Microsoft is currently sending out emails to users who registered for announcements about the Microsoft Hohm service which was in private beta until today. It is now possible for everyone to signup for the service and make use of it. Microsoft Hohm has been designed to help people save energy and money by better understanding their energy usage and receiving recommendations conserve energy and start saving.
The service is aimed at users from the United States as Microsoft asks for a US zip code to provide the user with data from that area in the United States. There are for example information about the average annual energy costs in the area or the energy costs breakdown.
Users who signed up for the service can start by completing their home profile which basically asks them to fill out detailed information about their home. This ranges from entering the year the home was build to its square footage, heating system and year the water heater was installed. The information are further divided into categories like doors and windows, lighting, appliances or pumps and pools all with about 5-10 questions that need to be answered. This can take some time depending mostly if the information are available next to the user or not.
The data is then linked to energy providers in the region once the information have been filled out (with the possibility to leave answers blank or use don't know as an answer). This is a great way of comparing energy costs. Probably the most important part of the site are recommendations based on the home profile that has been created during setup.
These recommendations list improvements that can be made to the home to save energy and money. They can be filtered by name, cost or annual savings with the option to plan the improvements, set them to done and to write notes and the actual costs.
The average annual energy costs can be recalculated whenever the situation changes. Microsoft Hohm is an interesting online service for home users from the United States who want to cut their energy bills.
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