming of course the fact that you are aware how much power each object in your home consumes. That is precisely the reason why the Mountain View search engine giant is working on a tool called PowerMeter.


“At Google we're committed to helping enable a future where access to personal energy information helps everyone make smarter energy choices. To get started, we're working on a tool called Google PowerMeter which will show consumers their electricity consumption in near real-time in a secure iGoogle Gadget. We think PowerMeter will offer more useful and actionable feedback than complicated monthly paper bills that provide little detail on consumption or how to save energy,” says Google.

What else scares you, besides paying vast amounts of money for electricity? Traveling to another country and not being able to speak the local language perhaps. I think we are on to something here: according to Google’s autosuggest feature, more than 300.000 searches were made for “I am extremely terrified of Chinese people”. Try it out for yourself; fire up your browser, go to the Google homepage and type in “I am extremely”. The auto-suggest feature will show you some pretty interesting results.

Tags: Google, PowerMeter
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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