Google to roll out free tool to help save energy

LONDON Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:33pm EDT

A Google sign is seen at its headquarters in Mountain View, California May 22, 2008. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

A Google sign is seen at its headquarters in Mountain View, California May 22, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith

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LONDON (Reuters) - Google Inc is soon to roll out free software which allows consumers to track their home electricity use and improve energy efficiency in a bid to help mitigate global warming.

Dan Reicher, Director for Climate Change and Energy Initiatives Google, told Reuters it was in talks with utilities companies in the United Sates, Europe and Asia to make the product available shortly to general consumers.

As part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Google said in February it would use its software skills for the program that will show home energy consumption in real time on a user's computer or a telephone.

"It will get rolled out very soon to regular energy consumers," Reicher said, without providing exact timings.

"When I began getting information about my own home, I discovered that I had a 35-year electric motor running for my heating system. That was using huge amount of electricity. I did not realize that's the change I need to make in my home."

The company cited studies showing that access to home energy information typically saves between 5 percent and 15 percent on monthly electricity bills.

"The beauty of the tool we are developing is that is going to be an open source," Reicher said.

(Reporting by Nao Nakanishi; Editing by Keiron Henderson)

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