Google to discontinue its smart metering program

Google's PowerMeter was launched as a way to raise awareness on how people could have and use more information on their personal energy use

Mountain View, Calif., June 28, 2011 — Internet giant Google will retire its PowerMeter program in mid-September after the device "didn't catch on," the California-based company said in an announcement.

Google's PowerMeter was launched as a way to raise awareness on how people could have and use more information on their personal energy use. With more knowledge of their consumption habits, Google said, utility customers could use less power.

Since the launch, Google said, more attention has been paid to this idea and smart meters have been installed in cities across the world, with states like California and Texas writing policy to address the trend. Still, the PowerMeter project came up short, according to Google.

"We're pleased that PowerMeter has helped demonstrate the importance of this access and created something of a model. However, our efforts have not scaled as quickly as we would like, so we are retiring the service," according to Google.

PowerMeter began in October 2009 as a Google.org project. The program was designed to work in tandem with a smart meter, and could also be equipped with an in-home energy display.

In 2009, Google PowerMeter partnered with San Diego Gas and Electric's Sempra Energy to install some 1.4 million smart meters by 2011.

"Momentum is building toward making energy information more readily accessible, and it's exciting to see others drive innovation and pursue opportunities in this important new market. We're proud of what we've accomplished with PowerMeter and look forward to what will develop next in this space," according to Google.

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