Mountain View, CA, and Fairfield, CT, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- September 19, 2008 - Search giant Google and General Electric are to partner to improve the nation’s energy network, including the development of a smart grid.

In a statement the two companies say they will use technology, information and corporate resources to drive the changes necessary to empower consumers with better energy choices, whether it’s buying renewable power, driving a plug-in car, or reducing energy bills by managing home energy use.

These goals will be advanced with the launch of a policy partnership in Washington, D.C., and collaboration on advanced energy technologies.

“Policy is a major impediment to building a 21st century electricity system, and the current regulatory and economic model is failing to drive the innovation and investment we need in today’s electric grid,” the companies say in the statement. “We will work to overcome regulatory and institutional barriers, and advocate for appropriate incentives.”

Initial policy priorities include planning, siting, and cost allocation for the transmission capacity necessary to enable large scale deployment of renewable electricity generation in the United States, and the development and deployment of a smart electricity grid that will empower utilities and end users to manage electricity more efficiently and with lower emissions.

The two companies will also collaborate to develop and deploy renewable energy and plug-in vehicle related technologies. Initial areas of technology collaboration include software, controls, and services to enable utilities to integrate plug-in vehicles into the grid.

“Both companies believe that our economic, environmental and security challenges require that we use electricity more efficiently, generate it from cleaner sources, and electrify our transportation fleet. This 21st century electricity system must combine advanced energy technology – a major GE focus – and cutting edge information technology – a major Google focus. We believe that by combining our efforts, along with other relevant businesses and industries, we can advance critical policy change in Washington and develop new technologies and services for consumers.”

Google and GE say they are working on a detailed implementation plan.

“It’s clear that a public policy initiative of this magnitude will require a significant effort. We’re not ready to start a broad-based organization to advance this agenda, but we will be looking to work with other companies and organizations focused on advancing policies critical to building a 21st century electricity system.”