updated 03:32 pm EST, Tue December 17, 2013
Trial users being registered for EnergySense service
Google is looking to move into the smart thermostat market, by allegedly starting a trial of an energy monitoring service. Reportedly called EnergySense, the program is said to help users monitor their home energy usage, with Internet-connected thermostats able to automatically adjust the temperature in order to minimize the amount of power used in heating.
Ecobee Smart Thermostat
Sources of The Information claim that Google has been registering non-employees in St. Louis as "Trusted Testers," with the possibility of the same happening elsewhere. It is suggested that the devices themselves are being sourced from Ecobee, an existing creator of smart thermostats that also offers online heating and cooling reports, along with estimates as to how much in terms of energy the thermostat has saved the user. An image from @evleaks reveals an EnergySense app on the Google Play store, apparently showing that a user could set if they are in the home or away, as well as remotely setting the temperature of the property.
The search giant has previously dabbled in energy monitoring with its now-retired PowerMeter service, allowing users to view their energy usage online in real time. Just as with that project's use of smart meters, Google could combine energy usage data from a thermostat along with information from other Internet-connected devices to give a much more accurate picture, and to exert more control over power use in the home.