July 12, 2011
| by Steven Castle
If you have a PowerCost energy monitor from Blue Line Innovations, and you’re upset about the planned demise of Google’ PowerMeter and Microsoft’s Hohm energy monitoring services, don’t fear. Blue Line now has a partnership with energy info company People Power—and your energy information promises to get much more dynamic.
People Power’s cloud-based ESP (Energy Services Platform) 1.0 energy management solution allows users to see and manage their energy in real-time on Apple iPhone, iPad and Android-based devices.
The free People Power smartphone apps are available now and provide a quick snapshot of a home’s current energy use; history by week, month, six months or year; projection of costs; comparisons to others in your state or the country; recommendations of energy efficiency products; uploads of your energy accomplishments to Facebook; and the chance to compete by taking energy quizzes.
According to Peter Porteous, CEO Blue Line Innovations, a version 2.0 will be available soon to allow web portal viewing via a PC or laptop. A 3.0 version, possibly out by the end of the year, will allow monitoring of smart strips and smart plugs.
People Power 1.0 receives live data feeds every 32 seconds from the PowerCost Monitor WiFi Gateway, which is available through Lowes, Amazon and other retailers.
The PowerCost Monitor is a do-it-yourself installation that hooks up to a home’s power meter to read the energy usage and report it to an in-home monitor. The Wi-Fi versions can send that information out to a cloud-based service like People Power.
“Early attempts such as the dashboards created by Microsoft Hohm or Google PowerMeter were terrific first steps, but People Power1.0 takes the feature set and the opportunity for full family engagement to a whole new level,” says Porteous.
“We are filling a gap left by PowerMeter and Hohm, and provide solutions for consumers to see how much energy they spend and to make them feel good about saving,” says Gene Wang, CEO of People Power. The People Power interface also works with TED 5000 series energy monitors.
People Power plans other ways to entice people to save energy. And it has to do with playing games.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates