Monitor Energy Usage from your Computer via Google

bd_powermeterI got a B&D EM100B energy series power monitor for my birthday a few months back which helps monitor your electric usage. It works by attaching a device to your electric meter which then sends usage information to a wireless device in your home (similar to the wireless weather stations). I set it up in a matter of minutes and had fun watching it spike whenever I turned on certain appliances however my biggest pet peeve with it is that I can’t access it from my computer.

googlepowermeterI recently stumbled across an article in a magazine that mentioned Google is in the process of trying to work with many major utilities to offer a similar feature online.

Here is how it works:
Google PowerMeter receives information from utility smart meters and energy management devices and provides customers with access to their home electricity consumption right on their personal iGoogle homepage. We are currently testing Google PowerMeter with a number of utilities and plan to expand our rollout later this year.

Here is a video explaining how it works:

Here are the utilities they are currently working with:
Glasgow EPB – Glasgow, Kentucky
JEA – Northeast Florida
Reliance Energy – Mumbai, Delhi & Orrisa, India
San Diego Gas & Electric – San Diego County and Southern Orange County, California
Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TXU Energy – Texas
White River Valley Electric Cooperative – Portions of Christian, Douglas, Ozark, Stone and Taney counties in Missouri
Wisonconsin Public Service – Northeast and Central Wisconsin and an adjacent portion of Upper Michigan

Combine all of your Club Cards

photo3If you are like most people, you have at least 2 or 3 grocery store club cards along with club cards for a few pet stores, beauty stores and even a few electronic stores. With all those cards most people need to carry a seperate wallet just to carry all those club cards. JustOneClubCard.com allows you to combine them all into one card (like the one below). I’ve been using my card for months now and really like not having to carry all those cards in my wallet. The only down side to using the one card is that cashiers normally have no idea how to scan it. I normally hand the card to them and point out where exactly to scan the card.

Here is how it works:
1 – Go to JustOneClubCard.com
2 – Enter up to 8 of your club cards in the boxes provided
3 Print out the piece of paper like the one below
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4 Fold the piece of paper and either laminate it or put packing tape on each side to make it look laminated
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5 Get all those pesky cards out of your wallet!