It used to be that the mere mention Microsoft was entering or even just eyeballing some sort of software category would send all the companies in that sector scrambling for new messaging. Didn't matter whether or not the product was real or hypothetical.
Today, that honor goes to Google, which has trained many of us to believe in a state of perpetual beta.
So, I'm betting many of the green tech software companies cooking up monitoring and management applications are reading with serious interest (and fear) all the news stories and blogs that have popped up today about the company's new Power Meter service (which isn't technically available yet), which will collect electricity and other utility consumption information and serve it up for you to see and manage. The service will hinge on whether or not Google is able to line up hardware device manufacturers behind the idea.
Because I live in the New York area and believe in supporting local business, I'm going to point to The New York Times' take on Google's new technology. And here is Google's own blog/manifesto about the offering.