Microsoft is making it easier than ever to save energy—and money. The Microsoft Hohm application is a web-based service that analyzes data about your home’s energy use and shows you how and where you can save money and energy. The program uses analytics developed in conjunction with the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Microsoft Hohm will:
• Let you view your home energy use.
• Provide tailored ways to save energy.
• Monitor your home’s energy use.
• Track and compare various trends.
• Let you engage with your community and see how your house compares to others.
• Show you ways to save money.
Charts and diagrams will help you see how much money you spend heating and cooling your house as opposed to lighting, entertaining or other activities, making it easier to see what changes may be the most effective in reducing your energy consumption.
Microsoft Hohm provides easy-to-read charts and diagrams that break down your energy consumption.
To make the process as simple as possible, Microsoft has partnered with various utility providers to feed your energy information directly into the program. So far, Microsoft has partnered with Puget Sound Energy, Sacramento Municipality Utility District, Seattle City Light and Xcel Energy. If you do not use one of these providers, you can manually enter your energy information into the program for analysis.
Similar products are already on the market. Both Google’s PowerMeter and EnergyCircle are designed to help consumer’s track their energy use. Hohm, however, has several advantages over these devices. Unlike the Google PowerMeter, Hohm will not require the installation of a smart meter to work. It also provides information on how to save money and energy that is specific to your own home.
Demand certainly seems to be out there. A May 2009 survey by Gartner, an IT consulting site, showed that 80 percent of U.S. consumers would participate in an energy-efficiency program if it were offered by their utility providers. The study also showed that cost reduction is the driving motivation behind participating.
You can follow the application on Facebook or Twitter, and access it through the Microsoft Hohm homepage. The application is free and available to anyone in the United States who has an internet connection.