Microsoft Hohm wants to deliver to you energy efficiency nirvana through the power of analysis and detailed recommendations. The Web site, currently in beta, makes a very solid first attempt at promised energy and financial savings recommendations, though it can be a little too technical for some. Community features feel somewhat disconnected and utility providers providing automatic feeds of your energy usage patterns to your profile are currently few and far between, but these issues don’t take too much away from the final end product.
EarthTechling gives the Microsoft Hohm Web application a rating of 4 OUT OF 5 ECO-STARS.
We use energy in our everyday lives. From the time we awake until the time we go to bed, we are working at computers, cooking meals, cleaning the house, running appliances and doing all sorts of other tasks which draw energy from the grid. We are charged for this on a monthly or greater basis by our local utility company, often without understandable knowledge of how exactly we are using so much energy and what we could do to cut back to save both our natural resources and also the cash in our pocket.
There are, luckily, tools we can use to help better educate ourselves about the energy we consume and the things we can do to cut down on that consumption. Some products, like smart meters and wattage usage meters, easily provide exact information to home owners about how much energy is being used. Others, such as Microsoft’s Hohm online application, take exact guesses and offer recommendations based upon information we input.
The Microsoft Hohm Web site, at the time of the writing of this review, is still in beta, so not all features may be as well tuned as they could be. That being said, the premise of Hohm is to use advanced analytics licensed from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy to provide consumers with personalized energy-saving recommendations. These recommendations are given for free and based upon user provided data, such as house features, usage patterns and appliances. Recommendations are said to based upon local and national averages. Hohm also promises to let you do social networking with others to compare your data and exchange ideas.