Google said on Tuesday its engineers have developed a software tool that can help consumers save energy and cut electricity bills.
Called PowerMeter, the tool enables consumers to receive their home electricity consumption information almost in real time right from their computers.
Consumers could use the information to figure out how much energy is used by different appliances or household activities and optimize their energy use.
The software is being tested by Google employees and not yet available to the public, "but we're building partnerships with utilities and independent device manufacturers to gradually roll this out in pilot programs," the Internet search giant announced on its official blog.
Citing studies, the company said access to home energy information may result in savings between 5 to 15 percent on monthly electricity bills.
It noted that if half of America's households cut their energy demand by 10 percent, it would be the equivalent of taking eight million cars off the road.
The announcement represents Google's latest move to search into smart grid -- a next-generation grid system that delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy and cost.
Smart grid is part of U.S. President Barack Obama's economic stimulus package. A bill approved by U.S. Senate on Tuesday includes 4.5 billion U.S. dollars for building a smart grid, for which a House of Representatives version has allocated 11 billion U.S. dollars.
Google is an advocate for building a smart grid in the U.S. and has been investing in smart grid companies.
(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2009)