The battle for dominance in the fledging online home energy management market continues to see one ups being done by Microsoft (Hohm) and Google (PowerMeter). Google recently announced its PowerMeter service is becoming compatible with a growing number of in-home energy monitoring devices, and now Microsoft has unveiled Hohm Score, a feature of Hohm which lets one get an “instant estimate of a home’s energy efficiency.”
Microsoft said on the Hohm blog that these Hohm Scores, which range on a scale from 1 to 100, are calculated for nearly 60 million homes in the United States using special algorithms combined with “public record information and advanced analytics licensed from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy.” One can simply input an address into the Hohm online service and get a “personalized page” that provides a variety of details such as “an estimate of how much that home could be saving annually on energy” and “a comparison chart that shows how this home’s energy use measures up to other homes in the area.”
Microsoft added that the energy cost-breakdown of one’s home can be fine tuned by linking a Hohm account to the address and entering information such as the types of appliances and systems in the house. This more personalized information can be kept private or shared publicly if so desired. It is interesting to note, according to Hohm general manager Troy Batterberry, that if all 60 million homes in the system’s database even slightly improved their Hohm Scores, the nation as a whole could “collectively save $16 billion in energy costs annually.”
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