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Google’s PowerMeter Partner in India – Reliance Energy [And a look at G’s Lateral Strategy]

Google.org has announced it’s list of PowerMeter partners and Reliance energy is the only partner from India.

Google PowerMeter, currently in beta, allows you to see your own electricity usage information (on iGoogle widget) and helps you to improve your efficiency in a variety of ways.

Google PowerMeter receives information from utility smart meters and energy management devices and provides customers with access to their home electricity consumption right on their personal iGoogle homepage.

All data partners connect to Google PowerMeter via secure HTTP (HTTPS), and upload energy usage information to Google PowerMeter in an XML format based on Google Data API Specification (via).

Google ventures, the investment arm of Google has also invested in Silver Spring Networks, a flush smart metering company, that develops networking boards for power meters that monitor and curb electricity consumption (source).

Silver Spring Networks essentially makes a networking board that can fit into power meters and other devices. Once in place, the networking cards form a network that can monitor and curb electricity consumption. The network can also monitor gas and water consumption.

The lateral side of Google PowerMeter – iGoogle Distribution

In India, Google partnered with Airtel to push iGoogle as the starting page for Airtel broadband users (same with Sify’s WiYi site).

And now, it’s the same deal with Reliance Energy (and other utility partners worldwide), just that there is a non-profit angle attached to the deal. In essence, Google gets to distribute it’s iGoogle app to several consumers via a non-Internet channel (after all, there is a fight between MyYahoo/iGoogle to be the starting page).

Smart, I must say (readers of this site will understand our respect towards Google for it’s lateral thinking)

Nonetheless, PowerMeter is a powerful initiative from Google (watch this introductory video).

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