Big Players in Home Energy Monitoring

Microsoft, GE, Google : Home Energy Monitoring

In January of 2010 we put up a post on the efforts of Google, Microsoft and Apple in the area of energy monitoring titled Energy Monitoring and the Big Three.  In the past 1o months, improvements have been made, deals have been signed, new products have been announced (and the opposite - no products - from Apple).   This post discusses the improvements Google and Microsoft have made in their offering, but also introduces GE's presence in the home energy arena with the Nucleus.

When discussing the difference in Google PowerMeter and Microsoft Hohm, states:

Hohm does so through a Web-based property that estimates household energy use and delivers custom-tailored recommendations for how to save energy to users. PowerMeter also shows users how much energy they are using and how much it is costing them in real time — directly on their iGoogle homepages so that monitoring energy use becomes a part of their daily internet routines

The Players and their products:

Apple - No real news yet! Although they've patented a device that works with a power line carrier and the HomePlug alliance.

Cisco - They are calling their solution a Home Energy Management solution and they use a device called a Home Energy Controller.  However, the device looks just like an iPad, so why not just have a system that communicates with an iPad or smart phone instead of having to buy a new electronic device?

Google PowerMeter - Works with:  Smart Meter or TED 5000 and AlertMe and the devices listed on this page (under the devices tab).

GE Nucleus - Works with: Smart Meter. recently had a good review of GE's Nucleus home energy monitoring unit.

Intel - They seem happy to design the chips and let another manufacturer make the hardware that will use the chips.  Earth2Tech has a nice post summarizing Intel's smart grid offering when it comes to home energy management.

Microsoft Hohm - Works with: Smart Meter or PowerCost Monitor and devices listed here.

Schneider - CNET has a good review of Schneider's Wiser energy monitoring platform

Verizon - Cnet covered Verizon's home energy monitoring solution titled Home Monitoring and Control. The official release is scheduled to be released in early 2011.

If you don't want to wait for the big players to come out with a product that fits your needs, you can always build your own DIY energy monitoring system, or check out our list of all the energy monitoring systems that we know of.

***If you like this, check out our post on smart home communication protocols.

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<a HREF="" rel="nofollow">OPOWER</A> is interesting too; what these others lack, as far as I can tell, is some comparison, which is explicitly what opower does. I have a small screenshot &amp; write up on <a HREF="" rel="nofollow">this blog entry</A>. Sadly the trial stopped working for me when I went solar, but I thought it was really neat, and I hope my utility adopts the program.
ckmapawatt's picture
Not only that, but OPower just received $50 million from Kleiner-Perkins! They must be doing something right!
Yep I saw that! I wonder how the Xcel trial is going. At one point I had daily readings from both my electric &amp; gas meters; it was pretty neat. It'd be even better in the winter, since the gas readings were in the noise in the summer. :) Xcel has also partnered with <a href="" rel="nofollow">Gridpoint</A>; the standard portal for customers now goes there, but I have to say the website looks a lot nicer than the actual customer portal does. It's cluttered, unintuitive, and not that helpful. There are a bazillion sites now which will helpfully tell you to turn off the lights and install a programmable thermostat. Maybe people still need to be told that, but in my mind there needs to be some breakthrough way of motivating &amp; educating people. The "compare to my neighbors" feature of Opower is a pretty good thing, and unique. <a href="" rel="nofollow">This game</a> looks pretty cool too. Who can write a Facebook app to challenge your friends on energy use? I'd love to see Wattville displace Farmville ;)
ckmapawatt's picture
Well, between me and you, that's what we've been working on, although while the end (energy conservation) has remained the same, the means have shifted a few times.

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