No One's Hohm for Microsoft & Google

2:25 PM -- I was surprised to hear this week that both Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) are shutting down their home energy management services, PowerMeter and Hohm, respectively. They're free, the interfaces are slick and they could save consumers big bucks on their energy bills. (See Microsoft Brings a Device Hohm.)

So why the lack of interest?

It could be that consumers just don't care enough to keep track of their energy use on a daily basis. Sure, the greenest amongst us will, but for most, turning off the lights when they leave the house may be the extent of what they're willing to do.

That's probably the case to an extent, but I think consumers just need more education and more time. It's a new market and most may not even be aware of either tracking software, since both were opt in. I, for one, am interested in keeping an eye on my usage for the cost savings more so than the warm fuzzies from going green. My service gets quite pricey, and the paper bill doesn't offer any clarity.

Google and Microsoft might not have been the right companies for the job either. As I've said in the past, it's a good opportunity for cable and telecom companies to offer it as a value-added service that runs over the broadband pipe and brings in real-time, actionable data. They could do this on their own or in partnership with the utilities. A mobile app would be nice too.

Hohm and PowerMeter may have missed the mark, but residential energy management should find a new home soon.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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