In this economy, and probably in any other, it's always wise to find ways to save money on expenses. Analyzing your power bill and taking the time to find out exactly what costs you the most is a great way of trying to reduce expenses and reducing your carbon footprint at the same time. Even if you aren't crazy about being green, everyone likes saving money.
It was bound to happen. Microsoft and Google have both releases similar apps to monitor home energy usage. For now, it seems that Microsoft will gain the upper hand as more and more companies are working with them to make Hohm cost effective. Hohm kind of takes the place of all of those energy monitors. Instead of having a physical device, you'll just use the online service, which is totally like many of the other sites you're using right now. The main use of Hohm is that it allows you to track what is using the most power. Hohm will give you recommendations and ways to save money. The fact of just seeing the expenditure will reduce your power bill. Most are easy, like switching off the air conditioner, switching off the lights, etc. Without knowing the exact effect of the recommendations, it's safe to say that Hohm can and will reduce your power bill by at least 30%. This is the same effectiveness as the energy monitors. The main difference comes with implanting the recommendations, which could save you a lot more money in the future.
Microsoft has launched a new test version of its new online application Hohm which will help people save energy and money. The aptly named Hohm, which is a wordplay on home and ohms, a unit that measures the amount of resistance against electrical current, is a free online beta app that will enable users to better understand their home energy usage, get recommendations on how to save more energy and money. Just like with other such advice and recommendation engines, Hohm will become more and more accurate, as well as more relevant for energy conservation as more people use the service by providing energy input and feedback. Hohm will help people save money and reduce their impact on the environment by providing personalized recommendations and advice, such as placing new caulking on windows in order to remove air leaks.
This new Microsoft service is similar to Google's PowerMeter, which helps people receive information about their home electricity consumption almost in real time right on their computers. Hohm is tailored specifically to your home, including usage patterns and appliances. For now, the first companies that are participating are Pugent Sound Energy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Seattle City Light and Xcel energy. That's not a lot, but most probably, more will follow. [top image by Rich Awn]