Google PowerMeter flatlines

Well, they did it.  Google killed PowerMeter.

This is lame.  I mean – really, really lame.  After signing up hardware partners and gathering a good number of users,, “the philanthropical wing of Google” has killed PowerMeter, because, well, I guess because it wasn’t satisfying their philanthropical urges anymore?

Surely this doesn’t cost them more than a tiny fraction of their total pot of more-money-than-God.  Development already stopped months (years?) ago.  Why not just let it run for those who found it useful?  I actually really appreciated being able to see details of my power use.  It helped me make better decisions.

At least they have an exit plan to let users extract their data before they throw the big red switch.  If only there were somewhere else to send it.

Powermeter wasn’t great, but it was much better than nothing.  I hope something will come up to replace it.  Anyone know of a good alternative?

Solar Growth


I asked the folks at Enphase if they had data on the total output of their installed systems over time (which report back statistics via a buy-back-your-data sort of subscription arrangement)  This is what they came back with.  Pretty impressive growth, whether it reflects overall solar growth or growth of this one company’s installations!  Almost 5 gWh in Sept 2010 is nothing to sneeze at.  Most must be in the northern hemisphere, you can see the seasonality of power production start to kick in….

Other neat visualizations of Solar PV growth in the US can be found NREL’s OpenPV site.

Affordable WiFi thermostat!


Update: This same thermostat is now available at Amazon [amzn] under the Homewerks brand for about the same price as Home Depot; take away tax and add free shipping and the price is comparable. They also have a fancier version [amzn] with a dot-matrix display and a few more features.  Read on for the original post…

I had posted another blog entry about these things almost a year ago – I had found the Radio Thermostat Company of America website, and their wifi-enabled thermostats looked like just the thing to add to my home energy monitoring setup.  However, they seemed woefully unavailable…

Then they started popping up rebranded, from Intwine EnergyOurhomespaces, Enphase … but in at least some of these cases it was a “we’ll sell you back your data for a monthly fee” arrangement – no thanks!

The helpful commenters on the earlier blog post alerted me to the fact that they are now in stock at the RTCOA website store, and also  available at Home Depot – $99 each place.  Further, there is an iPhone app to control it – no monthly fee involved.  I’ve asked on the RTCOA forum if there is an API to talk directly to the devices; I’d rather not be beholden to some 3rd party to get data in/out of the thing.  I may have to get one; these look pretty darned cool.

p.s. the cheaper 3M-30 and 3M-22 thermostats at Home Depot also have the U-Snap sockets for the wifi module, but so far that does not seem to be available separately.