first:utility announced as first U.K. Google PowerMeter utility partner


Warwick, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — October 29, 2009 – United Kingdom independent energy company, first:utility, has announced a partnership with Google to bring the company’s energy software tool, PowerMeter, to the U.K.

Google PowerMeter allows users to see a near real-time display of their energy usage through an iGoogle account on their computer or mobile phone.

first:utility is the only energy supplier in the U.K. currently to provide free smart meters to its customers, rolling them out in a region-by-region approach, starting with the Midlands. To date first:utility, which launched to the residential market in September 2008, has over 30,000 customers signed up to its service.

The Google PowerMeter service is free, and is due to go live in early November.

Mark Daeche, first:utility’s chief executive, said: “Ever since first:utility launched, it has been our intention to overhaul the U.K.’s outdated energy supply industry to give customers better service and lower cost energy. This latest step in offering Google’s PowerMeter is an exciting new way in which our customers can get better control over their energy consumption. At the end of the day, if you can’t measure and view your energy use, it’s very difficult to make savings and this gadget puts the information right in front of the customer on their desktop”

Ed Lu, Google PowerMeter’s lead engineer, said: “We share a vision with first:utility of providing consumers with access to information about their own home electricity use that will help them save energy and money. We need the help of innovative utility companies like first:utility to get Google PowerMeter into the hands of consumers, and we are delighted about this very first U.K. utility partnership.”

Currently, first:utility customers can get access to their up-to-date energy usage and cost information online 24/7 via the first:utility customer web site or view their energy usage patterns on a home display unit. Google PowerMeter, which relies on the energy data relayed from first:utility’s smart meter technology, is a complimentary means through which customers will be able to manage their energy consumption, empowering them with the information to help lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.

In the U.K. Google is also partnering with AlertMe, a self-install consumer device manufacturer. Starting immediately, AlertMe customers in the U.K. can access their home’s data through Google PowerMeter on their iGoogle homepage. In just a few minutes consumers can access their home energy data from anywhere they can access the internet.