REDMOND, Wash. — July 27, 2010 — Tracking your energy use and saving money just got easier today. Microsoft and Blue Line Innovations have joined forces to give consumers real-time information about their energy use down to the minute and the dollar. The companies have combined Blue Line’s popular energy tracking device with Microsoft Hohm to give consumers information about their household energy use — and its cost — at a glance, with easy-to-use graphs that show where you can save the most energy and money.
|Microsoft Hohm community member Joel Telling installs the Blue Line PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway at his Seattle home.|
“With a utility bill you may only see your energy usage once every month or even every two months,” said Troy Batterberry, product unit manager for Microsoft Hohm. “The Blue Line PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway provide updates every 30 seconds, so you’re getting real-time data so you can take real-time action. It’s kind of like online banking for your energy bill, offering 24x7 access to your usage.”
The PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway pull consumers’ power use data into their Microsoft Hohm profile, where charts and graphs make it easy to track consumption patterns and see changes in real time.
The Blue Line PowerCost Monitor attaches to a household power utility meter; no wiring is required, and no need to call in an electrician. The WiFi Gateway device wirelessly transmits energy use data to the consumer’s Microsoft Hohm account and can provide personalized energy recommendations. Hohm also offers social networking communities on Facebook and Twitter to help users compare notes and get tips for ways to improve their energy efficiency.
Graphs and charts make it easy to identify usage patterns and potential problems. For example, the electricity usage chart below shows that power consumption spiked when the user turned on the air conditioner at various times of the day. With this type of insight into energy usage, consumers are empowered to make immediate choices about how to manage their household power consumption.
PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway, Hohm View of Power Usage
“Our goal with Microsoft Hohm is to give consumers information that can help them make smarter decisions to control and manage their energy use. We see this collaboration with Blue Line as a first step toward achieving that goal,” Batterberry says.
Microsoft’s collaboration with Blue Line is the first available device partnership for Microsoft Hohm, and Batterberry sees it as just the beginning. The goal of Microsoft Hohm is to connect to smart plugs, thermostats, HVAC systems, electric vehicles and other devices so that consumers have as much information as possible to help them understand and reduce their energy consumption.
The Blue Line PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway are available today from Blue Line Innovations and through select retailers. The complete package of PowerCost Monitor and WiFi Gateway is available for $249 (estimated retail price); consumers who already have the PowerCost Monitor can purchase the WiFi Gateway separately for $159 (estimated retail price).