From a Microsoft PressPass release:
SAN FRANCISCO — June 24, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today announced Microsoft Hohm, a new online application that enables consumers to better understand their energy usage, get recommendations and start saving money. Microsoft Hohm uses advanced analytics licensed from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the U.S. Department of Energy to provide consumers with personalized energy-saving recommendations. Microsoft Hohm is an easy-to-use tool that helps consumers lower their energy bill and reduce their impact on the environment.
The beta application is available at no cost to anyone in the United States with an Internet connection and can be accessed directly by visiting http://www.microsoft-hohm.com.
“We believe technology will play a pivotal role in tackling the global energy issues we currently face,” said Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer at Microsoft. “Microsoft Hohm demonstrates how a combination of advanced software and Internet-based services can help people track, understand and manage their personal energy usage.”
Consumers today are motivated to save energy to reduce their spending and do their part in conserving the environment. According to a May 2009 utility consumer survey from Gartner Inc. (conducted with households in the U.S. and U.K.), 80 percent of consumers in the U.S. would participate in an energy program if it were offered by providers. Data also showed that cost reduction is the key driving force behind participating in an energy efficiency program.*
Microsoft Hohm provides savings recommendations, which can range from placing new caulking on windows to removing air leaks to installing a programmable thermostat. These recommendations are tailored based on specific circumstances in the consumer’s home including house features, usage patterns and appliances. The savings will vary based on the information shared and the characteristics of consumers’ households. If consumers don’t provide their data, Microsoft Hohm will base its recommendations on local and national averages. Microsoft Hohm will leverage the energy usage data and feedback from its users to refine and improve the accuracy and relevancy of recommendations. In addition, consumers will be able to compare their energy usage with that of others in their area and connect with the Microsoft Hohm community to find referrals and exchange ideas.
Microsoft Hohm is built on the Windows Azure cloud operating system and leverages Bing search as well as the Microsoft Advertising platform, and is accessible from any computer using a modern browser.