Energy expert welcomes Google power scheme in Cambridge

November 01 2009

A Cambridge energy expert is welcoming a new Google service that has just launched in the UK – as it shows homeowners how much energy they are wasting.

Ian Macklin is the Managing Director of Cottenham insulation and heating company Kershaw Contracting Services.

He intends to be one of the first to sign up for Google PowerMeter, which has just launched in Britain.

It’s a free service where information from people’s electricity meters is fed to the internet giant.

Google then makes it easy for households to analyse online where they can save energy.

Ian Macklin said: “One of the easiest ways to save energy in your home is to know how much is being wasted. This Google scheme gives you that information.

“One person in the trials discovered that they were running an immersion heater they never used, and just by switching that off saved £400 a year.

“That means an extra £400 in their pocket – but just as importantly £400 less electricity that has to be generated for no reason.”

The Google Powermeter service is itself free. To be able to use it, homeowners must either switch to an energy supplier called first:utility, or buy a gadget called AlertMe Energy.

This device works using a broadband hub and a clip for your electricity meter. It costs £69 with a £3 monthly subscription fee.

Ian added: “I think the real beauty of this is that it makes people aware just how much energy they are consuming.

“I’ve heard stories that once people are aware they become fanatical about switching things off and monitoring their energy usage throughout the day.

“The Energy Saving Trust believes energy monitoring makes people cut their bills by up to 15%, potentially saving the average UK household £75 a year. This is also great news for the environment.”

You can read more about Google PowerMeter at

Kershaw Contracting Services is a division of the Cambridge-based Kershaw Group.

It was recently rewarded for its long-term commitment to excellent health and safety by being accepted into the exclusive SAFEcontractor programme.

Parts of the Kershaw Group have a history stretching back 120 years. It employs 183 people and is well known for its involvement in the community.



For further information or to arrange interviews with Kershaw Contracting Services, please contact Zoe Coll on 08452 303049, or email