Photo: Morgan Solar

I’ve been using Google for years, and every week I discover something new.

Everyone with an Internet connection knows what Google is and has used it for a basic search. Beyond its basic search engine, though, Google’s got a bunch of other products, many of which are virtually unknown to users.

One of those products is Google PowerMeter, a free software program that calculates your energy use for you. A project of Google.org, Google’s philanthropic umbrella, the purpose of Google PowerMeter is to “help users understand how they use electricity and help them use less,” as well as save money on energy costs.

The PowerMeter isn’t widely available just yet– it requires the collaboration of local utilities, and Google has formed initial partnerships with 10 providers in the United States, Canada, the UK, and India. If you happen to be a customer of one of these utility providers, you can apply to become a beta tester of the PowerMeter.

If you’re not a customer of one of these utility providers, you can either purchase a monitoring device that streams live energy use data to your computer or register for updates.

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