Google signs PowerMeter partnership with The Energy Detective, lets everyone play along

It's hard to lose weight without a scale. That's more or less the idea behind Google's PowerMeter program, enabling users to view real-time power usage and unplug things accordingly to both reduce their demand and increase their feeling of eco-cockiness. Before today you needed to be getting your juice from one of a very few utility companies to audit your infos, but now you can break free thanks to a partnership with The Energy Detective. That company makes a line of straightforward power monitors that simply plug into a power outlet then connect to the internet via Ethernet to dump your kilowatt gluttony online. The TED 5000-series devices start at $200 and go up from there with optional displays and packages that allow the detection of solar or wind generation, and while they previously allowed online monitoring of power usage, this Google partnership ups their hipness by a factor of at least 10. And, if you were so cool you already bought one of these trackers before they went mainstream, you're just a firmware update away from tracking it with the Googs.