Fittingly coming at the same time as the UK government announced that homeowners would soon be offered green loans to make their homes more energy efficient, US software giant Microsoft has unveiled its online energy monitor, to allow households to measure their energy use.
Using an interactive website design, the Microsoft service is currently only available to residents in the US, but technology commentators hope a similar tool will be available for Europe in the forthcoming months, allowing UK residents to measure their savings from the government’s green loans scheme.
ITProPortal reports that the energy monitor works by collating information such as utility bills, house size, location and weather to work out household energy use, dispensing advice on the best possible ways to reduce energy consumption.
According to Cnet.com, who tested the service, advice included replacing bulbs with energy efficient ones, insulating pipes and lowering hot water heater temperatures, as well as more expensive methods such as solar panels and wall insulation.
Working with the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and the US Department of Energy, Microsoft was able to draw on reliable information for its “Hohm” web application.
Technology commentator Martin LaMonica, describes the tool as “not quite measuring up to a knowledgeable human being” but comments that it does provide a list of tips from which homeowners can start from, to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their energy efficiency.