Ever since I heard about Google’s Power Meter, I wanted to see how it progressed as a concept. I think it has serious potential to empower me as a consumer of energy and utilities, and to simultaneously act as a sort of collective policing system over the activities of energy companies themselves. As any normal customer would, I hate paying more than what I think I should be for utilities, with no easy or transparent way of understanding exactly what I can do to control it. Because let’s face it, energy companies want us to spend more.
So I signed up to get alerts, and was recently informed that the first list of partners for Google Power Meter has been released. Out of 8, 6 are from the US, with one each from India (Reliance Energy) and Canada (Toronto Hydro-Electric Systems Limited). I’m surprised there are none from the UK yet, and extremely happy to note that at least one from India signed up right at the outset. If you ask me, every single utilities provider should be made to become a Power Meter partner by all governments. The ones who don’t probably don’t realise it yet, but they can’t really make money by keeping consumers in the dark, or shade, forever. I read Sunstein and Thaler’s Nudge recently and think simple choice environments can really change the way we live our lives, for the better. Governments that don’t see that are not doing the best by their people. And that’s what they are supposed to be there for.