If you haven't noticed, the big news today is Microsoft Hohm, a free online beta application that's rumored to launch sometime next week. Microsoft Hohm will be a web-based service that takes information about your energy use — not just electricity — and examines it to provide recommendations to save money and energy. Here's what you can do:
- View your home energy usage;
- Receive tailored ways to save energy;
- Monitor your home energy usage;
- Track and compare trends;
- Engage with your community; and
- Save money with proven methods.
Microsoft will provide a software development kit to participating utilities so that utilities can feed usage information into the program. Until that happens, users will have to manually enter their energy profile information — a daunting task especially for those with paperless billing and automatic payments set up.
Hohm uses advanced analytics from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy to provide custom recommendations. Recommendations might include adding new caulking to windows, removing air leaks, or installing a programmable thermostat, etc.
Of course, since we've mentioned Google PowerMeter in the past, curious minds will wonder whether there's a difference between Hohm and PowerMeter. EnergyCircle has some good, preliminary analysis in this regard. Nevertheless, we'll wait a little longer for both of these programs to roll out further. It's still early in the energy monitoring game.