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Google Trials Smart-Thermostat Service

Laurence Tucker
Laurence Tucker

Google is eyeing energy-use data, again.

The company has been running a trial of Internet-connected home thermostats to help consumers monitor and adjust their energy use, according to two people told about the project. The program has been referred to as EnergySense, according to a document reviewed by The Information. Google has been registering non-employees to be “Trusted Testers” of the service in St. Louis and possibly elsewhere.

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In the earlier energy-monitoring effort by Google, the company partnered with several electric utilities to offer Google’s free software to some of the utilities’ customers. The PowerMeter effort took readings from digital power meters to let homeowners check their energy usage online. Today, smart thermostats can act on data to adjust the temperature automatically, requiring less effort from consumers.


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Ten percent of new thermostats sold in the U.S. today are connected to the Internet, says Mr. Lombard. But by 2015, 50% of new units sold will be Web-connected.

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