Sometimes innovative companies can be a little too ahead of their time. Google and Microsoft are arguably two of the most influential and innovative companies in modern history. Part of their success has been to capitalize on emerging trends by anticipating consumer needs and wants. So it was not terribly surprising when both companies introduced technology tied to the smart grid.
Lowe’s is now selling the PowerCost Monitor and its WiFi Gateway plug and play accessory, which enables real-time energy feeds to Microsoft Hohm and Google PowerMeter. The PowerCost Monitor is available in Lowe’s stores located in 24 states, including California, Washington, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New York.
PortaOne has introduced the PortaMDM, a new meter data management and billing software platform for electricity, gas, water, and sewer utilities. Compatible with all major brands of smart meters including Veris, Acuvim, Dent, Contrel and Conzerv, PortaMDM is a unified, real-time billing and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) application that brings flexibility to smart metering networks, driving increased end-user efficiency and creating profit opportunities.
Spectrum Bridge, in partnership with Google and Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative & Telecommunications (PSREC) has launched the nation’s first Smart Grid wireless network trial utilizing TV white spaces spectrum in Plumas-Sierra County, CA. PSREC says it chose TV white spaces so Smart Grid technologies could devise more efficient ways to manage its supply-and-demand of electricity, improve system control, and provide broadband Internet access to under-served areas.
Google is using energy monitors from Current Costs to bring its PowerMeter home energy software to the U.K. The PowerMeter application enables consumers to track in real time how much energy they are using and how much they are paying for it in real time. Current Costs is the world’s biggest provider of energy monitoring devices.
A management consultant told attendees at Hewlett Packard’s annual Executive Energy Conference that established utility companies are delaying the roll-out of smart grids and meters over concerns that the data made available to customers will upset established business models.