25 June 2009 – Microsoft launched its Hohm website this week to 120 million households in the United States. The site, which is designed to help residential power users save money and conserve energy.
Says Troy Betterberry, Hohm product manager, "Conservation is the cheapest source of energy”. He continues that if consumers use less power, utilities will not need to build as many new polluting power plants. Everyone saves money.
Hohm analyses information provided by consumers and participating utilities to help them better understand their electricity usage and gives recommendations on how to save money. Recommendations include replacing thermostats, purchasing a new refrigerator or event installing solar panels on the roof.
According to Batterberry, consumers could save up to 10% on their energy bill, depending on how many recommendations they follow.
Partners on the Hohm programme include Xcel Energy Inc, Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light and Sacramento Municipal Utility District. More partner announcements are planned for the near future.Consumers have access to Hohm regardless of whether they use a partner company.
Jon Arnold, Microsoft Worlwide power and utilities industry managing director, says Hohm should exit the Beta phase in about six to nine months, and will ultimately go international.
Google has already rolled out a similar programme, called PowerMeter, which is only available to customers served by partner utilities.