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Summary:

In the wake of Google pulling the plug on its energy tool PowerMeter, Microsoft says it has now killed its energy service, Hohm, too. Microsoft writes on its blog that it will discontinue its Hohm service starting on May 31, 2012.

Microsoft Looks to Peer Pressure for Energy Tool Hohm

In the wake of Google pulling the plug on its energy tool PowerMeter, Microsoft says it has now killed its energy service, Hohm, too. Microsoft writes on its blog that it will discontinue its Hohm service starting on May 31, 2012.

Microsoft writes:

[D]ue to the slow overall market adoption of the service, we are instead focusing our efforts on products and solutions more capable of supporting long-standing growth within this evolving market.

Google gave the same reason for killing PowerMeter: just not enough people and utilities had signed up to use it. Microsoft had already publicly discussed how it was trying to evolve the Hohm service, after launching it two years ago.

Unlike with Google’s PowerMeter, Hohm offered more accessibility to a regular consumer that didn’t have a smart meter yet, creating a web portal that let people look at the energy efficiency of their home. Microsoft licensed algorithms from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Department of Energy to create it. Other plans for Hohm were to use it as a software layer for electric vehicle charging and even broader building energy management.

Also in contrast to Google’s PowerMeter, Microsoft intended Hohm to be a revenue-generating product. Clearly it didn’t work out that way. Other companies that have launched services and gadgets in the home energy management space have changed course considerably or folded. Check out my GigaOM Pro article from summer 2009: Where Not To Make Money: Energy Management Software (subscription required).

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  1. What does this portend for home energy dashboard companies like Opower?

  2. Nick Franklin Thursday, June 30, 2011

    sorry for the brazen plug but I’m part of the team who build http://enio.co.uk an alternative to Hohm which is very much up and running and going strong. I encourage anyone looking for a new place to track their energy to take a look.

  3. Katie Fehrenbacher Thursday, June 30, 2011

    @albert, OPower isn’t a home energy dashboard company, most of their service is a detailed energy bill that the utility mails to customers and which contains recommendations and comparisons to neighborhoods. Customers open it and read it because it looks like utility bill and is opt-out. Though, I think home energy dashboard companies will have their own problems. Companies selling dashboards to utilities have to wait through long pilots, and companies selling to consumers face the problem of the fact that consumers don’t yet really care all that much.

  4. Katie Fehrenbacher Thursday, June 30, 2011

    @Nick Franklin, Curious where you are seeing any uptake? More UK, Europe, US, etc?

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