Reducing energy consumption is clearly a global imperative, but before one can reduce it helps to know how much one is already consuming. Targeting the 40 million "smart meters" now in use worldwide—and the 100 million more soon to be added—Google is testing a new gadget that will take the information such devices collect and make it more easily accessible to the consumer.More from Google:
How much does it cost to leave your TV on all day? What about turning your air conditioning 1 degree cooler? Which uses more power every month — your fridge or your dishwasher? Is your household more or less energy efficient than similar homes in your neighborhood?
Our lack of knowledge about our own energy usage is a huge problem, but also a huge opportunity for us all to save money and fight global warming by reducing our power usage. Studies show that access to your household's personal energy information is likely to save you between 5–15% on your monthly bill, and the potential impact of large numbers of people achieving similar efficiencies is even more exciting. For every six households that save 10% on electricity, for instance, we reduce carbon emissions as much as taking one conventional car off the road (see sources and calculation).