Microsoft Hohm connects to home power monitor  

Posted by Big Gav in , ,

CNet has an article from Martin LaMonica on Microsoft's "Hohm" energy usage meter - Microsoft Hohm connects to home power monitor.

If you're cranking the air conditioner a lot this summer, a product bundle using Microsoft Hohm will tell you a lot about your upcoming energy bills--maybe even more than you want to know.

Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it has tied its Hohm Web home energy-efficiency application to an electricity monitor called PowerCost Monitor. The combination, which uses a home broadband connection, lets people view home electricity from the Web or from the tabletop electricity monitor.

Whole-home electricity monitors show you how much electricity a house is using at a given moment and how much it's costing you--sort of like a dashboard with a home speedometer and cost per mile.

Linking Hohm to the monitor allows people to see that same real-time information from a Web-enabled device, such as a PC or smartphone. Significantly, it lets people dig a little deeper in the data to track electricity use for the whole day, or compare one period to another.

For Microsoft, it's the first deal it has struck to bring energy data via an electricity monitor into Hohm, the company's foray into consumer energy efficiency. Microsoft hopes to have Hohm act as a software hub for managing everything from home efficiency improvements to scheduling electric-vehicle charging. Google, too, has already signed on a couple of device makers to connect its PowerMeter application to home electricity monitors.

For consumers eager to get more than just a monthly utility bill, it's a sign that some of the benefits touted by smart-grid advocates, namely more detailed information to drive efficiency, can be achieved without having utilities install smart meters.

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