Over a year ago, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Hohm, a Web-based service designed to help consuemrs identify and track energy consumption in their homes and provide tips on how to be more efficient, identify energy-wasters an unnecessary usage, and lower utility bills. Now, Blue Line Innovations‘ Power Cost Monitor WiFi edition is fully integrated with Microsoft Hohm, so the service can now provide fully personalized energy information based on customers’ actual energy usage, and offer suggestions where users can save money—and energy—in their day-to-day lives.
The PowerCost Monitor connect directly to a user’s utility meter—without any wiring—and wirelessly pushes energy usage data directly to a user’s Microsoft Hohm account using a home Internet connection. Blue Line Innovations says the PowerCost Monitor is compatible with up to 90 percent of the power meters in use in North America: it works by attaching to the glass cover on the meter and “seeing” the meter’s moving disk or reading a digital meter. The device then transmits reader data up to 100 feet to a wireless receiver inside the house; users can then connect the wireless receiver to the Internet (via Wi-Fi or USB) to upload data to Microsoft Hohm.
“With a utility bill you may only see your energy usage once every month or even every two months,” said Microsoft Hohm product unit manager Troy Batterberry, in a statement. “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 24×7 access to your usage.”
The PowerCost Monitor Wi-Fi Edition has a suggested retail price of $268, which includes sensor, home monitor, Wi-Fi Gateway, an AC adapter, mini USB connector, and instructions. Right now it’s only available in the U.S.; Blue Line Innovations expects to bring it to Canada in the fourth quarter of 2010.