Within a week of each other, Google and Microsoft both announced that they were pulling the plug on their home energy management services after only two years of them being active.
Last week, Google said that it was giving up on its PowerMeter online software that allowed people to track their home energy use and pinpoint ways make their home more efficient and end up with cheaper electricity bills. The reason was that not enough people and utilities were signing up for the free service.
Microsoft has given the same reason for ending its Hohm service, a similar program that offered a sleeker interface and a greater depth of information regarding consumer's energy use patterns and the related costs. Hohm was also free, but Microsoft had planned to make it into a paid service.
Home energy monitoring and management is a necessary part of lowering our overall energy use and living more sustainably, but it's possible these programs were launched a little too soon. When smart grid technology starts reaching more areas of the country and people start becoming more accustomed to using technology to tweak their energy use habits, these type of programs will be more popular, but it seems the interest just wasn't there yet.
written by Jacob Ballard, July 06, 2011
written by John, November 07, 2011
|< Prev||Next >|