Google testing smart thermostat service, reportedly called EnergySense

google smart thermostat service nest 2

After abandoning a similar project several years ago, Google is reportedly once again interested in looking at how it might help consumers use energy around the home more efficiently.

According to The Information, which spoke to people familiar with the matter, Google is currently running a program called EnergySense involving the testing of Internet-connected home thermostats by a team of so-called ‘trusted testers’, in other words, non-Google employees.

The hardware for Google’s project is reportedly made by energy solutions outfit Ecobee, although its CEO, Stuart Lombard, says his firm has no official arrangement with the Mountain View company. However, he added Google could still be using his firm’s hardware for the EnergySense program.

It’s believed that Google’s intention isn’t to go head-to-head with the likes of Nest, a company which already produces a smart thermostat and in which Google Ventures has a heavy investment, but rather create applications and offer services in connection with collated data.

For some of you, this will all sound rather familiar, as a few years ago Google was indeed dabbling in a similar space with its PowerMeter tool.

The application was designed to work with smart power meters to allow homeowners to track energy use in their home over time, with the idea that such monitoring would lead to more efficient consumption and in turn, lower utility bills. Google said at the time that when people have access to information about energy use in their home, they’re able to change their habits, helping them to reduce energy use by around 15 percent on average. However, Google pulled the plug on the tool in September 2011.

Of course, Google has a ton of ideas and projects in the works at any one time, so who knows if this one will see the light of day as far as consumers are concerned, or if it’ll simply fall by the wayside. The fact that it appears to be returning to an area it looked at several years ago, however, suggests Google is keen on taking the idea all the way this time around.

[The Information via engadget] [Image: Tom Grundy / Shutterstock]

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Smart Home

The best smart locks to increase your home security in 2019

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.

LG’s SnowWhite is a Keurig for lovers of homemade ice cream

LG's SnowWhite conceptual countertop appliance, on display at this year's South by Southwest, is like a Keurig machine for ice cream lovers that produces your favorite frozen desserts from nothing but a little pod.

Amazon shaves $50 off the Coway Mighty air purifier ahead of allergy season

When it's allergy season, a good air purifier is a must-have for sufferers. The Coway Mighty air purifier (now on sale from Amazon) is one of the best, greatly improving the air quality inside your home by removing dust, dander, pollen, and…
Smart Home

Dyson’s newest products strive to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit

Dyson launched products to keep your home cool, clean, and well-lit. A Dyson intelligent task light cycles with nature and a personal air purifier harnesses unique airflow. Microprocessors in Dyson's vacuum self-adjust 8,000 times a second.
Smart Home

Smart light switches have become more affordable: Here are the best ones

The ability to control the lighting in your home can have a big effect on your living space. To have more control over your lighting, check out the best smart light switches on the market. 
Smart Home

Update your kitchen with the best refrigerators you can buy in 2019

There are tons of factors that go into buying a fridge, from size and capacity to color. It takes lots of testing and research, but we've chosen the best refrigerators to get you started, regardless of what you're looking for.
Smart Home

Walmart serves up a rare deal on the Google Home Max at $100 off

Some deals are predictable and others are pre-announced, but today Walmart posted a rare deal: $100 off the powerful Google Home Max. Since it rarely goes on sale, waiting may not be prudent. If you want one, grab it.

Suck up the savings with these vacuum cleaners on sale for $100 or less

Keeping your floors clean around the home is a constant chore. To help make things a whole lot easier, we've picked out some great vacuum cleaner deals available right now, from full-sized upright models to robot vacs.
Smart Home

Is your coffee maker hiding mold inside? Here's how to clean it

Are you a coffee drinker? If you brew your coffee at home and you don't clean your machine, you could be drinking mold, yeast, and other bacteria. Here's how to clean your coffee maker.

Walmart drops prices on Google Home Hub and Lenovo smart displays

Walmart slashed the prices of Google Home smart displays for two highly regarded Lenovo models and the original Google Home Hub. We can't think of a better way to improve your smart home setup and these deals can help you save up to $100.

Amazon lowers Echo Dot cost and slashes price of the Dot and Smart Plug bundle

Amazon just unleashed extraordinary price cuts on third-generation Echo Dot smart speakers. The Alexa device is back in stock following the blowout sales last holiday season. The Echo Dot is the best-selling Alexa smart speaker worldwide.