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First:Utility To Launch Google PowerMeter Energy Monitor In November

Energy firm First:Utility has announced that it is partnering with Google to offer the search giant's PowerMeter, a tool that helps customers monitor their electricity usage, to its users and is offered for free by the search giant's philanthropic arm,

First:utility is an independent provider of gas and electricity and is considered by some to be the cheapest energy provider in the country; incidentally also have a telecoms branch as well. They are already rolling out smartmeters for free which allows usage to be measured every 30 minutes (or on a daily basis for gas) thereby producing 100 percent accurate bills.

Google Powermeter will only be available to first:utility customers who are already on their Smart Tariff and have smart meters installed. Unfortunately, only households in East Midlands and in the Midlands can subscribe to the tariff. Obviously, the main attractions of the Powermeter service are that it allows you to identify where a household could save money.

According to the government's own Energy Saving Trust, monitoring energy consumption could help slash the price of energy bills by 15 percent or around £75 per year (ed, given that on average energy bills for an average household hovers around £1000, that would be equivalent to £160, enough to pay the broadband bill).

For those who do not or cannot move to First:Utility, they will have to buy a tiny device called AlertMe energy which costs £69 initially and £3 per month. The savings and the fact that you are significantly reducing your carbon footprint would possibly outweigh the cost of installing and running the Alertme Energy gadget.

Our Comments has invested heavily in energy and health and could potentially help the search giant become a major actor in both sectors. The UK government already wants to have smartmeters in all households by the end of the next decade, something that is likely to cost users billions.

Related Links

AlertMe Energy (opens in new tab)


Switch to first:utility for peace of mind (opens in new tab)


Google finds partners for PowerMeter monitoring (opens in new tab)


Google launches PowerMeter in UK (opens in new tab)


UK energy firm inks Google smart meter deal (opens in new tab)


Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.