Google‘s entrance into the energy management space hasn’t exactly been subtle–the company has already invested millions in renewable energy projects, applied for (and received) a license to buy and sell energy on the open market, and publicly announced that it wants to make renewable energy cheaper than coal. But Google’s PowerMeter energy-tracking software has remained under the rader, mostly because Google opted to team up with just two device partners–The Ted 5000 in the U.S. and AlertMe in the U.K. Now that Google has released PowerMeter’s application programming interface (API) to the public, however, we can probably expect to see a number of new compatible devices and apps in the coming months.
The PowerMeter software is fairly simple. It gathers data on energy use from smart meters provided by Google’s utility partners or from devices like the Ted 5000 and AlertMe, which collect energy data via wall sockets–no smart meter necessary. So while smart meter-equipped users don’t have much to gain from the API’s release, anyone with a standard meter can now look forward to new energy-tracking options from outside developers.
Google is actually a bit behind the curve with its announcement. Microsoft already released the API for Hohm, a similar piece of energy management software, but its first compatible devices won’t be ready until this summer.