Microsoft Hohm public beta is now live

Microsoft unveiled a new web service just two weeks ago, designed to help users manage and track power usage of their houses, named Hohm. Today the company has announced that this product has moved into a public beta meaning anyone can sign up and create an account.

Michaeljon Miller, software architect for Microsoft Hohm, confirmed in a blog posting "the team's been sitting in a conference room on campus since about 5:30 this morning watching things spin up. Considering this is the first major web application that most of the team has shipped, things went extremely well."

Microsoft Hohm is aimed at every home owner to allow them to save energy and money. The idea is that you can better understand your home energy usage, get recommendations to conserve energy and start saving. Microsoft claims Hohm will provide increasingly more accurate and relevant suggestions for energy conservation as its users contribute home energy input and feedback.

Signing up myself was relatively easy, but as Hohm is designed for US households only, I was unable to enter a UK postcode.

Thanks to member Dead_Monkey for the news tip

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Yes, it is, if your power company is a participant, then your consumption information is automatically populated, otherwise you can enter it yourself from your own billing data.

kraized said,
Or better still an iPod touch. LOL.

They would want to reward the guy, not punish him by forcing him to install iTunes.

We've noticed that you waste a lot of energy each month. We suggest turning off devices which often run constantly like your modem, router, and Windows PC. Many devices, like the Xbox 360, even draw power while in their off mode but this can be alleviated by unplugging these devices completely.

All true, the fact we run our PC's and networks 24/7 doesn't change the fact that we are indeed "wasting" energy. So, that aside, do you have a point?

So far this "service" is not yet of service to anyone who attempts to use it. I entered about 85% of the info at first just to see what it would say. After choking down the fact the Hohm thought I was spending 2.2 MILLION dollars EVERY month on electricity in my 1100 SF apartment, I decided maybe it needed more info. I entered EVERY scrap of info it asked (100% in ALL categories!) and it now says I'm only spending DOUBLE what my actual bills are. I even manually entered the usage information from my electric bills. All that Hohm shows is the same info that the electric service prints on the bill every month. Well, all except "Thank You From All the Employees of NES."

BTW, even when it says my total yearly consumption is less then $3500, it suggest that I could save 547,000/year by switching to CFLs.


Have to agree. I got to 89% it it indicated that I was spending $437.650 a year. Damn, I hope my power company doesn't figure that out; last bill was $53.41.

Pam14160 said,
Have to agree. I got to 89% it it indicated that I was spending $437.650 a year. Damn, I hope my power company doesn't figure that out; last bill was $53.41.

If you spent that every month your bill would be $640.92 a year. If your bill is sometimes lower, $437.65 sounds like it might be right.

Are you guys sure you aren't confusing "100.050" for "100,050"? (for example) Power is generally calculated to tenths of a cent.


Where I live the Winters are really something (6500ft). In fact there are usually only two other areas in the lower 48 that might get colder, so for five months out of the year $53.41 is really nice.

Recon415 said,
Note the word "beta"

Note the fact that Beta follows Alpha. Glaringly obvious bugs that show costs many times what the actual cost is should not have gotten to the Public Beta stage.

For the fail. They couldn't even get Puget Sound Energy (the same folks that keep the lights on in Redmond, WA) to be a launch partner to share energy data.

This is totally useless as long as it is unable to gather realtime data from your meter.

You'd be better off carefully reading your electricity bill each month.

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